Lyrical Ballads, with other poems, by William Wordsworth

Andrew Jones

I hate that Andrew Jones: he’ll breed

His children up to waste and pillage.

I wish the press-gang or the drum

With its tantara sound would come,

And sweep him from the village!

I said not this, because he loves

Through the long day to swear and tipple;

But for the poor dear sake of one

To whom a foul deed he had done,

A friendless Man, a travelling Cripple!

For this poor crawling helpless wretch

Some Horseman who was passing by,

A penny on the ground had thrown;

But the poor Cripple was alone

And could not stoop — no help was nigh.

Inch-thick the dust lay on the ground

For it had long been droughty weather:

So with his staff the Cripple wrought

Among the dust till he had brought

The halfpennies together.

It chanc’d that Andrew pass’d that way

Just at the time; and there he found

The Cripple in the mid-day heat

Standing alone, and at his feet

He saw the penny on the ground.

He stopp’d and took the penny up.

And when the Cripple nearer drew,

Quoth Andrew, “Under half-a-crown.

What a man finds is all his own,

And so, my Friend, good day to you.”

And hence I said, that Andrew’s boys

Will all be train’d to waste and pillage;

And wish’d the press-gang, or the drum

With its tantara sound, would come

And sweep him from the village!

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/wordsworth/william/lyrical/poem41.html

Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 12:30