My Brother John

Samuel Alfred Beadle

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My brother John has beds of down
And mansions of his own;
The humble bed where I rest my head
Is little less than stone;
But peace is there to soothe my care
While Brother John has pride;
So I pity John and all who bear
Great fortune's weight and care.

My brother John has fertile farms
Of cotton, and corn and maize;
While naught have I but earth and sky
To look on all my days;
Mine's not the lot to own the spot
Of humble cabin home;
And ne'er the wing of airy fame
Buzzes about my name.

My brother's hold is fixed on gold
And auto cars for tour,
That flash today in their gala way
With rush and dash by the poor;
When go I must, I tramp the dust
Whither my brother speeds,
Unawares to the common lot
Of peer, and sage, and sot.

Brother John has a splendid lawn,
Scythed and rolled and green,
A verdant spot where such a sot
As I am never seen.
To all that plod, "Keep off the sod,"
Is John's command today;
And I pass on and muse why clay,
Like mine, not John's, is gay.

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