No Man Without Money

No man such rare parts hath, that he can swim,
If favour or occasion help not him.

by Robert Herrick.

Money Makes The Mirth

When all birds else do of their music fail,
Money's the still-sweet-singing nightingale!

by Robert Herrick.

I Pay—in Satin Cash


I pay—in Satin Cash—
You did not state—your price—
A Petal, for a Paragraph
It near as I can guess—

by Emily Dickinson.

Limerick: There Was An Old Man Of Kilkenny

There was an Old Man of Kilkenny,
Who never had more than a penny;
He spent all that money,
In onions and honey,
That wayward Old Man of Kilkenny.

by Edward Lear.

We hugg, imprison, hang, and save,
This foe, this friend, our Lord, our slave.

While thus I hang, you threatned see
The fate of him that stealeth mee.

by William Strode.

Your cross?
The real cross
Is made of pounds,
Dollars or francs.
Here I bear my palms for the silly nails
To teach the lack
—The great pain of lack—
Of coin.

by Stephen Crane.

INTO my heart's treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor a thief purloin,—
Oh better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
Of a lovely thing.

by Sara Teasdale.

What Will You Give Me For My Pound?

What will you give me for my pound?
Full twenty shillings round.
What will you give me for my shilling?
Twelve pence to give I'm willing.
What will you give me for my penny?
Four farthings, just so many.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

'This is the life!' said Dusty Dan
'This is the life to hand a man!
My happy way is strewn with flowers;
But why waste money on the showers?

'The hard cash wasted on that bath
Might yet make pleasanter my path,
If wisely spent on bottled beer
And motor cars to fetch us here!'

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

Ferry Me Across The Water

‘Ferry me across the water,
Do, boatman, do.’
‘If you've a penny in your purse
I'll ferry you.’
‘I have a penny in my purse,
And my eyes are blue;
So ferry me across the water,
Do, boatman, do.’
‘Step into my ferry-boat,
Be they black or blue,
And for the penny in your purse
I'll ferry you.’

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Epigram For Wall Street

I'll tell you a plan for gaining wealth,
Better than banking, trade or leases —
Take a bank note and fold it up,
And then you will find your money in creases!
This wonderful plan, without danger or loss,
Keeps your cash in your hands, where nothing can trouble it;
And every time that you fold it across,
'Tis as plain as the light of the day that you double it!

by Edgar Allan Poe.

Upon A Penny Loaf

Thy price one penny is in time of plenty,
In famine doubled, 'tis from one to twenty.
Yea, no man knows what price on thee to set
When there is but one penny loaf to get.


This loaf's an emblem of the Word of God,
A thing of low esteem before the rod
Of famine smites the soul with fear of death,
But then it is our all, our life, our breath.

by John Bunyan.

Xxxv: When First My Way To Fair I Took

When first my way to fair I took
Few pence in purse had I,
And long I used to stand and look
At things I could not buy.

Now times are altered: if I care
To buy a thing, I can;
The pence are here and here's the fair,
But where's the lost young man?

- - To think that two and two are four
And neither five nor three
The heart of man has long been sore
And long 'tis like to be.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

To My Cousin, Anne Bodham, On Receiving From Her A Network Purse, Made By Herself

My gentle Anne, whom heretofore,
When I was young, and thou no more
Than plaything for a nurse,
I danced and fondled on my knee,
A kitten both in size and glee,--
I thank thee for my purse.

Gold pays the worth of all things here
But not of love; -- that gem's too dear
For richest rogues to win it;
I, therefore, as a proof of love,
Esteem thy present far above
The best things kept within it.

by William Cowper.

Love's Menu: Pommes De Terre Frites

Fried potatoes is a dish
Good as any one could wish:
Cheap it is, and appetizing;
Turn a saint to gormandizing:
Good and cheap and tasty too,
Just the thing for Love's Menu.
Love is dainty, and his food,
Even though common, must be good:
Love hath little to disburse,
So his fare must fit his purse:
Love hath fickle appetite,
We his palate must invite:
Crisp and hot, the price a sou,
Fried Potatoes, Love's Menu.

by William Gay.

