My Wage

Jessie B. Rittenhouse

1869 - 1948

I bargained with Life for a penny
And Life would pay no more
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty score

For Life is a just employer
He gives you what you ask
But once you have set the wages
Why you must bear the task

I worked for a menial's hire
Only to learn dismayed
That any wage I had asked of Life
Life would have paid

I found this poem a few years back flipping thru a very old anthology. It is just wonderful! And it is apparently fairly popular as I have seen it posted on several other websites. Occasionally "score" is changed to "store". But I am sticking with what was printed in that old book.

A great big THANK YOU to Daine Sarrasri for emailing me Ms. Rittenhouse's life years.

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