There is a group, of quiet disposition,
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That clanks, and chips, and not yields,
To be a part apart from common ammunition;
Among this group, beyond its shields,
With haggard look, is Little Swills.
Up on the dawn and in the streets
One eye awake, the other fills
His mind with dreams, his heart with beats,
His feet adherent to the chills,
Is all that fills poor Little Swills
He lifts, he tenses, his cactus tongue,
This all a pulley for the thrills
For those whose boxes pushed or brung,
All day he toils for little bills,
Keep up the pace, hears Little Swills.
Each night he lies, his dreams he stalks,
The heart uncooled, yet cooler grills,
He coax the night to daylight walks,
But raid, like beasts, the grinding mills,
So battles at this, Little Swills.
Today, nor yesterday,-says he,- have brought
But fade to bloom, and bloom to fade;
Believing school to have me taught
In hope-but dreams in sleep are only made.
Good deeds speak but to suspicion,
Loved for only favors given,
The caring man has gone in to remission,
The heart to apathy has risen.
*Title comes from a character in Charles' Dickens Bleak House