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Well and Ill

From the Rock Island Argus, February 25, 1913.
 By S. E. Kiser.
 

 When I am well I think with pity
     Of those who have to work away
 As I do, in the busy city
     Week in, week out, day after day.
 It seems so futile to be moiling
     And I am tempted to rebel
 Against the ones who keep me toiling
     Relentlessly—when I am well.
 

 I think with envy of the wealthy
     Who for their health seek distant climes
 And wish that I were not so healthy
     So that I might fare sometimes;
 I long to leave the noise and rattle
     To get away from all the strife
 Forgetting that the ceaseless battle
     The toilers wage is all of life.
 

 I see about me weary faces
     That show the need of change and rest;
 I wonder why men cling to places
     Whose profits are but small at best.
 “Poor fools,” I say, “they are but wasting
     Their strength where toil is profitless
 When each might far from here be tasting
     The sweets of well-earned carelessness.
 

 When I am ill, and cannot hurry
     With those who haste away to town
 To toil and moil and scheme and worry
     I curse the fates that keep me down;
 It seems a pity to be quiet
     While there the wheels are whirring still;
 And thinking of the rush and riot
     I scorn repose—when I am ill.