Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
A Little Brother of the Rich
By Edward Sandford Martin (1856–1939)
[Born in Owasco, Cayuga Co., N. Y., 1856. Died in New York, N. Y., 1939.]

TO put new shingles on old roofs;
  To give old women wadded skirts;
To treat premonitory coughs
  With seasonable flannel shirts;
To soothe the stings of poverty        5
  And keep the jackal from the door—
These are the works that occupy
  The Little Sister of the Poor.
She carries, everywhere she goes,
  Kind words and chickens, jams and coals;        10
Poultices for corporeal woes,
  And sympathy for downcast souls;
Her currant jelly—her quinine,
  The lips of fever move to bless.
She makes the humble sick-room shine        15
  With unaccustomed tidiness.
A heart of hers the instant twin
  And vivid counterpart is mine;
I also serve my fellow-men,
  Though in a somewhat different line.        20
The Poor and their concerns she has
  Monopolized, because of which
It falls to me to labor as
  A Little Brother of the Rich.
For their sake at no sacrifice        25
  Does my devoted spirit quail;
I give their horses exercise;
  As ballast on their yachts I sail.
Upon their Tally-Ho’s I ride
  And brave the chances of a storm;        30
I even use my own inside
  To keep their wines and victuals warm.
Those whom we strive to benefit
  Dear to our hearts soon grow to be;
I love my Rich, and I admit        35
  That they are very good to me.
Succor the Poor, my sisters, I,
  While heaven shall still vouchsafe health,
Will strive to share and mollify
  The trials of abounding wealth.

  A Little Brother of the Rich, and Other Poems. 1888.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.