Patrick Kavanagh

The Rich Tramp

I am rich
Although I lie
On the shady side of a summer ditch.
I see the faery children pass by
To the wedding-feast of the Kings son,
In a ballroom under a big buck thistle.
The Queen has asked me to join the fun
And play gay reels on my tin-whistle.
And wont I play the queerest tunes
Till they shout like mad
For the whistling lad.
And rattle out time with old tea-spoons.

What if the ballroom disappears
And the little dancers fade
Into the mists of long shed tears!
I lie in the ditches' shade
Where the summer sun
At half-past-one
Scorches not one green blade.
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