Lyrical Ballads – Andrew Jones. William Wordsworth – 1800.


Play an audio version of this poem.

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!

Poet's Corner

Like so many, my first contact with poetry was at school. In my teens I tried my hand at poetry and found that I rather enjoyed it. As a musician, poetry enabled me to write songs - really cool to be a teenager and strumming out your own songs (badly in my case) on the guitar. I decided to build this site alongside a corresponding YouTube channel (Poets' Corner) and include both a narrated version of each poem along with the printed version. Having always loved (and many times visited) The Lake District in northwest England it seemed only right to start with Wiliam Wordsworth and, once I've created a significant body of his work, I'll start working on other poets.

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