Vachel Lindsay

(November 10, 1879 – December 5, 1931 / Springfield, Illinois)

Prologue To Rhymes To Be Traded For Bread - Poem by Vachel Lindsay

Even the shrewd and bitter,
Gnarled by the old world's greed,
Cherished the stranger softly
Seeing his utter need.
Shelter and patient hearing,
These were their gifts to him,
To the minstrel chanting, begging,
As the sunset-fire grew dim.
The rich said "you are welcome."
Yea, even the rich were good.
How strange that in their feasting
His songs were understood!
The doors of the poor were open,
The poor who had wandered too,
Who slept with never a roof-tree
Under the wind and dew.
The minds of the poor were open,
There dark mistrust was dead:
They loved his wizard stories,
They bought his rhymes with bread.

Those were his days of glory,
Of faith in his fellow-men.
Therefore to-day the singer
Turns beggar once again.


Comments about Prologue To Rhymes To Be Traded For Bread by Vachel Lindsay

  • Brian Jani (7/4/2014 4:35:00 PM)


    you are an acrobat with words hey.nicely written piece here (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: greed, sunset, faith, tree, fire, wind, dark, world, song, sleep



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]