«Brown Studies» — Poems by G. P. Brown, Punta Arenas, Chile, 1940


Home Background

The Book

Publisher's Acknowledgment Author's Foreword


Could I forget? The Cross What Profit a Man? May 1940 June 1940 Hyde Park Orators Are You Doing Your Bit? Home The Haven of Love Afterglow The Six Dolls Forget-me-not My Little Ship Mother's Day The Easy Way Mother Flea The Stockings' Lament The Gamble Who Was It? A Mother's Right Teach me to be Humble


Duncan Campbell


T H E   G A M B L E

I've soared to heights of heavenly bliss;
I've known the thrill of stolen kiss;
I've felt the pangs of jealousy
And hatred stir inside of me.
I've had my share of wealth as well,
And watched my bulging coffers swell,
Then lost the lot, and shared instead,
A humble meal on crust of bread.

I've mixed with men of lowely mien,
Who toil each day for little gain;
From them received some lessons too,
On how to smile when joys are few.
I've mingled with the rich and high,
I've heard them laugh – I've seen them cry;
Some grains of wisdom came my way,
From hearing what the rich folk say.

With virtuous women fair and fine,
I've broken bread and quafted wine,
And seen a scratch on velvet skin
Let virtues out – and Devil's in.
I've flirted with the other sort;
I've sinned with some and pleasures bought;
Yet, 'neath the mask they always wear,
I've found great virtues hiding there.

I've seen the so-called patriot bold,
Besmear his pride for filthy gold;
I've heard him speak and lecture too,
Advising good folk what to do.
I've seen a mob wave with delight,
As some fond idol came in sight;
I've seen the same mob rave with hate,
Then wait with sticks outside his gate.

Yes; Life's a gamble for us all,
We sometimes win – more often fall;
'Tis but a game of pitch and toss,
We field for gain – and catch but loss;
Too swift for those who cannot run,
'Twere better they had not begun;
While others – heedless of their ways,
Just gather all the sunny days.