Poetry of Kansas

Their Choice

A rich man lived who had three sons.
      By name: James, Orville, and Worthington.
Being ill and knowing it was his deathbed,
      He called to his side his sons and said:
"Choose what ye will and I will give it thee,
      If what ye wish within my power be."
Spake James: "I will take your vast acres of land,
      And in my lifetime treble them if I can."
Orville spakc: "I will take your great pile of gold,
      And pyramid it to monstrous wealth untold."
All material possessions were taken, Worthington spakc:
      "The accumulated wisdom of the ages I would take. "
It filled the rich man's heart with sinful pride,
      That he could grant each wish before he died.
James took his spreading acres to no avail,
      For came the drouth, pests, and devastating hail
Until-in less than half his life's duration
      He must seek work for hire, or face starvation.
Orville took his gold, which he invested,
      In ventures which proved he had been bested.
The Croesus pile for which he sought
      Eventually brought his treasury to naught;
He, also forced to swallow his pride,
      Had to labor long and hard before he died.
Now a moral lies hidden within this tale,
      For drouths could not touch nor elements assail,
Sharp swindlers beguile, nor damp weather rust
      That in which Worthington had put his trust.
When the knowledge he sought was fully in store,
      He earned what his brothers had lost, and even more.

Stanzas For Kansas
Leonard Allen Prowant
(Wichita, Kansas: __. 1937) Page 37

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December 13, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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