Robert Nichols

(1893 - 1944 / England)

The Stranger


Never am I so alone
As when I walk among the crowd —
Blurred masks of stern or grinning stone,
Unmeaning eyes and voices loud.

Gaze dares not encounter gaze,…
Humbled, I turn my head aside;
When suddenly there is a face…
Pale, subdued and grievous-eyed.

Ah, I know that visage meek,
Those trembling lips, the eyes that shine
But turn from that which they would seek
With an air piteous, divine!

There is not a line or scar,
Seal of a sorrow or disgrace,
But I know like sigils are
Burned in my heart and on my face.

Speak! O speak! Thou art the one!
But thou hast passed with sad head bowed;
And never am I so alone
As when I walk among the crowd.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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