A Load of brushes and baskets and cradles and chairs Labours along the street in the rain: With it a man, a woman, a pony with whiteybrown hairs. -- The man foots in front of the horse with a shambling sway At a slower tread than a funeral train, While to a dirge-like tune he chants his wares, Swinging a Turk's-head brush (in a drum-major's way When the bandsmen march and play).
A yard from the back of the man is the whiteybrown pony's nose: He mirrors his master in every item of pace and pose: He stops when the man stops, without being told, And seems to be eased by a pause; too plainly he's old, Indeed, not strength enough shows To steer the disjointed waggon straight, Which wriggles left and right in a rambling line, Deflected thus by its own warp and weight, And pushing the pony with it in each incline.
The woman walks on the pavement verge, Parallel to the man: She wears an apron white and wide in span, And carries a like Turk's-head, but more in nursing-wise: Now and then she joins in his dirge, But as if her thoughts were on distant things, The rain clams her apron till it clings. -- So, step by step, they move with their merchandize, And nobody buys.