Crowd by Chris South


(Based on ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ by William Wordsworth)

I wandered lonely in a crowd
That drifted by like whirls of smoke
When all at once within its shroud
A voice I heard and thus it spoke…
“Beside yourself and ill at ease,
clutching straws on human seas?”

Innumerable as the sands of time
On distant shores and every beach
They billowed past weaving their rhyme
Until at last some end they’d reach
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Whilst billions more pursued this dance!

Those waves beside me swelled; and they
Did cause my feet to up and flee
A man could not at all be gay
In multitudinous company
I’ve mused and mused and frequent thought
How much men’s bustle comes to nought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood
They hustle by in my mind’s eye
That swollen fleshy multitude
And then my heart in fear and dread
Implores my reason “Time for bed!”

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