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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892). The Poetical Works in Four Volumes. 1892.

Narrative and Legendary Poems


THE OLD Squire said, as he stood by his gate,

And his neighbor, the Deacon, went by,

“In spite of my bank stock and real estate,

You are better off, Deacon, than I.

“We ’re both growing old, and the end ’s drawing near,

You have less of this world to resign,

But in Heaven’s appraisal your assets, I fear,

Will reckon up greater than mine.

“They say I am rich, but I ’m feeling so poor,

I wish I could swap with you even:

The pounds I have lived for and laid up in store

For the shillings and pence you have given.”

“Well, Squire,” said the Deacon, with shrewd common sense,

While his eye had a twinkle of fun,

“Let your pounds take the way of my shillings and pence,

And the thing can be easily done!”