The Reckoning

February 22, 1999

Anthology II

Itís fine to have a blow-out in a fancy restaurant,
With terrapin and canvas-back and all the wine
you want;
To enjoy the flowers and music, watch the pretty
women pass,
Smoke a choice cigar, and sip the wealthy water
in your glass;
Itís bully in a high-toned joint to eat and drink
your fill,
But itís quite another matter when you
pay the bill.

Itís great to go out every noght on fin or pleasure
To wear your glad rags always, and to never save
a cent;
to drift along regardless, have a good time every
To hit the high spots sometimes, and to let your
chances slip;
To know youíre acting foolish, yet to go on fooling
Till Nature calls a show-down, and you
Pay the bill.

Time has got a little bil -get wise while yet you
For the debit sideís increasing in a most alarming
The things you had no right to do, the things you
should have done,
Theyíre all put down: itís up to you to pay for
every one.
So eat, drink, and be merry and have a good time if
you will,
But God help you when the time comes , and you
Foot the bill.

I know a garden where the lilies gleam,
And one who lingers in the sunshine there;
She is than white-stoled lily far more fair,
And oh, her eyes are heaven-lit with dream.

I know a garret, cold and dark and drear,
And one who toils and toils with tireless pen,
Until his brave, sad eyes grow weary-then
He seeks the stars, pale, silent as a seer.

And ah, itís strange, for desolate and dim
Between these two there rolls and ocean wide;
Yet he is in the garden by her side.
And she is in the garret there with him.

Just Think!

Just think! some night the stars will gleam
Upon a cold, grey stone,
And trace a name with silver beam,
And lo! Ďtwill be your own.

That night is speeding on to greet
Your epitaphic rhyme.
You life is but a little beat
Within the heart of Time.

A little gain, a little pain,
A laugh, lest you may moan;
A little blame, a little fame,
A star-gleam on a stone.