Like one from whose worn heart the heat
Of life had long ago retired,
He played to the unheeding street
Until the thin old hands were tired.
Few marked the player how he played,
Or how the child beside his knee
Besought the passers-by for aid
So softly and so wistfully.
A stranger passed. The little hand
Went forth, so often checked and spurned.
The stranger wavered, came to stand,
Looked round with absent eyes and turned.
He saw the sightless withered face,
The tired old hands, the whitened hair,
The child with such a mournful grace,
The little features pinched and spare.
“I have no money, but,” said he,
“Give me the violin and bow.
I’ll play a little, we shall see,
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