poem index


Thomas Hood

Printer-friendly version

by this poet

With fingers weary and worn,
   With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
   Plying her needle and thread—
      Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
   And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the "Song of the Shirt."

   "Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing
There is a silence where hath been no sound, 
There is a silence where no sound may be, 
In the cold grave—under the deep deep sea, 
Or in wide desert where no life is found, 
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound; 
No voice is hush'd—no life treads silently, 
But clouds and cloudy shadows wander

        No sun—no moon!
        No morn—no noon—
No dawn—
        No sky—no earthly view—
        No distance looking blue—
No road—no street—no "t'other side the way"—
        No end to any Row—
        No indications where the Crescents go—
        No top to any steeple—