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Vachel Lindsay - The Gamblers

Life's a jail where men have common lot. 
Gaunt the one who has, and who has not. 
All our treasures neither less nor more, 
Bread alone comes thro' the guarded door. 
Cards are foolish in this jail, I think, 
Yet they play for shoes, for drabs and drink. 
She, my lawless, sharp-tongued gypsy maid 
Will not scorn with me this jail-bird trade, 
Pets some fox-eyed boy who turns the trick, 
Tho' he win a button or a stick, 
Pencil, garter, ribbon, corset-lace  
His the glory, mine is the disgrace. 

Sweet, I'd rather lose than win despite 
Love of hearty words and maids polite. 
"Love's a gamble," say you. I deny. 
Love's a gift. I love you till I die. 
Gamblers fight like rats. I will not play. 
All I ever had I gave away. 
All I ever coveted was peace 
Such as comes if we have jail release. 
Cards are puzzles, tho' the prize be gold, 
Cards help not the bread that tastes of mold, 
Cards dye not your hair to black more deep, 
Cards make not the children cease to weep. 

Scorned, I sit with half shut eyes all day  
Watch the cataract of sunshine play 
Down the wall, and dance upon the floor. 
Sun, come down and break the dungeon door! 
Of such gold dust could I make a key,  
Turn the bolt  how soon we would be free! 
Over borders we would hurry on 
Safe by sunrise farms, and springs of dawn, 
Wash our wounds and jail stains there at last, 
Azure rivers flowing, flowing past. 
God has great estates just past the line,
Green farms for all, and meat and corn and wine.

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Added: Jun 15 2005 | Viewed: 829 times | Comments and analysis of The Gamblers by Vachel Lindsay Comments (50)

The Gamblers - Comments and Information

Poet: Vachel Lindsay
Poem: The Gamblers
Poem of the Day: May 15 2014

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