The Lord's Prayer On A Coin

Upon this quarter-eagle's leveled face,
The Lord's Prayer, legibly inscribed, I trace.
'Our Father which'-the pronoun there is funny,
And shows the scribe to have addressed the money
'Which art in Heaven'-an error this, no doubt:
The preposition should be stricken out.
Needless to quote; I only have designed
To praise the frankness of the pious mind
Which thought it natural and right to join,
With rare significancy, prayer and coin.

by Ambrose Bierce.

Fool's Money Bags

Outside the long window,
With his head on the stone sill,
The dog is lying,
Gazing at his Beloved.
His eyes are wet and urgent,
And his body is taut and shaking.
It is cold on the terrace;
A pale wind licks along the stone slabs,
But the dog gazes through the glass
And is content.

The Beloved is writing a letter.
Occasionally she speaks to the dog,
But she is thinking of her writing.
Does she, too, give her devotion to one
Not worthy?

by Amy Lowell.

Sir Walter (Revised)

0 woman, in man's hour of ease
And plenty, how you strive to please!
To win his heart - and purse - you try
With ogle, whisper, smile, and sigh.

But when he's short of cash, you find,
You change your tactics and your mind;
And from a fellow lacking 'oof'
You deem it well to hold aloof -

Tip-tilt your nose and curve your lip,
And let the impecunious R.I.P.,
To find some other, wealthier, new man:
All this you do because - you're Woman.

by Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant.

Would You Believe It?

One year ago I wished that I
A banker great might be
With a hundred million dollars
And financial majesty;

A mighty Wall Street banker
With a whopping lot of power
And an income of somewhere around
A thousand plunks per hour;

A solid Wall Street banker
With securities in sacks
And with clever men to show me
How to pay no income tax;

A wealthy Wall Street banker
Who raked in cash like hay;
I wished that just a year ago—
And I wish the same today.

by Ellis Parker Butler.

I WHISPERED, 'I am too young,'
And then, 'I am old enough';
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
'Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.'
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.

by William Butler Yeats.

{On her giving the author a gold and silk
net-work purse of her own weaving}.

Though gold and silk their charms unite
To make thy curious web delight,
In vain the varied work would shine,
If wrought by any hand but thine;
Thy hand that knows the subtler art,
To weave those nets that catch the heart.
Spread out by me the roving coin,
Thy nets may catch, but not confine;
Nor can I hope thy silken chain
The glittering vagrants shall restrain.
Why, Stella, was it then decreed
The heart once caught should ne'er be freed.

by Samuel Johnson.

Sonnet 129: Th' Expense Of Spirit In A Waste Of Shame

Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and, till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoyed no sooner but despisèd straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad.
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe,
Before a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows, yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

by William Shakespeare.

Profit And Loss

Each day a new sword flashes in the van;
Another leader, brave to do or die,
Comes forth, full- furnished for the strife whereby
He gains his growth and stature as a man.
Each day our world, that under the black ban
Of ignorant custom for so long did lie,
Grows bright and brighter, like a clearing sky,
More good and lovely in its wondrous plan.

Yet oh! how few the saved, how small the gain,
How poor the profit as against the cost —
The waste of life, divinely vast and fair,
Potential in starved soul and unfed brain —
The powers that might have been and might be — lost
Only for want of common food and air!

by Ada Cambridge.

On A Handful Of French Money

These coins that jostle on my hand do own
No single image: each name here and date
Denoting in man's consciousness and state
New change. In some, the face is clearly known,—
In others marred. The badge of that old throne
Of Kings is on the obverse; or this sign
Which says, “I France am all—lo, I am mine!”
Or else the Eagle that dared soar alone.
Even as these coins, so are these lives and years
Mixed and bewildered; yet hath each of them
No less its part in what is come to be
For France. Empire, Republic, Monarchy,—
Each clamours or keeps silence in her name,
And lives within the pulse that now is hers.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Where Pyramids and temple-wrecks are piled
Confusedly on camel-coloured sands,
And the mute Arab motionlessly stands,
Like some swart god who never wept or smiled,--
I picked up mummy relics of the wild
(And sea-shells once with clutching baby hands),
And felt a wafture from old Motherlands,
And all the morning wonder of a Child

To find Sphinx-money. So the Beduin calls
Small fossils of the waste. Nay, poet's gold;
'Twill give thee entrance to those rites of old,
When hundred-gated Thebes, with storied walls,
Gleamed o'er her Plain, and vast processions rolled
To Amon-Ra through Karnak's pillared halls.

by Mathilde Blind.

