The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

The Pedlar

THERE'S a broken, lame old pedlar a-limping down the street,

Cold sorrow at his heart, a hard road beneath his feet,

Lifeless walls around him and a leaden sky above

As he searches through the city for the face of his lost Love.

Red and blue and golden leaps the flame of his desire;

Red, for glowing embers of a vagabond's night fire.

Blue, to seek the deep unf athomed glory of the sea.

And gold for Northern sunsets, wealth of beggars such as he.

The fire and sea and sunset are the face of his lost Love,

His heart is plucked by stronger chords than ever cities wove,

But, buried 'twixt the pavement grey, grey walls and smoke-hid skies

In a closely leaded coffin the old pedlar's lost love lies.