Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/53

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43
THE READING-CLUB.

What doth the poor man's son inherit?
A patience learned by being poor;
Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it;
A fellow-feeling that is sure
To make the outcast bless his door,—
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

O rich man's son! there is a toil,
That with all others level stands:
Large charity doth never soil,
But only whiten, soft white hands;
This is the best crop from thy lands,—
A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being rich to hold in fee.

O poor man's son! scorn not thy state:
There is worse weariness than thine,
In merely being rich and great;
Toil only gives the soul to shine,
And makes rest fragrant and benign,—
A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being poor to hold in fee.

Both, heirs to some six feet of sod,
Are equal in the earth at last;
Both, children of the same dear God,
Prove title to your heirship vast
By record to a well-filled past,
A heritage, it seems to me,
Well worth a life to hold in fee.

James Russell Lowell.

CASABIANCA (Colored).

One darky stood in the 'backer patch,
Whence all the rest had fled;
While the mule-heels, clods, and green worms flew
A-whizzing round his head.

Savory, stout, and black he stood,
As born to work a farm,
While gaping mouth and bulging eyes
Betokened his alarm.