Page 26 – ‘Notes of a trip’ by Robert Jameson

By ODEAN – Part II

  When gold was all unknown,  
    Then honesty was the ‘rule,
  Mean quirking tricks and dishonesty  
    Were left to the knave and fool.
  But now, alas! alas !  
    That the thirst and the lust for gold
  Has rushed like a flood o’er the land,  
    And seized on the young and the old;
  The poet’s eye can see  
    An envious cursed cloud,
  A ghastly pall with a crimson stain,  
    Spread over the land like a shroud.
  And under its baneful shade  
    Are sins as deep as hell,
  There is envy and hate far, far beyond,  
    The power of my pen to tell.
  Gold in a way may be good,  
    But gold is not all in all,  
  For God hath placed it under foot  
    And over it spread a pall.  
  Gold in a war may be good,  
    As the thunder and hail and snow;  
  It comes like the ‘breath of man,  
    And goes-ah! who can know?  
  Gold in a way may be good,  
    But wealth will not purchase rest,  
  Or take a poisoned pang from out  
    The tortured owner’s breast.  
  Remember the needle’s eye,  
    And remember once again  
  That treasures rust and corrupt,  
    And that manhood ends in pain.  
  Wake from your sordid dreams,  
    Poet and statesman and scribe,  
  Clergy and laity, all beware,  
    Beware of the glamorous bribe.  
  Riches, and wealth, and pomp,  
    And yellow glamour of gold,  
  Are but half the story of life,  
    The other is yet untold.