Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RICH, THOUGH POOR, by ALICE CARY

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RICH, THOUGH POOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Red in the east the morning broke
Last Line: Think you he was the poorest man?
Subject(s): Poverty; Wealth; Hope

RED in the east the morning broke,
And in three chambers three men woke;
One through curtains wove that night
In the loom of the spider, saw the light
Lighting the rafters black and old,
And sighed for the genii to make them gold.

One in a chamber, high and fair,
With paneled ceilings, enameled rare,
On the purple canopy of his bed
Saw the light with a sluggard's dread,
And buried his sullen and sickly face
Deep in his pillow fringed with lace.

One, from a low and grassy bed,
With the golden air for a coverlet;
No ornaments had he to wear
But his curling beard and his coal-black hair;
His wealth was his acres, and oxen twain,
And health was his cheerful chamberlain.

Night fell stormy -- "Woe is me!"
Sighed so wearily two of the three;
"The corn I planted to-day will sprout,"
Said one, "and the roses be blushing out;"
And his heart with its joyful hope o'erran:
Think you he was the poorest man?

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