Learn More

Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Five-Per-Cent


Because I have ten thousand pounds I sit upon my stern,
And leave my living tranquilly for other folks to earn.
For in some procreative way that isn't very clear,
Ten thousand pounds will breed, they say, five hundred every year.
So as I have a healthy hate of economic strife,
I mean to stand aloof from it the balance of my life.
And yet with sympathy I see the grimy son of toil,
And heartly congratulate the tiller of the soil.
I like the miner in the mine, the sailor on the sea,
Because up to five hundred pounds they sail and mine for me.
For me their toil is taxed unto that annual extent,
According to the holy shibboleth of Five-per-Cent.

So get ten thousand pounds, my friend, in any way you can.
And leave your future welfare to the noble Working Man.
He'll buy you suits of Harris tweed, an Airedale and a car;
Your golf clubs and your morning Times, your whisky and cigar.
He'll cosily install you in a cottage by a stream,
With every modern comfort, and a garden that's a dream>
Or if your tastes be urban, he'll provide you with a flat,
Secluded from the clamour of the proletariat.
With pictures, music, easy chairs, a table of good cheer,
A chap can manage nicely on five hundred pounds a year.
And though around you painful signs of industry you view,
Why should you work when you can make your money work for you?

So I'll get down upon my knees and bless the Working Man,
Who offers me a life of ease through all my mortal span;
Whose loins are lean to make me fat, who slaves to keep me free,
Who dies before his prime to let me round the century;
Whose wife and children toil in urn until their strength is spent,
That I may live in idleness upon my five-per-cent.
And if at times they curse me, why should I feel any blame?
For in my place I know that they would do the very same.
Aye, though hey hoist a flag that's red on Sunday afternoon,
Just offer them ten thousand pounds and see them change their tune.
So I'll enjoy my dividends and live my life with zest,
And bless the mighty men who first - invented Interest.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: golf, sympathy, work, car, money, future, strength, hate, son, change, music, children, friend, red, dream, sea, life, child

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Five-Per-Cent by Robert William Service )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  7. Alone And Drinking Under The Moon, Li Po
  8. Warning, Jenny Joseph
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas

Poem of the Day

poet Li Po

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

poet Marvin Brato Sr

New Poems

  1. Transported in Place, Lawrence Beck
  2. GROUND YOURSELF, Christina Sunrise
  3. Fired For Facebook Defense Of Cows, Saiom Shriver
  4. Friend, Alfred Oyori
  5. Offer Peacefully, Chinweokwu Sunlight M. Ndubu ..
  6. Seven Eleven, Nassy Fesharaki
  7. Synonyms For POET, Adriana Avila
  8. A Poem A Day Keeps The Doctor Away, Adriana Avila
  9. She looks Like a Princess, Rohit Sapra
  10. Just as I am., Roxanne Dubarry
[Hata Bildir]