"I saw him once before, As he passed by the door, And again"(Stanza 1, Line 1-3, Holmes). The author recognized the man.
"But now he walks the streets, And he looks at all he meets Sad and wan..."(Stanza 3, Line 13-15, Holmes). The man looks depressed.
"And the names he loved to hear Have been carved many a year On the tomb."(Stanza 4, Line 22-24, Holmes). The man had family buried in the cemetary.
" My grandmamma he said-- Poor old lady, she is dead"(Stanza 5, Line 26,27, Holmes). His Grandmother is the family member buried here.
" I know it is a sin For me to sit and grin At him here;... But the breeches, and all that, Are so queer!"(Stanza 7, Line 38-43, Holmes). The author knows it isn't the right thing to do to laugh.
" And if i should live to be The last leaf upon the tree In the spring, Let them smile, As i do now..."( Stanza 8, Line 44-47, Holmes). The author wants passersby to smile at him the way he smiles at the man.