Travel Stained Man

Poem By Francis Duggan

The other day I met a tramp
His hair was wet, his clothes looked damp
The poor man seemed hungry and cold
He must have been sixty years old.

His wrinkled face showed signs of strain
In his right hand was a walking cane,
The memory with me will long remain
Of him walking in the cold November rain.

This slender man of snow white hair
With clothes that were the worst for wear
Greeted with a curt good day
And slowly plodded on his way.

To be frank and speak the truth
I pitied one so destitute
And though it may sound a little queer
I had to fight to choke a tear.

The Winter months are harsh and long
And this poor man did not seem strong
I wonder will he see the Spring
And hear again the blackbird sing? .

As I sleep in a comfortable bed
This man will sleep in a draughty shed
Inhabited by rats and mice
On hay and straw ridden with lice.

He's no self respect or pride,
All self respect in him has died,
He lives a life of poverty
And has to beg for charity.

He knows about degradation
About prejudice and discrimination
These he meet with every day
When well offs from him turn away.

But on his journeys he also meet
People who give him money and food to eat,
His type they can understand
And reach to him the helping hand

Vagabonds are born to roam
His kind seldom have been known
To take a job and settle down
They like to move from town to town.

I pitied him he looked so frail,
His wrinkled face so wan and pale
And though I hope I'm wrong it seems to me
That Spring time he won't live to see.

Time from my mind will not erase
The memory of the poor tramp's face
Who someday soon may be found dead
In a cold and draughty shed

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