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Poems About Money

Table of Contents

True Wealth

  1. The Real Riches by John G. Saxe
  2. How They Conjugate "To Have" by Anonymous
  3. Success by Anonymous
  4. Health and Wealth by Anonymous
  5. One Hundred Per Cent by Anonymous
  6. Better Than Gold by Father Ryan
  7. True Nobility by Robert Nicoll

The Love of Money or Unhealthy Attitudes Toward Money

  1. Golden Freedom by Amos Russel Wells
  2. The Gift by John G. Saxe
  3. Through the Needle's Eye by Anonymous
  4. Warning from the Gold Mine by Hannah Flagg Gould

Simplicity vs. Materialism

  1. Things! Things! Things! by Amos Russel Wells
  2. The Nest by Anonymous
  3. Real Estate by Anonymous
  4. Contented John by Jane Taylor
  5. Cleon and I by Charles Mackay
  6. The Shepherd Boy sings in the Valley of Humiliation by John Bunyan
  7. Where the Mountain Sips the Sea by Charles James
  8. Simplicity by Emily Dickinson
  9. A Country Home by Ellen P. Allerton
  10. The Vanity of Earthly Objects by
  11. Pleasure-Seekers by Ruby Archer

Spending and Debt

  1. Spendthrift by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  2. The Mortgage on the Farm by Anonymous

Other Poems About Money

  1. The Lincoln Cent by Anonymous
  2. Friends by Emily Dickinson
  3. Real Riches by Emily Dickinson
  4. Bequest by Emily Dickinson
  5. Your riches taught me poverty by Emily Dickinson
  6. The Common Touch by Edgar A. Guest

    True Wealth

  1. The Real Riches

    But each merciful oblation—
    Seed of pity wisely sown,
    What we gave in self-negation,
    We may safely call our own;

    - John G. Saxe
    The Real Riches
    by John G. Saxe

    Every coin of earthly treasure
    We have lavished upon earth
    For our simple worldly pleasure
    May be reckoned something worth;
    For the spending was not losing,
    Tho' the purchase were but small;
    It has perished with the using.
    We have had it,—that is all!

    All the gold we leave behind us,
    When we turn to dust again,
    Tho' our avarice may blind us,
    We have gathered quite in vain;
    Since we neither can direct it,
    By the winds of fortune tost,
    Nor in other worlds expect it;
    What we hoarded we have lost.

    But each merciful oblation—
    Seed of pity wisely sown,
    What we gave in self-negation,
    We may safely call our own;
    For the treasure freely given
    Is the treasure that we hoard,
    Since the angels keep in heaven,
    What is lent unto the Lord.

  2. How They Conjugate "To Have"

    by Anonymous

    I met a man of aspect wise
    Engaged in catching butterflies.
    "A gorgeous box-full friend," quoth I.
    "Now for what purpose sage and high
    Didst catch this lovely company?"
    "That I might have them," answered he.

    I saw a man with eager eyes
    In bookstores hunting for a prize
    Hid in the dim and dusty nooks,--
    Some rare, forgotten, worthless books.
    "What is their use, my friend, to thee?"
    "That I may have them," answered he.

    I met a weary, haggard elf
    Absorbed in reckoning up his pelf;
    As, so much gain, and so much cost,
    And so much, so much, so much lost.
    "What joy from all your golden tide?"
    "That I may have it," he replied.

    I met a man of busy hands,
    With wealth of books and friends and lands,
    Yet ever seeking some new task
    Or helpful service. "Friend," I ask,
    "Why do you toil so ceaselessly?"
    "That men may have me," answers he.

  3. Success

    by Amos Russel Wells

    If he succeeds whose coffers, heaped with gold,
    Are red with ruined and despairing lives,
    The man who owns a mint to coin tears,
    Expert to wring a farthing from a heart,—
    Though all the world pay homage, all the world
    Envy the wretch,—if this is to succeed,
    My pride and all my hope shall be to fail!

