After the Fair
The singers are gone from the Cornmarket-place With their broadsheets of rhymes, The street rings no longer in treble and bass With their skits on the times, And the Cross, lately thronged, is a dim naked space That but echoes the stammering chimes.
From Clock-corner steps, as each quarter ding-dongs, Away the folk roam By the “Hart” and Grey’s Bridge into byways and “drongs”, Or across the ridged loam; The younger ones shrilling the lately heard songs, The old saying, “Would we were home”.
The shy-seeming maiden so mute in the fair Now rattles and talks, And that one who looked the most swaggering there Grows sad as she walks, And she who seemed eaten by cankering care In statuesque sturdiness stalks.
And midnight clears High Street of all but the ghosts Of its buried burghees, From the latest far back to those old Roman hosts Whose remains one yet sees, Who loved, laughed, and fought, hailed their friends, drank their toasts At their meeting-times here, just as these!