John Godfrey Saxe

Love and Lucre

Love and Lucre met one day,
In chill November weather,
And so, to wile the time away,
They held discourse together.

Love at first was rather shy,
As thinking there was danger
In venturing so very nigh
The haughty-looking stranger;

But Lucre managed to employ
Behavior so potential,
That in a thrice the bashful boy
Grew bold and confidential.

'I hear,' quoth Lucre, bowing low,
'With all your hearts and honey,
You sometimes suffer--is it so?--
For lack of mortal money'

Love owned that he was poor in aught
Except in golden fancies,
And ne'er, as yet, had given a thought
To mending his finances.

'Besides, I've heard'--thus Love went on,
The other's hint improving--
'That gold, however sought or won,
Is not a friend of loving.'

'An arrant lie--as you shall see--
Full long ago invented,
(By knaves who know not you or me!)
To tickle the demented.'

And Lucre waved his wand--and lo!
By magical expansion,
Love saw his little hovel grow
Into a stately mansion!

And where before he used to sup
Untended in his cottage,
And grumble o'er the earthen cup
That held his meagre pottage;

Now, smoking viands crown his board,
And many a flowing chalice;
His larder was with plenty stored,
And beauty filled the palace!

And Love, though rather lean at first,
And tinged with melancholy,
On generous wines and puddings nurst,
Grew very stout and jolly!

Yet, mindful of his truest friend,
He never turns detractor,
But prays that blessings may attend
His worthy benefactor;

And when his friends are gay above
Their evening whist or eucre,
And drink a brimming 'Health to Love,'
He drinks, 'Success to Lucre!' 

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