    If he succeeds who bids the magpie crowd,
    Tossing his name upon its chattering tongues,
    Talk, write, and dream of him, and they obey,
    While he they praise, alive on lips of men,
    Has breathed his soul into the bubble, fame,
    And lives an empty life,—if he succeeds,
    Be mine a life of failure to the end!

    If he succeeds, the man of strenuous brain,
    Skilled in the deeps and heights of many a lore,
    Bent with the plundered wealth of libraries,
    But ignorant of love, and ignorant
    Of all the roses and the stars of life,—
    Though men unite to wonder and applaud,
    If this is called success, be mine defeat!

    But these are not success; success it is
    To front the angry tumult of a world
    With Right for comrade; faithfully to work;
    To wear contentment shining on the brow;
    Above the gathered treasures of the globe
    To reckon brotherhood. and make it mine,—
    This is success, and this my prayer shall be.

  4. Health and Wealth

    We squander health in search of wealth;
    We scheme and toil and save;
    Then squander wealth in search of health,
    But only find a grave.

    - Anonymous
    Health and Wealth
    by Anonymous

    We squander health in search of wealth;
    We scheme and toil and save;
    Then squander wealth in search of health,
    But only find a grave.
    We live, and boast of what we own;
    We die, and only get a stone.

  5. One Hundred Per Cent

    by Amos Russel Wells

    "I should like to be rich," said young Tom, with a sigh;
    "There are so many things I am aching to buy!
    Oh, would I had money, and would it were lent,
    To good steady payers, at fifteen per cent!"

    Now it chanced a wise man, just in passing, had heard
    Tom's sighs and repining, each covetous word;
    So he took the young fellow astride of his knee,
    And taught him to grow just as rich as could be.

    And this way 'twas done. Every once in a while
    Tom would lend to some neighbor—a sunshiny smile;
    And every time, for the smile he had lent,
    Tom got two in return. That's one hundred per cent!

    Bright greetings, warm kisses, kind deeds on the sly,
    All bring him an interest equally high;
    And before many days I am bold to declare,
    You will find that young Tom is a true millionaire.

  6. Better Than Gold

    The blessings that never were bought or sold,
    And center there, are better than gold.

    - Father Ryan
    Better Than Gold
    by Father Ryan

    Better than grandeur, better than gold,
    Than rank and title, a thousandfold,
    Is a healthy body, a mind at ease,
    And simple pleasures that always please;
    A heart that can feel for another's woe,
    And share his joys with genial glow,
    With sympathies large enough to enfold
    All men as brothers, is better than gold.

    Better than gold is a conscience clear,
    Though toiling for bread in a humble sphere;
    Doubly blessed with content and health,
    Untried by the lust or cares of wealth;
    Lowly living and lofty thought
    Adorn and ennoble a poor man's cot;
    For mind and morals in nature's plan,
    Are the genuine tests of a gentleman.

    Better than gold is the sweet repose,
    Of the sons of toil when their labors close;
    Better than gold is the poor man's sleep
    And the balm that drops on his slumber deep.
    Bring sleepy draughts to the downy bed,
    Where luxury pillows its aching head,
    But he his simple opiate deems,
    A shorter route to the land of dreams.

    Better than gold is the thinking mind,
    That in the realm of books can find
    A treasure surpassing Australian ore,
    And live with the great and good of yore—
    The sage's lore and poet's lay,
    The glories of empires passed away;
    The world's great dream will thus enfold,
    And yield a pleasure better than gold.

    Better than gold is a peaceful home,
    Where all the fire-side charities come—
    The shrine of love, the heaven of life,
    Hallowed by mother, or sister, or wife.
    However humble the home may be,
    Or tried with sorrow by Heaven's decree,
    The blessings that never were bought or sold,
    And center there, are better than gold.

  7. True Nobility

    I seek not for; but answer this,
    Is he an honest man?

