Sordid Scene (Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, a.k.a. as the Earl of Lytton, 1831-1891)

Thro' the thick vagueness of the vaprous night,
From the dark alley, with a clouded light,
Two rheumy, melancholy lampions flare.
They are the eyes of the Police.
In there,
Down the dark archway, thro' the greasy door,
Passionately pushing past the three or four
Complacent constables that cluster'd round
A costermonger*, in gutter found
Incapably, but combatively, drunk,
The woman hurried. Thro' the doorway slunk
A peaky pinch'd-up child with frighten'd face,
Important witness in some murder case
About to come before the magistrate

*Costermonger = seller of fruit on the street

Note: Is it any wonder that a contest involving purple prose is named in the good Earl's honor?

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