Hard Luck

Hard Luck
by Edgar Albert Guest

Ain’t no use as I can see

In sittin’ underneath a tree

An’ growlin’ that your luck is bad,

An’ that your life is extry sad;

Your life ain’t sadder than your neighbor’s

Nor any harder are your labors;

It rains on him the same as you,

An’ he has work he hates to do;

An’ he gits tired an’ he gits cross,

An’ he has trouble with the boss;

You take his whole life, through an’ through,

Why, he’s no better off than you.


If whinin’ brushed the clouds away

I wouldn’t have a word to say;

If it made good friends out o’ foes

I’d whine a bit, too, I suppose;

But when I look around an’ see

A lot o’ men resemblin’ me,

An’ see ’em sad, an’ see ’em gay

With work t’ do most every day,

Some full o’ fun, some bent with care,

Some havin’ troubles hard to bear,

I reckon, as I count my woes,

They’re ’bout what everybody knows.


The day I find a man who’ll say

He’s never known a rainy day,

Who’ll raise his right hand up an’ swear

In forty years he’s had no care,

Has never had a single blow,

An’ never known one touch o’ woe,

Has never seen a loved one die,

Has never wept or heaved a sigh,

Has never had a plan go wrong,

But allas laughed his way along;

Then I’ll sit down an’ start to whine

That all the hard luck here is mine.

About the author

(Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/edgar-albert-guest).

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959) was a British-born U.S. writer whose poems were widely read during the first half of the 20th century. Guest’s family relocated from Warwickshire, England to the United States in 1891, when Guest was 10 years old.

Edgar Guest began his career at the Detroit Free Press in 1895, where he first worked as a copyboy. He was soon promoted to police writer and later to exchange editor, and in 1904 he began writing verse for the Free Press under the heading “Chaff.” Those columns evolved into an immensely popular daily feature entitled “Breakfast Table Chat,” which, at the height of its popularity, was syndicated in about 300 other newspapers. In 1916 Guest published A Heap O’ Livin’, a collection of verse that eventually sold more than 1,000,000 copies. That work was followed by Just Folks (1918), Rhythms of Childhood (1924), Life’s Highway (1933), and Living the Years (1949).

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