Menu Close


The image is centered on the page, separating the poem “A Ballad of a Night Refuge” from the next poem, “A Pagan Rhyme.” It is outlined in a rectangular black border, in landscape orientation. Against a light brown backdrop, several men are depicted in silhouette. The image illustrates a scene from “A Ballad of a Night Refuge” in which a “mad cripple” addresses a group of men. The “cripple” stands at the left of the image, facing the men on the right. On the far right, several military men descend steps into the room. The artist’s monogram is in the bottom right corner of the frame.


The big men of the city
    They walk her streets with ease,
And rule her men like gentlemen
    Careless whether they please—
And if they sin ’tis licensed sin
    By their own law allowed—
Give me to be an outsider
    One of the crowd.

The ladies of the city
    They drive adown her ways—
(Armed scornful ’gainst all glances
    And heedless of men’s praise—
Snow white for show to the city)—
    Cry not their loves aloud—
Give me to love an outsider
    One of the crowd.

These princes of society.
    The narrow ring inside—
Without there beats the fighting world
    A cramped but happy tide—
Bound all their little laws to keep,
    Of high position proud—
Give me for friend an outsider
    One of the crowd.

Give me to live beyond the pale
    Not covetous of wealth—
Give me to keep the laws of life
    And a strong law for myself—
Give me to love the hearts of men
    And scorn the outward dress—
Give me to be an outsider
    Nothing less.

                                                                        Herbert Shaw.

MLA citation:

Shaw, Herbert. “A Pagan Rhyme,” The Green Sheaf, No. 3, 1903, p. 12. Green Sheaf Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Yellow Nineties 2.0, Toronto Metropolitan University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2022.