Tom Beatty

Edgar Lee Masters 1868 - 1950

I was a lawyer like Harmon Whitney
Or Kinsey Keene or Garrison Standard,
For I tried the rights of property,
Although by lamp-light, for thirty years,
In that poker room in the opera house.
And I say to you that Life's a gambler
Head and shoulders above us all.
No mayor alive can close the house.
And if you lose, you can squeal as you will;
You'll not get back your money.
He makes the percentage hard to conquer;
He stacks the cards to catch your weakness
And not to meet your strength.
And he gives you seventy years to play:
For if you cannot win in seventy
You cannot win at all.
So, if you lose, get out of the room --
Get out of the room when your time is up.
It's mean to sit and fumble the cards,
And curse your losses, leaden-eyed,
Whining to try and try.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters was an American poet, biographer, and dramatist. more…

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"Tom Beatty" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 4 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/8732/tom-beatty>.

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