My Brothers

While I make rhymes my brother John
Makes shiny shoes which dames try on,
And finding to their fit and stance
They buy and wear with elegance;
But mine is quite another tale,--
For song there is no sale.

My brother Tom a tailor shop
Is owner of, and ladies stop
To try the models he has planned,
And richly pay, I understand:
Yet not even a dingy dime
Can I make with my rhyme.

My brother Jim sells stuff to eat
Like trotters, tripe and sausage meat.
I dare not by his window stop,
Lest he should offer me a chop;
For though a starving bard I be,
To hell, say I, with charity!

My brothers all are proud of purse,
But though my poverty I curse,
I would not for a diadem
Exchange my lowly lot with them:
A garret and a crust for me,
And reams and dreams of Poetry.

by Robert William Service

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