Francis Duggan

A Ballad Of Wasted Years - Poem by Francis Duggan

I have walked through tougher Harlem where few strangers dare to go
And I've been in London City in the rain and in the snow
And I've worked in inner Melbourne in the searing summer heat
And believe me if I tell you I have earned the bread I eat.

I have laboured in deep trenches with my life I've took a dare
And I've worked in cherry pickers ninety foot up in the air
And the hands of time keep turning and the years go quickly by
And the man who lives on welfare is still better off than I.

And who needs the tag of good worker it's no big deal anyway
He's a wiser and better off man who sits at home all day
And his conscience doesn't prick him isn't he the lucky one
And must I be one great idiot to go labouring in the sun.

I was low in social ladder and I still am way down low
And I feel my life's been wasted for my years have nought to show
Some may say he's a good worker that's of little use to me
All I need is lots of money I don't need your sympathy.

I felt happy for a brief while in a green Land miles away
In that beautiful green Country where I lived for many a day
I felt inwardly contented even though I was quite poor
Listening to the pipits piping in the meads of Annagloor.

Till the wanderlust possessed me I grew restless as the wind
Pity on all migrant workers, pity on all wandering kind
Went to live in foreign city worked with strong hard working men
But I've nought to show for labour I'm poor now as I was then.

In Ireland I cut down pine trees in the hills where bracken grow
And in Wales I picked potatoes many, many years ago
I have laboured for a living on myself I have been cruel
All the World laughs at an idiot all the World laughs at a fool.

I am getting old and weary and what hair I've left is gray
And I'm well beyond the fifty and I've seen a better day
And like the work weary work horse all the better years are gone
And I still work as a labourer and I still keep plodding on.

Please don't say he's a good worker such words I don't wish to hear
For I've nought to show for labour though I've worked for many a year
Words like 'good hard working fellow' does not do a thing for me
All I need is lots of money, I don't need your sympathy.

Comments about A Ballad Of Wasted Years by Francis Duggan

  • Gold Star - 24,399 Points Liza Sud Russia (10/15/2015 2:34:00 AM)

    You are a very talented poet! a big story of your life! you know - our life is endless (I have a faith) - and this faith should make you fly over all sorrows and their sympathies or antisympathies.
    and not the whole world is laughing at you! I'm not laughing at all! I feel compassion.
    all the unjustness - will be punished by God! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 37,321 Points Rajnish Manga (2/22/2015 10:34:00 PM)

    Very moving story indeed and inspirational too- on many counts. This is an emotional and soul-stirring commentary on the condition of migrant labourers who get uprooted from their native lands and its relative joys. Following lines are worth pondering: I felt inwardly contented even though I was quite poor... / Till the wanderlust possessed me I grew restless as the wind. Thanks. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 722 Points Phyllis Strong (2/22/2015 3:29:00 PM)

    This is a great poem; I enjoyed it so much that I had to read some of his other poems. He’s a very talented poet. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 722 Points Phyllis Strong (2/22/2015 3:27:00 PM)

    This is a great poem; I enjoyed it so much that I had to read some of his other poems. He’s a very talented poet. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,032 Points Brian Stafford (2/22/2015 9:26:00 AM)

    Alas, we are all children of chance, the victims of circumstance. well done. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 112 Points Edward Clapham (2/22/2015 8:02:00 AM)

    I respect this man: he ploughs his own furrow, and asks for nothing from the common purse. Yet he has earnt it: it s not sympathy, but respect of a life lived hard. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,019 Points Godfrey Morris (2/13/2015 6:05:00 PM)

    I love this poem the rhythm is perfect flows like a song. Great write great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 7,727 Points Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (12/5/2013 8:32:00 PM)

    Words like 'good hard working fellow' does not do a thing for me
    All I need is lots of money, I don't need your sympathy.

    these words are not from the heart, but from the tired soul..If our social system says that we have to live life like this, who has the guts to change, at least people have the roof, good food and health benefits, though they are tied with mortgages..Nice to read Francis.. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 10,120 Points Heather Wilkins (11/18/2013 6:24:00 AM)

    a good ballad about life. It goes by so quickly leaving us not much time to prepare (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 877 Points marvin brato (11/6/2013 3:00:00 AM)

    Well, its reality that we have to do work to earn something to sustain our it in the form of goods or money. For as long as you earn it the honest way then its worth the money you earn. Nevertheless, we have to save for the future when time comes we are old... retirement is good if it is well-provided! Thanks for sharing this honest sentiments. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 279 Points Richard Lackman (4/18/2013 4:21:00 PM)

    What a great poem! Such a searing look at life. In the end we are all here for a very short while and beyond being healthy not much else matters. All of the money may be fun while you have it but you sure can't take it with you. So the most valuable thing in life is just time and in that sense you are much richer than Steve Jobs. I rally enjoy your poems.
    Dick Lackman (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points William Kd (2/11/2013 11:43:00 PM)

    Great read!
    You should put that on your C.V.
    ; -) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 151 Points Ruby Honeytip (11/15/2012 7:56:00 PM)

    Hold the applause...just throw cash! !
    I know how you feel...although I am on the female side of this coin.
    8711 poems to go, and I think I'm gonna love them all: ^) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Simon Collins (5/12/2012 10:55:00 AM)

    I have been the same mate, I understand, but at least we can sleep well, good words, thanks (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,215 Points Walterrean Salley (4/23/2012 9:46:00 PM)

    An enrirchd life, full of experiences - shared in a poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Amrit Rathi (5/22/2010 3:15:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem in which you have poured out your heart with appropriate words for high impact. But you are discounting the rich experience you gathered as money is not everything. Ask one who has a million dollars in his account or is no.1 in his profession whether he is happy and his soul is at peace.Invariably not. Happiness is deep inside, please go through some of my poems which are based on my personal experience.Thanks. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 668 Points Ann Beard (5/20/2010 3:19:00 AM)

    Not wasted Francis, your travels have left you with a kind soul and clear insight, you are really, very wealthy. I thank you for sharing your work. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 2, 2008

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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