The Cripple

He totters round and dangles those odd shapes
That were his legs. His eyes are never dim.
He brags about his fame between the tapes,
And laughs the loudest when they laugh at him.
Amid the fights of snow he takes a hand;
Accepts his small defeats, and with a smile
He rises from the ground, and makes his stand
With clumsiness, but battles hard the while.
So quick to see the pain in fellow men,
He chides them; yea.-and laughs them into
and yet, when death was near to one, 'twas then
about his kindly heart we learnt the truth,
since nowadays of cheer there is a dearth,
'Twas smiles or tears, and he chose the mirth.

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