    - Robert Nicoll
    True Nobility
    Robert Nicoll

    I ask not for his lineage,
    I ask not for his name;
    If manliness be in his heart,
    He noble birth may claim.
    I care not though of this world’s wealth
    But slender be his part,
    If yes, you answer, when I ask
    Hath he a true man’s heart?

    I ask not from what land he came,
    Nor where his youth was nursed;
    If pure the stream, it matters not
    The spot from whence it burst.
    The palace or the hovel,
    Where first his life began,
    I seek not for; but answer this,
    Is he an honest man?

  8. The Love of Money or Unhealthy Attitudes Toward Money

  9. Golden Freedom

    The love of money is a chain,
    Binding souls to greedy pain.

    - Amos R. Wells
    Golden Freedom
    by Amos Russel Wells

    The love of money is a chain,
    Binding souls to greedy pain.

    The love of money is a jail,
    Bare abode of Hunger pale.

    The love of money is a czar,
    Lord of slaves that wretches are.

    The love of money is a wall,
    Bleak and barren, strong and tall.

    The love of money is a pit;
    Foulest creatures live in it.

    The love of money is a mine,
    Where the sunbeams never shine.

    Worst of all captivities,
    That the love of money is.

    Oh, be free, superbly free,
    From its cramping misery!

  10. The Gift

    by Bliss Carman

    I said to Life, "How comes it,
    With all this wealth in store,
    Of beauty, joy, and knowledge,
    Thy cry is still for more?

    "Count all the years of striving
    To make thy burden less,—
    The things designed and fashioned
    To gladden thy success!

    "The treasures sought and gathered
    Thy lightest whim to please,—
    The loot of all the ages,
    The spoil of all the seas!

    "Is there no end of labor,
    No limit to thy need?
    Must man go bowed forever
    In bondage to thy greed?"

    With tears of pride and passion
    She answered, "God above!
    I only wait the asking,
    To spend it all for love!"

  11. Through the Needle's Eye

    by Anonymous

    Tall was my camel and laden high,
    And small the gate as a needle's eye.

    The city within was very fair,
    And I and my camel would enter there.

    "You must lower your load," the porter cried,
    "You must throw away that bundle of pride."

    This I did, but the load was great,
    Far too wide for the narrow gate.

    "Now," said the porter, "to make it less,
    Discard that hamper of selfishness."

    I obeyed, though with much ado,
    Yet still nor camel nor I got through.

    "Ah," said the porter, "your load must hold
    Some little package of trust-in-gold."

    The merest handful was all I had,
    Yet, "Throw it away," the porter bade.

    Then, lo, a marvel! the camel tall
    Shrank to the size of the portal small,

    And all my riches, a vast estate,
    Easily passed through the narrow gate!

  12. Warning from the Gold Mine

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Ye who rend my bed of earth,
    Mark me! from my lowly birth,
    Ye to light in me will bring
    What will rise to be your king!
    I shall rule with tyrant sway,
    Till ye rue my natal day!
    High and low my power shall own,
    For I'll make the world my throne!

    And my worshippers shall be
    Martyrs, dupes, or slaves to me.
    Love and friendship, on the way
    To their idol, they will slay.
    Conscience—I will still her cry;
    Truth for me shall bleed and die!
    I will prove a chain to bind
    Down to earth the immortal mind!

    Though ye try me by the fire,
    This will only heat my ire.
    Though my form ye oft may change,
    'T will but give me wider range!
    For my sake the poor shall feel
    On his face, his neighbour's heel.
    Then I'll turn, and, taking wing,
    Leave with avarice but a sting!

    I will be a spur to crime,
    Ye shall sell your peace through time;
    And a long eternity
    Of remorse shall come, for me!
    Now I'm here without defence;
    But, if once I'm taken hence,
    Man shall eat the bitter fruit
    Springing from a golden root!

  13. Simplicity vs. Materialism

  14. Things! Things! Things!

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Things! Things! Things!
    On the tables, on the floor,
    Tucked away behind the door,
    On the shelves and on the chairs,
    Dangerously on the stairs,
    Bureaus crammed and closets filled,
    Boxes packed and boxes spilled,
    Bundles everywhere you go,
    Heaps and piles and overflow
    Of things, things, things!