Like to a coin, passing from hand to hand,
Are common memories, and day by day
The sharpness of their impress wears away.
But love's remembrances unspoiled with-stand
The touch of time, as in an antique land
Where some proud town old centuries did slay,
Intaglios buried lie, still in decay
Perfect and precious spite of grinding sand.
What fame or joy or sorrow has been ours,
What we have hoped or feared, we may forget.
The clearness of all memory time deflours,
Save that of love alone, persistent yet
Though sure oblivion all things else devours,
Its tracings firm as when they first were set.

by Arlo Bates.

I'm sick to death of money, of the lack of it, that is,
And of practising perpetually small economies;
Of paring off a penny here, another penny there,
Of the planning and the worrying, the everlasting care.

The savages went naked and no doubt digested fruit,
And when they longed for partridge all they had to do was shoot.
But it may be Mrs. Savage was extravagant in paint
And all the little Savages made juvenile complaint.

'I want a bow like We-We's. I want a fine canoe.
I don't have half such dandy things as other fellers do.'
And Mrs. Savage quite agreed it was an awful shame.
So Mr. Savage sighed about expenses just the same.

by Gamaliel Bradford.

When I had money, money, O!
I knew no joy till I went poor;
For many a false man as a friend
Came knocking all day at my door.
Then felt I like a child that holds
A trumpet that he must not blow
Because a man is dead; I dared
Not speak to let this false world know.
Much have I thought of life, and seen
How poor men’s hearts are ever light;
And how their wives do hum like bees
About their work from morn till night.
So, when I hear these poor ones laugh,
And see the rich ones coldly frown—
Poor men, think I, need not go up
So much as rich men should come down.
When I had money, money, O!
My many friends proved all untrue;
But now I have no money, O!
My friends are real, though very few.

by William Henry Davies.

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part I: To Manon: Xv

Oh, Lytton, I have gambled with my soul,
And, like a spendthrift, pawned my heritage
To pitiless Jews, and paid a monstrous toll
To knaves and usurers,--and all to wage
Fair war with black--legs, men who dared to gauge
My youth's bright honour as an antique thing,
A broadsword to their fencing point and edge.
So the game went. And even yet I cling
To my mad humour, reckoning up each stake,
Each fair coin lost.--O miserable slaves,
Who for the sake of gold, the poorest thing
Man ever won from the earth's bosom, take
To rope or poison, and who labour not
Even to ``dig dishonourable graves,''
See one who has lost a pound for every groat,
For every penny of your squandering!

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

Preparatory Meditations - First Series: 6.

(Canticles 2:1. The Lily of the Valleys)

Am I Thy gold? Or purse, Lord, for Thy wealth;
Whether in mine or mint refined for Thee?
I'm counted so, but count me o'er Thyself,
Lest gold-washed face, and brass in heart I be.
I fear my touchstone touches when I try
Me, and my counted gold too overly.

Am I new-minted by Thy stamp indeed?
Mine eyes are dim; I cannot clearly see.
Be Thou my spectacles that I may read
Thine image do upon me stand,
I am a golden angel in Thy hand.

Lord, make my soul Thy plate: Thine image bright
Within the circle of the same enfoil.
And on its brims in golden letters write
Thy superscription in an holy style.
Then I shall be Thy money, Thou my hoard:
Let me Thy angel be, be Thou my Lord.

by Edward Taylor.

The Impact Of A Dollar Upon The Heart

The impact of a dollar upon the heart
Smiles warm red light,
Sweeping from the hearth rosily upon the white table,
With the hanging cool velvet shadows
Moving softly upon the door.

