Retired

I used to sing, when I was young,
The joy of idleness;
But now I'm grey I hold my tongue,
For frankly I confess
If I had not some job to do
I would be bored to death;
So I must toil until I'm through
With this asthmatic breath.

Where others slothfully would brood
beg for little chores,
To peel potatoes, chop the wood,
And even scrub the floors.
When slightly useful I can be,
I'm happy as a bboy;
Dish-washing is a boon to me,
And brushing boots a joy.

The young folks tell me: "Grandpa, please,
Don't be so manual;
You certainly have earned your ease -
Why don't you rest a spell?"
Say I: I'll have a heap of rest
On my sepulchral shelf;
So now please let me do my best
To justify myself."

For one must strive or one will die,
And work's our dearest friend;
God meant it so, and that is why
I'll toil unto the end.
I thank the Lord I'm full of beans,
So let me heft a hoe,
And I will don my garden jeans
And help the beans to grow.

by Robert William Service

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