    Things! Things! Things!
    Things of value, worthless trash,
    Things preserved or gone to smash,
    Ancient things or things just bought,
    Common things and things far-sought,
    Things you mean to throw away,
    Things you hope to use some day,
    Cellar, attic, all between,
    One exasperating scene
    Of things, things, things!

    Things! Things! Things!
    Things that take our precious time,
    Hold us from the life sublime,
    Things that only gather dust,
    Things that rot and things that rust,
    Things that mould and things that freese,
    Things that harbor foul disease,
    Things that mock us and defy,
    Till at last we grimly die
    Of things, things, things!

    Things! Things! Things!
    Let me cease to be their fool!
    Let me fly their crafty rule!
    Let me with unsparing knife
    Cut their canker from my life!
    Broad and clear and all serene
    Let me make my mansion clean,
    Now und evermore to be
    Calm, unfrctted, grandly free
    From things, things, things!

  15. The Nest

    by Anonymous

    The nest is round and the nest is small,
    Dear little circle enclosing all,
    All of the joy in the wide world's bound,
    Though the nest is small and the nest round.

    The nest is fashioned of common things,
    Leaves and grasses and twigs and strings,
    Yet never a palace so lordly fine
    As the palace fashioned of leaves and twine.

    The house had never an architect,
    No pother of plans to discuss and select,
    But Love was the builder and Love was the plan,
    And Love was the competent artisan,

    No lease was signed by these happy folk,
    No rent was required by their Landlord Oak,
    All at no charges and all of the best,—
    The world's biggest bargain is surely a nest

  16. Real Estate

    by Amos Russel Wells

    My real estate is birds and flowers,
    And sweeps of summer sky,
    And shining holy morning hours,
    And breezes passing by.

    My most unreal estate is dirt,
    With houses piled on top,
    Reckoned in figures bare and curt,
    And smelling of the shop.

    My real estate is never spent,
    its titles all are clear,
    it pays a wonderful per cent
    By day and month and year.

    it needs no fence of iron or wood,
    No agent must he hired.
    its price—that it be understood,
    its tax—to be admired.

    While I am rich in real estate,
    Away with that inert
    ignoble and degenerate
    Unreal estate of dirt!

  17. Contented John

    by Jane Taylor

    One honest John Tomkins, a hedger and ditcher,
    Although he was poor, did not want to be richer;
    For all such vain wishes in him were prevented
    By a fortunate habit of being contented.

    Though cold were the weather, or dear were the food,
    John never was found in a murmuring mood;
    For this he was constantly heard to declare,—
    What he could not prevent he would cheerfully bear.

    "For why should I grumble and murmur?" he said;
    "If I cannot get meat, I'll be thankful for bread;
    And, though fretting may make my calamities deeper,
    It can never cause bread and cheese to be cheaper."

    If John was afflicted with sickness or pain,
    He wished himself better, but did not complain,
    Nor lie down to fret in despondence and sorrow,
    But said that he hoped to be better to-morrow.

    If any one wronged him or treated him ill,
    Why, John was good-natured and sociable still;
    For he said that revenging the injury done
    Would be making two rogues when there need be but one.

    And thus honest John, though his station was humble,
    Passed through this sad world without even a grumble;
    And I wish that some folks, who are greater and richer,
    Would copy John Tomkins, the hedger and ditcher.

  18. Cleon and I

    by Charles Mackay

    Cleon hath ten thousand acres,
    Ne'er a one have I;
    Cleon dwelleth in a palace,
    In a cottage, I;
    Cleon hath a dozen fortunes,
    Not a penny, I,
    Yet the poorer of the twain is
    Cleon, and not I.

