Thomas Hardy

At the Railway Station, Upways

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'There is not much that I can do,
For I've no money that's quite my own!'
Spoke up the pitying child--
A little boy with a violin
At the station before the train came in,--
'But I can play my fiddle to you,
And a nice one 'tis, and good in tone!'

The man in the handcuffs smiled;
The constable looked, and he smiled too,
As the fiddle began to twang;
And the man in the handcuffs suddenly sang
With grimful glee:
'This life so free
Is the thing for me!'
And the constable smiled, and said no word,
As if unconscious of what he heard;
And so they went on till the train came in--
The convict, and boy with the violin.

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Thomas Hardy