Vain Regrets, As he sat 'neath the shade


A SEEDY old beggar asked alms of me

As he sat 'neath the shade of a wayside tree.

He was beggared in purse and beggared in soul,

And his voice betrayed a pitiful dole,

As he sang a song, to a dismal pitch,

With the burden, "If things was only sich!"

"If things was only sich," said he,

"You should see what a wonderful man I'd be;

No beggar I, by the wayside thrown,

But I'd live in a palace and millions own,

And men would court me if I were rich—

As I'd be if things was only sich."

"If things was only sich," said he,

"I'd be lord of the land and lord of the sea;

I would have a throne and be a king,

And rule the roast with a mighty swing—

I'd make a place in Fame's bright niche;

I'd do it if things was only sich."

"If things was only sich," said he,

"Rare wines I'd quaff from the far countree,

I'd cloth myself in dazzling garb,

I'd mount the back of the costly barb,

And none should ask me wherefore or which—

Did it chance that things was only sich."

 

"If things was only sich," said he,

"I'd love the fairest and they'd love me;

Yon dame, with a smile that warms my heart,

Might have borne with me life's better part,

But lost to me, here in poverty's ditch,

What were mine if things was only sich."

Thus the old beggar moodily sung,

And his eyes dropped tears as his hands he wrung.

I could but pity to hear him berate,

In dolorous tones the decrees of Fate,

That laid on his back its iron switch,

While he cried, "If things was only sich."

"If things was only sich!"—e'en all

Might the past in sad review recall;

But little the use and little the gain,

Exhuming the bones of buried pain,

And whether we're poor or whether we're rich,

We'll say not, "If things was only sich."