    Cleon, true, possesseth acres,
    But the landscape, I;
    Half the charms to me it yieldeth
    Money cannot buy;
    Cleon harbors sloth and dullness,
    Freshening vigor, I;
    He in velvet, I in fustian—
    Richer man am I.

    Cleon is a slave to grandeur,
    Free as thought am I;
    Cleon fees a score of doctors,
    Need of none have I;
    Wealth-surrounded, care-environed,
    Cleon fears to die;
    Death may come—he'll find me ready,
    Happier man am I.

    Cleon sees no charms in nature,
    In a daisy, I;
    Cleon hears no anthems ringing
    'Twixt the sea and sky;
    Nature sings to me forever,
    Earnest listener, I;
    State for state, with all attendants—
    Who would change?—Not I.

  19. The Shepherd Boy sings in the Valley of Humiliation

    by John Bunyan

    He that is down needs fear no fall,
    He that is low, no pride;
    He that is humble ever shall
    Have God to be his guide.

    I am content with what I have,
    Little be it or much:
    And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
    Because Thou savest such.

    Fullness to such a burden is
    That go on pilgrimage:
    Here little, and hereafter bliss,
    Is best from age to age.

  20. Where the Mountain Sips the Sea

    by Charles James

    Where the mountain sips the sea,
    By an ocean wild and free,
    On a shore of grass and tree,
    Shall my future dwelling be.

    There at Nature's very heart
    She should unto me impart
    All the secrets of her art. —
    Then, awhile, I would depart.

    Seek the haunts of men again;
    Tell them how they can obtain
    Freedom from all fear and pain,
    So they list to this refrain: —

    "Come to me, O child of mine! —
    Why in misery repine
    When a happiness divine
    For the seeking can be thine?"

    Thus to children of her choice
    Constantly calls Nature's voice,
    Through the world's discordant noise. —
    Heed it, and you will rejoice.

  21. Simplicity

    by Emily Dickinson

    How happy is the little stone
    That rambles in the road alone,
    And doesn't care about careers,
    And exigencies never fears;
    Whose coat of elemental brown
    A passing universe put on;
    And independent as the sun,
    Associates or glows alone,
    Fulfilling absolute decree
    In casual simplicity.

  22. A Country Home

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    A nook among the hills, a little farm,
    Whose fertile acres yield us daily bread:
    A homely, low-browed dwelling, snug and warm,
    With wide blue skies hung overhead.

    No costly splendor here no gilded glow;
    No dear bought pictures hang upon the walls;
    But bright and happy faces come and go,
    And through the windows God's sweet sunshine falls.

    We are not rich in heaps of hoarded gold;
    We are not poor, for we can keep at bay
    The poor man's hunting spectres, want and cold,
    Can keep from owing debts we cannot pay.

    With wholesome plenty is our table spread,
    With genial comfort glows our evening fire;
    The fierce night winds may battle overhead—
    Safe in our shelter, though strife be dire.

    When days grow long, and winter's storms are o'er,
    Here come the first birds of the early spring,
    And build their cunning nests beside the door,
    Teaching sweet lessons as they work and sing.

    Here come our friends—a dear and cherished few—
    Dearer, perchance, than if they numbered more:
    We greet them with a hand-clasp warm and true,
    And give them of the best we have in store.

    What though the rooms be small, and low the roof?
    What though we can but offer simple fare?
    It matters not; so friendships warp and woof
    Are spun of gold, for these we need not care.

    We hear the great world surging like a sea,
    But the loud roar of winds and waves at war,
    Subdued by distance, comes melodiously,
    A soft and gentle murmur, faint and far.

    We see the small go up, the great come down,
    And bless the peaceful safety of our lot.
    The broken scepter and the toppling crown,
    And crash of falling thrones—these shake us not.

    We have some weary toil to struggle through,
    Some trials, that we bravely strive to meet:
    We have our sorrows, as all mortals do;
    We have our joys, too, pure, and calm, and sweet.

    Is such a life too even in its flow?
    Too silent, calm, too barren of event?
    Its very joys to still? I do not know:
    I think he conquers all who wins content.

