The poetical works of Matthew Arnold/West London

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WEST LONDON.

Crouched on the pavement, close by Belgrave Square,
A tramp I saw, ill, moody, and tongue-tied;
A babe was in her arms, and at her side
A girl; their clothes were rags, their feet were bare.


Some laboring-men, whose work lay somewhere there,
Passed opposite; she touched her girl, who hied
Across, and begged, and came back satisfied.
The rich she had let pass with frozen stare.


Thought I, "Above her state this spirit towers;
She will not ask of aliens, but of friends,
Of sharers in a common human fate.


She turns from that cold succor, which attends
The unknown little from the unknowing great,
And points us to a better time than ours."