Franklin Pierce Adams

(15 November 1881 – 23 March 1960 / Chicago, Illinois)

The Ballad Of The Thoughtless Waiter - Poem by Franklin Pierce Adams

I saw him lying cold and dead
Who yesterday was whole.
"Why," I inquired, "hath he expired?
And why hath fled his soul?

"but yesterday," his comrade said,
"All health was his, and strength;
And this is why he came to die--
If I may speak at length.

"But yesternight at dinnertime
At a not unknown café,
He had a frugal meal as you
Might purchase any day.

"The check for his so simple fare
Was only eighty cents,
And a dollar bill with a right good will
Came from his opulence.

"The waiter brought him twenty cents.
'Twas only yesternight
That he softly said who now is dead
'Oh, keep it. 'Ats a' right.'

"And the waiter plainly uttered 'Thanks,'
With no hint of scorn or pride;
And my comrade's heart gave a sudden start
And my comrade up and died."

Now waiters overthwart this land,
In tearooms and in dives,
Mute be your lips whatever the tips,
And save your customers' lives.


Comments about The Ballad Of The Thoughtless Waiter by Franklin Pierce Adams

There is no comment submitted by members..



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?

Read poems about / on: thanks, strength, pride, ballad



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]