An Evening Poem

Collected Poems

This evening I was browsing through some old books and I stumbled upon one that I remember from high school. It’s called Collected Poems of Robert Service and I recall using this book for a school assignment. I had never gone through each poem in the book so tonight I explored the book some more. There was one I found intriguing and would like to share with you now, this is the first verse from Robert Service’s “The Joy of Being Poor” from his book Ballads of a Bohemian:

Let others sing of gold and gear, the joy of being rich;
But oh, the days when I was poor, a vagrant in a ditch!
When every dawn was like a gem, so radiant and rare,
And I had but a single coat, and not a single care;
When I would feast right royally on bacon, bread and beer,
And dig into a stack of hay and doze like any peer;
When I would wash beside a brook my solitary shirt,
And though it dried upon my back I never took a hurt;
When I went romping down the road contemptuous of care,
And slapped Adventure on the back – by Gad! we were a pair;
When, though my pockets lacked a coin, and though my coat was old,
The largess of stars was mine, and all the sunset gold;
When time was only made for fools, and free as air was I,
And hard I hit and hard I lived beneath the open sky;
When all the roads were one to me, and each had its allure…
Ye Gods! these were the happy days, the days when I was poor.

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