My Wage

Jessie B Rittenhouse
Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

I bargained with life for a penny,
And life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

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.

Jessie Belle Rittenhouse, 1869-1948

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