Lines from a Plutocratic Poetaster to a Ditch-digger

Sullen, grimy, labouring person,
      As I passed you in my car,
I could sense your muffled curse on
      It and me and my cigar;
And though mute your malediction,
      I could feel it on my head,
As in countless works of fiction
            I have read.

Envy of mine obvious leisure
      Seemed to green your glittering eye;
Hate for mine apparent pleasure
      Filled you as I motored by.
You who had to dig for three, four
      Hours in that unpleasant ditch,
Loathed, despised, and hated me for
            Being rich.

And you cursed me into Hades
      As you envied me that ride
With the loveliest of ladies
      Sitting at my dexter side;
And your wish, or your idea,
      Was to hurl us off some cliff.
I could see that you thought me a
            Lucky stiff.

If you came to the decision,
      As my car you mutely cussed,
That allottment and division
      Are indecently unjust—
Labouring man, however came you
      Thus to think the world awry,
I should be the last to blame you …
            So do I.

More Poems by Franklin Pierce Adams