My Boss

My Boss keeps sporty girls, they say;
His belly's big with cheer.
He squanders in a single day
What I make in a year.
For I must toil with bloody sweat,
And body bent and scarred,
While my whole life-gain he could bet
Upon a single card.

By Boss is big and I am small;
I slave to keep him rich.
He'd look at me like scum and call
Me something of a bitch . . .
Ah no! he wouldn't use that phrase
To designate my mother:
Despite his high and mighty ways,
My Boss is my twin-brother.

Conceived were we in common joy
And born in common pain;
But while I was a brawny boy
My brother stole my brain.
As dumb was I as he was smart,
As blind as he could see;
And so it was, bang from the start
He got the best of me.

I'm one of many in his pay;
From him I draw my dough;
But he would fire me right away
If he should hap to know
A week ago he passed me by;
I heard his wheezing breath,
And in his pouched and blood-shot eye
I saw, stark-staring - Death.

He has his women, cards and wine;
I have my beans and bread.
But oh, the last laugh will be mine
The day I hear he's dead.
Aye, though we shared a common womb
(I gloat to think of it)
Some day I'll stand beside his tomb
And loose my glob and . . . spit.

by Robert William Service

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