The Tailor

Few footsteps stray when dusk droops o'er
The tailor's old stone-lintelled door.
There sits he, stitching, half asleep,
Beside his smoky tallow dip.
“Click, click,” his needle hastes, and shrill
Cries back the cricket beneath the sill.
Sometimes he stays, and over his thread
Leans sidelong his old tousled head;
Or stoops to peer with half-shut eye
When some strange footfall echoes by;
Till clearer gleams his candle's spark
Into the dusty summer dark.
Then from his crosslegs he gets down,
To find how dark the evening is grown;
And hunched-up in his door he will hear
The cricket whistling crisp and clear;
And so beneath the starry grey
He will mutter half a seam away.
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