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The Tramp

From the Evening Star, May 20, 1913.
By Walt Mason.

He’s idle, unsteady, and everyone’s ready to throw him a dornick or give him a biff; he’s always in tatters, but little it matters; he’s evermore happy, so what is the diff? He carries no sorrow, no care for tomorrow, his roof is the heaven, his couch is the soil; no sighing or weeping breaks in on his sleeping, no bell in the morning shall call him to toil. As free as the breezes he goes where he pleases, no rude overseer to boss him around; his joys do not whither, he goes yon and hither, till dead in a haystack or ditch he is found. The joys of such freedom—no sane man can need ‘em! Far better to toil for the kids and the wife, till muscles are aching and collarbone breaking, than selfishly follow the vagabond life. One laborer toiling is worth the whole boiling of idlers and tramps of whatever degree; and though we all know it we don’t find a poet embalming the fact as embalmed it should be. The poets will chortle about the blithe mortal who wanders the highways and sleeps in the hay, but who sings the toiler, the sweet spangled moiler, who raises ten kids on a dollar a day?

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