Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Rich Poor Man


We pitied him because
He lived alone;
His tiny cottage was
His only own.
His little garden had
A wall around;
Yet never was so glad
A bit of ground.

It seemed to fair rejoice
With flowers and fruit;
With blooms it found a voice
When ours was muts.
It smiled without a pause
In gracious glow:
I think it was because
He loved it so.

He had no news to read,
No rent to pay;
His vegetable need
He plucked each day.
His grateful garden gave
Him ample fare;
He lived without a crave,
Without a care.

His bread and milk and tea
Were all he bought;
To us he seemed to be
A sorry lot . . .
But when we're dead and gone,
With all our fuss,
I guess he'll carry on,
And laugh at us.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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