  23. The Vanity of Earthly Objects

    by E.N.S.

    Away ye tempting toys—begone!
    False joys do you present;
    Your fairest proffers now I spurn,
    In craftiness they're meant,
    To lure me to the gilded bait,
    Of promised happiness;
    Where many find, alas! too late,
    It cannot be possess'd.

    For where shall happiness be found,
    In this terrestrial frame?
    We search this ample globe around,
    And find it but in name;
    As we approach, the vision flies,
    We lose the form so fair,
    Ere we can grasp the wish'd for prize,
    We find it nought but air;
    True happiness alone is found
    In that bright world above,
    Where purity and peace abound,
    And harmony and love.

  24. Pleasure-Seekers

    by Ruby Archer

    The world is sad with seekers after pleasure.
    Blind eyes deny—they will not see.
    The greatest joys defy their paltry measure
    With worth of simple dignity.

  25. Spending and Debt

  26. Spendthrift

    by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    The fault's not mine, you understand:
    God shaped my palm so I can hold
    But little water in my hand
    And not much gold.

  27. The Mortgage on the Farm

    by Anonymous

    'Tis gone at last, and I am glad; it stayed a fearful while,
    And when the world was light and gay, I could not even smile;
    It stood before me like a giant, outstretched its iron arm;
    No matter where I looked, I saw the mortgage on the farm.

    I'll tell you how it happened, for I want the world to know
    How glad I am this winter day whilst earth is white with snow;
    I'm just as happy as a lark. No cause for rude alarm
    Confronts us now, for lifted is the mortgage on the farm.

    The children they were growing up and they were smart and trim.
    To some big college in the East we'd sent our youngest, Jim;
    And every time he wrote us, at the bottom of his screed
    He tacked some Latin fol-de-rol which none of us could read.

    The girls they ran to music, and to painting, and to rhymes,
    They said the house was out of style and far behind the times;
    They suddenly diskivered that it didn't keep'm warm—
    Another step of course towards a mortgage on the farm.

    We took a cranky notion, Hannah Jane and me one day,
    While we were coming home from town, a-talking all the way;
    The old house wasn't big enough for us, although for years
    Beneath its humble roof we'd shared each other's joys and tears.

    We built it o'er and when 'twas done, I wish you could have seen it,
    It was a most tremendous thing—I really didn't mean it;
    Why, it was big enough to hold the people of the town
    And not one half as cosy as the old one we pulled down.

    I bought a fine pianner and it shortened still the pile,
    But, then, it pleased the children and they banged it all the while;
    No matter what they played for me, their music had no charm,
    For every tune said plainly: "There's a mortgage on the farm!"

    I worked from morn till eve, and toiled as often toils the slave
    To meet that grisly interest; I tried hard to be brave,
    And oft when I came home at night with tired brain and arm,
    The chickens hung their heads, they felt the mortgage on the farm.—

    But we saved a penny now and then, we laid them in a row,
    The girls they played the same old tunes, and let the new ones go;
    And when from college came our Jim with laurels on his brow,
    I led him to the stumpy field and put him to the plow.

    He something said in Latin which I didn't understand,
    But it did me good to see his plow turn up the dewy land;
    And when the year had ended and empty were the cribs,
    We found we'd hit the mortgage, sir, a blow between the ribs.

    To-day I harnessed up the team and thundered off to town,
    And in the lawyer's sight I planked the last bright dollar down;
    And when I trotted up the lanes a-feeling good and warm,
    The old red rooster crowed his best: "No mortgage on the farm!"

    I'll sleep almighty good to-night, the best for many a day,
    The skeleton that haunted us has passed fore'er away.
    The girls can play the brand-new tunes with no fears to alarm,
    And Jim can go to Congress, with no mortgage on the farm!

