Robert William Service |
I could have sold him up because
His rent was long past due;
And Grimes, my lawyer, said it was
The proper thing to do:
But how could I be so inhuman?
And me a gentle-woman.
Yet I am poor as chapel mouse,
Pinching to make ends meet,
And have to let my little house
To buy enough to eat:
Why, even now to keep agoing
I have to take in sewing.
Sylvester is a widowed man,
Clerk in a hardware store;
I guess he does the best he can
To feed his kiddies four:
It sure is hard,--don't think it funny,
I've lately loaned him money.
I want to wipe away a tear
Even to just suppose
Some monster of an auctioneer
Might sell his sticks and clothes:
I'd rather want for bread and butter
Than see them in the gutter.
A silly, soft old thing am I,
But oh them kiddies four!
I guess I'll make a raisin pie
And leave it at their door .
Some Sunday, dears, you'll share my dream,--
Fried chicken and ice-cream.
Constantine P Cavafy |
I have almost been reduced to a homeless pauper.
This fatal city, Antioch,
has consumed all my money;
this fatal city with its expensive life.
But I am young and in excellent health.
My command of Greek is superb
(I know all there is about Aristotle, Plato;
orators, poets, you name it.
I have an idea of military affairs,
and have friends among the mercenary chiefs.
I am on the inside of administration as well.
Last year I spent six months in Alexandria;
I have some knowledge (and this is useful) of affairs there:
intentions of the Malefactor, and villainies, et cetera.
Therefore I believe that I am fully
qualified to serve this country,
my beloved homeland Syria.
In whatever capacity they place me I shall strive
to be useful to the country.
This is my intent.
Then again, if they thwart me with their methods --
we know those able people: need we talk about it now?
if they thwart me, I am not to blame.
First, I shall apply to Zabinas,
and if this moron does not appreciate me,
I shall go to his rival Grypos.
And if this idiot does not hire me,
I shall go straight to Hyrcanos.
One of the three will want me however.
And my conscience is not troubled
about not worrying about my choice.
All three harm Syria equally.
But, a ruined man, why is it my fault.
Wretched man, I am trying to make ends meet.
The almighty gods should have provided
and created a fourth, good man.
Gladly would I have joined him.
Andrew Barton Paterson |
So, the bank has bust it's boiler! And in six or seven year
It will pay me all my money back -- of course!
But the horse will perish waiting while the grass is germinating,
And I reckon I'll be something like the horse.
There's the ploughing to be finished and the ploughmen want their pay,
And I'd like to wire the fence and sink a tank;
But I own I'm fairly beat how I'm going to make ends meet
With my money in a reconstructed bank.
"It's a safe and sure investment!" But it's one I can't afford,
For I've got to meet my bills and bay the rent,
And the cash I had provided (so these meetings have decided)
Shall be collared by the bank at three per cent.
I can draw out half my money, so they tell me, from the Crown;
But -- it's just enough to drive a fellow daft --
My landlord's quite distressed, by this very bank he's pressed,
And he'll sell me up, to pay his overdraft.
There's my nearest neighbour, Johnson, owed this self-same bank a debt,
Every feather off his poor old back they pluck't,
For they set to work to shove him, and they sold his house above him,
Lord! They never gave him time to reconstruct.
And their profits from the business have been twenty-five per cent,
Which, I reckon, is a pretty tidy whack,
And I think it's only proper, now the thing has come a cropper,
That they ought to pay a little of it back.
I have read about "reserve funds", "banking freeholds", and the like,
Till I thought the bank had thousands of assets,
And it strikes me very funny that they take a fellow's money
When they haven't got enough to pay their debts.
And they say they've lent my money, and they can't get paid it back.
I know their rates per cent were tens and twelves;
And if they've made a blunder after scooping all this plunder,
Why, they ought to fork the money out themselves.
So all you bank shareholders, if you won't pay what you owe,
You will find that on your bank will fall a blight;
And the reason is because it's simply certain that deposits
Will be stopped, the bank will bust, and serve you right!
Robert William Service |
My brother Tim has children ten,
While I have none.
Maybe that's why he's toiling when
To ease I've won.
But though I would some of his brood
Give hearth and care,
I know that not a one he would
Have heart to spare.
'Tis children that have kept him poor;
He's clad them neat.
They've never wanted, I am sure,
For bite to eat.
And though their future may be dim,
They laugh a lot.
Am I tearful for Brother Tim?
Oh no, I'm not.
I know he goes to work each day
With flagging feet.
'Tis hard, even with decent pay,
To make ends meet.
But when my sterile home I see,
So smugly prim,
Although my banker bows to me,
I envy Tim.