To Wordsworth

Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know
That things depart which never may return:
Childhood and youth, friendship and love's first glow,
Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to mourn.
These common woes I feel. One loss is mine
Which thou too feel'st, yet I alone deplore.
Thou wert as a lone star, whose light did shine
On some frail bark in winter's midnight roar:
Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood
Above the blind and battling multitude:
In honoured poverty thy voice did weave


Tom Paine

An Englishman was Thomas Paine
Who bled for liberty;
But while his fight was far from vain
He died in poverty:
Though some are of the sober thinking
'Twas due to drinking.

Yet this is what appeals to me:
Cobbet, a friend, loved him so well
He sailed across the surly sea
To raw and rigid New Rochelle:
With none to say: 'Take him not from us!'
He raped the grave of Thomas.

And in his library he set
These bones so woe-begone;


Tom May's Death

As one put drunk into the Packet-boat,
Tom May was hurry'd hence and did not know't.
But was amaz'd on the Elysian side,
And with an Eye uncertain, gazing wide,
Could not determine in what place he was,
For whence in Stevens ally Trees or Grass.
Nor where the Popes head, nor the Mitre lay,
Signs by which still he found and lost his way.
At last while doubtfully he all compares,
He saw near hand, as he imagin'd Ares.
Such did he seem for corpulence and port,
But 'twas a man much of another sort;


Your Richestaught mePoverty

299

Your Riches—taught me—Poverty.
Myself—a Millionaire
In little Wealths, as Girls could boast
Till broad as Buenos Ayre—

You drifted your Dominions—
A Different Peru—
And I esteemed All Poverty
For Life's Estate with you—

Of Mines, I little know—myself—
But just the names, of Gems—
The Colors of the Commonest—
And scarce of Diadems—

So much, that did I meet the Queen—
Her Glory I should know—
But this, must be a different Wealth—
To miss it—beggars so—


Young Democracy

HARK! Young Democracy from sleep
Our careless sentries raps:
A backwash from the Future’s deep
Our Evil’s foreland laps.

Unknown, these Titans of our Night
Their New Creation make:
Unseen, they toil and love and fight
That glamoured Man may wake.

Knights-errant of the human race,
The Quixotes of to-day,
For man as man they claim a place,
Prepare the tedious way.

They seek no dim-eyed mob’s applause,
Deem base the titled name,


Written at Lovere, October, 1736

If age and sickness, poverty and pain,
Should each assault me with alternate plagues,
I know mankind is destin'd to complain,
And I submit to torment and fatigues.
The pious farmer, who ne'er misses pray'rs,
With patience suffers unexpected rain;
He blesses Heav'n for what its bounty spares,
And sees, resign'd, a crop of blighted grain.
But, spite of sermons, farmers would blaspheme,
If a star fell to set their thatch on flame.


Worry About Money

Wearing worry about money like a hair shirt
I lie down in my bed and wrestle with my angel.

My bank-manager could not sanction my continuance for another day
But life itself wakes me each morning, and love

Urges me to give although I have no money
In the bank at this moment, and ought properly

To cease to exist in a world where poverty
Is a shameful and ridiculous offence.

Having no one to advise me, I open the Bible
And shut my eyes and put my finger on a text


Willie's and Nellie's Wish

I

Willie and Nellie, one evening sat
By their own little cottage door;
They saw a man go staggering by --
Says Willie, "that's Mr. Lanore;
He is just going home from town, where
He has been in a saloon.
When Maggie and I came from school,
Said Maggie, 'please papa, come home.'
II
"She asked him again, again, to come home.
At last he got angry, and said:
'Maggie, go home -- don't bother me so;
Go home now, and shut up your head.'
Poor girl, she came weeping all the way,


Who Bides His Time

Who bides his time, and day by day
Faces defeat full patiently,
And lifts a mirthful roundelay,
However poor his fortunes be,--
He will not fail in any qualm
Of poverty -- the paltry dime
It will grow golden in his palm,
Who bides his time.

Who bides his time -- he tastes the sweet
Of honey in the saltest tear;
And though he fares with slowest feet,
Joy runs to meet him, drawing near;
The birds are hearalds of his cause;
And, like a never-ending rhyme,


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - poverty