Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OLD LADY NECESSITY, by BERTON BRALEY



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OLD LADY NECESSITY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When homer was writing his epics and such
Last Line: "I don't wanta work but I gotta!"
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Poetry & Poets; Work; Workers


When Homer was writing his epics and such
As part of his poet's vocation,
I'll wager at seasons he didn't have much
Of what people call "Inspiration."
He probably said, "By the Gods, what a life!
If I had my way I'd not jot a
New line for a year—but I've kids and a wife;
I don't wanta work but I gotta!

"I gotta! I gotta!
And so 'Do it Now' is my motta.
The job of a bard is most terrible hard;
I don't wanta work but I gotta!"

With Shakespeare and Dante and Goethe and all
The rest of the pets of the Muses,
Be sure there were days when 'twas wormwood and gall
To write what the world now peruses.
Columbus and Cæsar, Napoleon too,
And other great men would cry "What a—
Oh what a darn bore are these jobs that I do,
I don't wanta work but I gotta!

"I gotta! I gotta!
I'd rather play marbles or lotta.
But the job must be did so it's 'Hop to it, Kid!'
I don't wanta work but I gotta!"

The moral I'll slip you is simple and plain,
For this is a song with a moral;
There are plenty of times when your hand and your brain
Are prone with hard labor to quarrel.
Yet most of the work that is truly worth while
Is done by the birds who will not a-
-Low moods to upset 'em; who say with a smile
"I don't wanta work but I gotta!

"I gotta! I gotta!
I gotta be right on the spot, a
Vacation must wait till this job's off the slate,
I don't wanta work but I gotta!"





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