London Types - III. Hawker

A poem by William Ernest Henley

Far out of bounds he's figured - in a race
Of West-End traffic pitching to his loss.
But if you'd see him in his proper place,
Making the browns for bub and grub and doss,
Go East among the merchants and their men,
And where the press is noisiest, and the tides
Of trade run highest and widest, there and then
You shall behold him, edging with equal strides
Along the kerb; hawking in either hand
Some artful nothing made of twine and tin,
Cardboard and foil and bits of rubber band:
Some penn'orth of wit-in-fact that, with a grin,
The careful City marvels at, and buys
For nurselings in the Suburbs to despise!

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