The impact of a million dollars
Is a crash of flunkeys,
And yawning emblems of Persia
Cheeked against oak, France and a sabre,
The outcry of old beauty
Whored by pimping merchants
To submission before wine and chatter.
Silly rich peasants stamp the carpets of men,
Dead men who dreamed fragrance and light
Into their woof, their lives;
The rug of an honest bear
Under the feet of a cryptic slave
Who speaks always of baubles,
Forgetting state, multitude, work, and state,
Champing and mouthing of hats,
Making ratful squeak of hats,

by Stephen Crane.

'I am the sun!' the poet yelled,
And danced upon the strand.
'I am the sun!' He tightly held
Some money in his hand;
'I gild the clouds with good red gold
Each evening when I sink!
'Tis better far, so I am told,
Than spending it on drink!'

'I am the moon!' he shouted then,
And leaped with joy insane.
'I spill my silver freely when
I've earned it with my brain;
It floats on water easily
And winks up at the stars;
I'll rather dropp it in the sea
Than in the private bars!'

'Observe me gild the clouds!' (He cast
A gold coin at the blue.)
'Here's moonlight!' (And a shilling passed
And fell the sea into.)
'That's all I've got,' the madman said;
'Now, honest people, mark!
You'd better all go home to bed
The whole world now is dark!'

by Ernest O'Ferrall.

A Canary At The Farm

Folks has be'n to town, and Sahry
Fetched 'er home a pet canary--,
And of all the blame', contrary,
Aggervatin' things alive!
I love music-- that I love it
When it's free-- and plenty of it--;
But I kindo' git above it,
At a dollar-eighty-five!

Reason's plain as I'm a-sayin'--,
Jes' the idy, now, o' layin'
Out yer money, and a-payin'
Fer a willer-cage and bird,
When the medder-larks is wingin'
Round you, and the woods is ringin'
With the beautifullest singin'
That a mortal ever heard!

Sahry's sot, tho'--. So I tell her
He's a purty little feller,
With his wings o' creamy-yeller,
And his eyes keen as a cat;
And the twitter o' the critter
'Pears to absolutely glitter!
Guess I'll haf to go and git her
A high-priceter cage 'n that!

by James Whitcomb Riley.

The Mercenary View

I knew a poor remittance man,
A decent chap, but funny,
In days when my ideas began
To be controlled by money
He wore a swank, patrician air;
But, oh, his life was filled with care,
For he had seldom cash to spare;
His mien was far from sunny.

I fear I was a snobbish youth
Who led a prig's existence.
I snubbed the chap, to tell the truth,
And kept him at a distance.
His clothes, well cut, were often worn
Threadbare. Tho' he was gently born
His friendship I refused with scorn
Despite his soft insistence.

But now the whirligig of time
Sees fit to elevate him.
While, lo, the money that was mine
Is shrinking, seriatim;
And faced by serious mishap.
While he reclines in Fortune's lap.
I'd like to find the dear old chap
I'd want to cultivate him.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

'I keep it, dear papa, within my glove.'
'You do-what sum then usually, my love,
Is there deposited? I make no doubt,
Some penny pieces you are not without.'

'O no, papa, they'd soil my glove, and be
Quite odious things to carry. O no-see,
This little bit of gold is surely all
That I shall want; for I shall only call
For a small purchase I shall make, papa,
And a mere trifle I'm to buy mamma;
Just to make out the change: so there's no need
To carry penny pieces, sir, indeed.'

'O now I know then why a blind man said
Unto a dog which this blind beggar led,-
'Where'er you see some fine young ladies, Tray,
Be sure you lead me quite another way.
The poor man's friend fair ladies used to be;
But now I find no tale of misery
Will ever from their pockets draw a penny:'
The blind man did not see they wear not any.'

by Charles Lamb.

The Woodman And The Money Hunter

Throughout our rambles much we find;
The bee trees burst with honey;
Wild birds we tame of every kind,
At once they seem to be resign'd;
I know but one that lags behind,
There's nothing lags but money.

The woods afford us much supply,
The opossum, coon, and coney;
They all are tame and venture nigh,
Regardless of the public eye,
I know but one among them shy,
There's nothing shy but money.

