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Category: Funny Narrative Poems
       Classic humorous and funny story poems. Narrative poems are written accounts of connected events in poetry format.

  THE BALLAD OF CHARITY  

It was in a pleasant deep, sequestered from the rain,
That many weary passengers were waitin' for the train;
Piles of quite expensive baggage, many a gorgeous portmantÛ,
Ivory-handled umberellas made a most touristic show.

Whereunto there came a person, very humble was his mien,
Who took an observation of the interestin' scene;
Closely scanned the umberellas, watched with joy the mighty trunks,
And observed that all the people were securin' Pullman bunks:

Who was followed shortly after by a most unhappy tramp,
Upon whose features poverty had jounced her iron stamp;
And to make a clear impression as bees sting you while they buzz,
She had hit him rather harder than she generally does.

For he was so awful ragged, and in parts so awful bare,
That the folks were quite repulsioned to behold him begging there;
And instead of drawing currency from out their pocket-books,
They drew themselves asunder with aversionary looks.

Sternly gazed the first newcomer on the unindulgent crowd,
Then in tones which pierced the deep he solilicussed aloud:--
"I hev trevelled o'er this cont'nent from Quebec to Bogot'w,
But sech a set of scallawags as these I never saw.

"Ye are wealthy, ye are gifted, ye have house and lands and rent,
Yet unto a suff'rin' mortal ye will not donate a cent;
Ye expend your missionaries to the heathen and the Jew,
But there isn't any heathen that is half as small as you.

"Ye are lucky--ye hev cheque-books and deeposits in the bank,
And ye squanderate your money on the titled folks of rank;
The onyx and the sardonyx upon your garments shine,
An' ye drink at every dinner p'r'aps a dollar's wuth of wine.

"Ye are goin' for the summer to the islands by the sea,
Where it costs four dollars daily--setch is not for setch as me;
Iv'ry-handled umberellas do not come into my plan,
But I kin give a dollar to this sufl'rin' fellow-man.

"Hand-bags made of Rooshy leather are not truly at my call,
Yet in the eyes of Mussy I am richer 'en you all,
For I kin give a dollar wher' you dare not stand a dime,
And never miss it nother, nor regret it ary time."

Sayin' this he drew a wallet from the inner of his vest,
And gave the tramp a daddy, which it was his level best;
Other people havin' heard him soon to charity inclined--
One giver soon makes twenty if you only get their wind.

The first who gave the dollar led the other one about,
And at every contribution he a-raised a joyful shout,
Exclaimin' how 'twas noble to relieviate distress,
And remarkin' that our duty is our present happiness.

Thirty dollars altogether were collected by the tramp,
When he bid 'em all good evenin' and went out into the damp,
And was followed briefly after by the one who made the speech,
And who showed by good example how to practise as to preach.

Which soon around the corner the couple quickly met,
And the tramp produced the specie for to liquidate his debt;
And the man who did the preachin' took his twenty of the sum,
Which you see that out of thirty left a tenner for the bum.

And the couple passed the summer at Bar Harbor with the rest,
Greatly changed in their appearance and most elegently dressed.
Any fowl with change of feathers may a brilliant bird become:
Oh, how hard is life for many! oh, how sweet it is for some!

                                                                        Charles Godfrey Leland.


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