Gone! - almost all the skills of yesterday!
The smith at his darkened, smoke-grime bench!
The muffin-man, full basket on his head
Stentorian voice, his edibles to dispence.
The street gas-lighter with his rod in hand
The envy of myself when very young.
The plopping of the mantles being lit,
Pitch darkness with its risks now overcome.
The once sought-after task, now obsolete
Of keeping clear the railway crossing-gate.
Knife-grinder, with his intricate machine,
The sharpness of our knives to elevate.
All gone! all gone! The blackened chimney-sweep,
Flue brushes and his sack both close to hand.
His ruby lips, shining ripe in obfuscated face;
Ancient black cap the sooty deluge to withstand.
The cabby with his horse and landaulette,
To drive us to the station, where awaits
The n'er forgotten steam-train and the hiss
Of fiercely spurting steam, our hearts to elevate.