The Tramp’s Soliloquy by Albery Allson Whitman

Had I an envied name and purse of gold,
My friends were more than all my wants twice told;
Reduced to rags and born of title small,
Vast tho’ my wants I have no friends at all.
Anxiety consumes away my years
And failure melts my manhood down in tears.
My down-cast eyes some guilt seem to disclose
And I’m shut in a lazar house of woes.
I am not what I was, my drooping form
Partakes of what is loathsome in the worm.
Pittied but not respected I may be,
I shun myself, and e’en the dogs shun me.
The rich to chide the poor may adulate
The few torn pleasures of a scanty state;
But cold experience tells her story plain,
Want breeds with bitterness and brings forth pain.

From: Whitman, Albery Allson, Not A Man, and Yet A Man, 1999, University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative: Ann Arbor, Michigan, p. 254.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/BAQ6224.0001.001)

Date: 1877

By: Albery Allson Whitman (1851-1901)

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