Treasure Island

Alphonse Marie Lois de Lamartine

(1790-1869 / France)

The Banker and the Cobbler


There was a cobbler once, who sang all day;
'Twas wonderful to see the man, and then
To hear him quavering away,
Happier than any of the Seven Wise Men!
His neighbor, on the contrary, who rolled
In heaps of gold,
Sung little and slept less; he had a bank;
And if, at times, near dawn, he ever sank
Into a doze, the cobbler, like a lark at
His singing, would not let him sleep a wink!
The banker grieved that heaven did not decree
Sleep to be bought and sold, at market,
Like meat and drink.

He had the singer brought to him; says he:
'Pray, Master Crispin, what's your yearly income?'
'Income!' the jolly cobbler cries, quite gay,
'I do not make my reckoning in that way,
With one day heaped on the other; but I think 'em
All right enough, if so it comes about,
I make both ends meet, when the twelvemonth's out;
The day just brings its daily bread always.'
'Well, what do you make a day?' the rich man says.
'Why, more or less; the worst--(and but for this,
Our gains would not be very much amiss)--
The worst is, we've so many holy days;
These saints' days almost ruin us outright,
Each festival impoverishes its brother;
And then our curate does take such delight
In finding for us some new saint or other.'

The banker laughed at his free, simple way.
'Crispin! I'll make a king of you today;
Look at these hundred crowns; I give you these:
Go, use them as you please!'

The cobbler thought he handled all the ore
That had been dug, a hundred years or more,
For the whole world--he thought he had it all!
Then he went home to his own stall
And there he buried in a hole
His cash--and with it all his mirth of soul.
No more gay songs; he lost his voice in getting
What causes all our pains; sleep left his bed,
And the cares came instead,
Endless alarms, suspicions all-besetting.
By day his eyes glanced both ways, and by night
If any cat but mewed upon her rounds,
That cat was at the cash! At last the wight
Ran to the man whom he had ceased to wake;
'Give me,' he cries, 'my songs and sleep, and take--
Take back these hundred crowns!'

Submitted: Thursday, September 02, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Banker and the Cobbler by Alphonse Marie Lois de Lamartine )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Scavenging the Wall, R. T. Smith
  2. Towards earth, hasmukh amathalal
  3. Rogue Russets, R. T. Smith
  4. Oxford Stroud Recollects Fishing with El.., R. T. Smith
  5. mounement, Rathna nagaraja
  6. Messenger, R. T. Smith
  7. MORNINGS GARMENT, Shannon Strauss
  8. Cowgirl, R. T. Smith
  9. Confession in a Booth at the Hollow Log .., R. T. Smith
  10. A Local Doc, over Rocky Lunchtime Bourbo.., R. T. Smith

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Louis Stevenson

It is very nice to think
The world is full of meat and drink,
With little children saying grace
In every Christian kind of place.... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Amy Lowell

 

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. A Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson
  7. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  8. First Lesson, Philip Booth
  9. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]