And she lies in the bankrupt shade;
The cunning fox is funny;
When thus the public debts are paid,
Deceitful cash is not afraid,
Where funds are hid for private trade,
There's nothing paid but money.

Then let us roam the woods along,
And drive the coon and coney;
Our lead is good, our powder strong,
To shoot the pigeons as they throng,
But sing no more the idle song,
Nor prowl the chase for money.

by George Moses Horton.

Something In The Papers

'What's in the paper?' Oh, it's dev'lish dull:
There's nothing happening at all-a lull
After the war-storm. Mr. Someone's wife
Killed by her lover with, I think, a knife.
A fire on Blank Street and some babies-one,
Two, three or four, I don't remember, done
To quite a delicate and lovely brown.
A husband shot by woman of the town
The same old story. Shipwreck somewhere south.
The crew, all saved-or lost. Uncommon drouth
Makes hundreds homeless up the River Mud
Though, come to think, I guess it was a flood.
'T is feared some bank will burst-or else it won't
They always burst, I fancy-or they don't;
Who cares a cent?-the banker pays his coin
And takes his chances: bullet in the groin
But that's another item-suicide
Fool lost his money (serve him right) and died.
Heigh-ho! there's noth-Jerusalem! what's this:
Tom Jones has failed! My God, what an abyss
Of ruin!-owes me seven hundred clear!
Was ever such a damned disastrous year!

by Ambrose Bierce.

Put A Penny In The Slot

If my action's stiff and crude,
Do not laugh, because it's rude.
If my gestures promise larks,
Do not make unkind remarks.
Clockwork figures may be found
Everywhere and all around.
Ten to one, if I but knew,
You are clockwork figures too.
And the motto of the lot,
"Put a penny in the slot!"

Usurer, for money lent,
Making out his cent per cent -
Widow plump or maiden rare,
Deaf and dumb to suitor's prayer -
Tax collectors, whom in vain
You implore to "call again" -
Cautious voter, whom you find
Slow in making up his mind -
If you'd move them on the spot,
Put a penny in the slot!

Bland reporters in the courts,
Who suppress police reports -
Sheriff's yeoman, pen in fist,
Making out a jury list -
Stern policemen, tall and spare,
Acting all "upon the square" -
(Which in words that plainer fall,
Means that you can square them all) -
If you want to move the lot,
Put a penny in the slot!

by William Schwenck Gilbert.

The Farmer's Lament

'The backbone of the country and the salt of all the earth'
That was how they styled us when the farmer had his worth.
But what's his valuation now, when times are pretty thin?
Two bob a dozen, an' the garments given in.
We made the country's money an' we paid the country's way,
We raised the wealth for cities from the farm thro' many a day;
But what's the price of farmers now the profits disappeared?
Two bob a dozen, an' a bonus on the beard.
They'll pay to patch machinery or cure old Dobbin's sprain;
But they cannot spare a stiver when the farmer gets a pain;
For what's the use o' mendin' him when all he's valued at
Is two bob a dozen, if he's nice an' prime an' fat.
But the farmer ain't repinin', tho' his price is down an' out.
There's a good time comin' soon without the smallest doubt;
But, till the world wins sanity, he's got to be content
With two bob a dozen, cash with order ten per cent.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The Magic Purse

WHAT is the gold of mortal-kind
To that men find
Deep in the poet's mind! —
That magic purse
Of Dreams from which
God builds His universe!
That makes life rich
With, many a vision;
Taking the soul from out its prison
Of facts with the precision
A wildflower dons
When Spring comes knocking at the door
Of Earth across the windy lawns;
Calling to Joy to rise and dance before
Her happy feet:
Or with the beat
And bright exactness of a star,
Hanging its punctual point afar,
When Night comes tripping over Heaven's floor,
Leaving a gate ajar.
That leads the Heart from all its aching
Far above where day is breaking;
Out of the doubts, the agonies,
The strife and sin, to join with these —
Hope and Beauty and Joy that build
Their golden walls
Of sunset where, with spirits filled,
A Presence calls,
And points a land
Where Love walks, silent; hand in hand
With the Spirit of God, and leads Man right
Out of the darkness into the light.

by Madison Julius Cawein.