My brother Jim's a millionaire,
while I have scarce a penny;
His face is creased with lines of care,
While my mug hasn't any.
With inwardness his eyes are dim,
While mine laugh out in glee,
And though I ought to envy him,
I think he envies me.
He has a chateau, I a shack,
And humble I should be
To see his stately Cadillac
Beside my jalopy.
With chain of gold his belly's girt,
His beard is barber trim;
Yet bristle-chinned with ragged shirt,
I do not envy Jim.
My brother is a man of weight;
For every civic plum
He grabs within one pie of state,
While I am just a bum.
Last Winter he was near to croak
With gastric ulcers grim. . . .
And no! although I'm stony broke
I will not envy Jim
He gets the work, I get the fun;
He has no tie for play;
Whereas with paddle, rod and gun
My life's a holiday.
As over crabbed script he pores
I can the sky's blue rim. . . .
Oh boy! While I have God's outdoors
I'll never envy Jim.
Robert William Service