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Contrast Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 2

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"Carry your suitcase, Sir?" he said.

I turned away to hide a grin,

For he was shorter by a head

Than I and pitiably thin.

I could have made a pair of him,

So with my load I stoutly legged;

But his tenacity was grim:

"Please let me help you, sir," he begged.

I could not shake the fellow off,

So let him shoulder my valise;

He tottered with a racking cough

That did not give him any peace.

He lagged so limply in my wake

I made him put the burden down,

Saying: "A taxi I will take,"

And grimly gave him half-a-crown.

Poor devil! I am sure he had

Not eaten anything that day;

His eyes so hungrily were glad,

Although his lips were ashen grey.

He vanished in the callous crowd,

Then when he was no more around,

I lugged my bag and thought aloud:

"I wish I'd given him a pound."

And strangely I felt sore ashamed,

As if somehow I had lost face;

And not only myself I blamed

But all the blasted human race;

And all this life of battle where

The poor are beaten to their knees,

And while the weak the burdens bear,

Fat fools like me can stroll at ease.


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