Seven Sandwichmen on Broadway


SHUFFLING and shambling, woebegone, they pass,
Seven in single file, and seven as one, —
As if a spectrum of all woe the sun
Here cast through some bewitched prismatic glass.
From their stooped shoulders, back and fore, hang crass
High-colored chromos of a stage mignonne
In tights, astride a grinning simpleton
Squat on all fours, and long-eared like an ass.
“Success!” “Success!” we read—yea, thy success
We read, O wanton among cities: vice
Saddled on folly, woe beneath sevenfold:
Woe of the lust of life, and the shameful price
Of life, — woe of the want, the weariness, —
Of fear, of hate, — of the thrice false weights of gold!