  28. Other Poems About Money

  29. The Lincoln Cent

    by Anonymous

    Pleasant is the mellow tinkle
    Of the golden eagle grand,
    Pleasant is the kindly jingle
    Of good sliver in the hand;
    But the little bit of copper
    On its humble errand bent
    Is the king of all our coins:
    Hats off to the Lincoln cent!

    I am glad they put him on it,
    On the lowly copper bit,
    Not upon the lordly eagle
    For a banker's fingers fit;
    For he loved the common people,
    And he wished no other fate
    Than that common folk should love him,
    They, the basis of the state,

    But I wish they'd put him on it
    Of full length, the Lincoin size,
    Tall and gaunt as stands a pine-tree,
    Tall and stately for men's eyes.
    He was awkward, so they tell me;
    Be it so, and who would care
    When they saw him like a column
    Firm and patient standing there?

    So he walks among the people
    Much as when he lived on earth,
    In the ways of homely traffic,
    And of simple, gentle worth.
    Still he walks among the people
    On our common errands bent,
    Copper king of all our coins;
    Hats off to the Lincoin cent!

  30. Friends

    by Emily Dickinson

    Are friends delight or pain?
    Could bounty but remain
    Riches were good.

    But if they only stay
    Bolder to fly away,
    Riches are sad.

  31. Real Riches

    by Emily Dickinson

    'T is little I could care for pearls
    Who own the ample sea;
    Or brooches, when the Emperor
    With rubies pelteth me;

    Or gold, who am the Prince of Mines;
    Or diamonds, when I see
    A diadem to fit a dome
    Continual crowning me.

  32. Bequest

    by Emily Dickinson

    You left me, sweet, two legacies, —
    A legacy of love
    A Heavenly Father would content,
    Had He the offer of;

    You left me boundaries of pain
    Capacious as the sea,
    Between eternity and time,
    Your consciousness and me.

  33. Your riches taught me poverty

    by Emily Dickinson

    Your riches taught me poverty.
    Myself a millionnaire
    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.

    I'm sure 't is India all day
    To those who look on you
    Without a stint, without a blame, —
    Might I but be the Jew!

    I'm sure it is Golconda,
    Beyond my power to deem, —
    To have a smile for mine each day,
    How better than a gem!

    At least, it solaces to know
    That there exists a gold,
    Although I prove it just in time
    Its distance to behold!

    It 's far, far treasure to surmise,
    And estimate the pearl
    That slipped my simple fingers through
    While just a girl at school!

  34. The Prospector

    by N. Howard Thorp

    Twelve years have I lived in this desolate place,
    Far from all habitation—not even a face
    Have I seen, save Apaches, those unwelcome guests,
    Pass me by as I work with my pick in the breast.

    Am I one of the millions whose brain-string has snapped,
    Who sees visions of gold in those canyons unmapped,
    Unexplored, unprospected, that lay just ahead,
    Near the Arc of the Bow where so many lie dead?

    Like all miners I ve visions, which may some day come true,
    Of where I would go and what I would do—
    If I'd but once find the vein which carries the ore,
    My days of hard work would forever be o'er.

    There's a frenzy of fury that boils in one's veins—
    Will it pay for the hardships, will it pay for my pains?
    'T is a distorted finger that beckons, it seems,
    To the land of illusions, the place of my dreams.

  35. The Common Touch

    by Edgar A. Guest

    I would not be too wise—so very wise
    That I must sneer at simple songs and creeds,
    And let the glare of wisdom blind my eyes
    To humble people and their humble needs.

    I would not care to climb so high that I
    Could never hear the children at their play,
    Could only see the people passing by,
    Yet never hear the cheering words they say.

    I would not know too much—too much to smile
    At trivial errors of the heart and hand,
    Nor be too proud to play the friend the while,
    And cease to help and know and understand.

    I would not care to sit upon a throne,
    Or build my house upon a mountain-top.
    Where I must dwell in glory all alone
    And never friend come in or poor man stop.

    God grant that I may live upon this earth
    And face the tasks which every morning brings,
    And never lose the glory and the worth
    Of humble service and the simple things.

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