Unknown – Unknown, 1899

“What is The White Man’s Burden?’
A man asked me today
“I hear so much about it
What is It anyway?”
Is it debt, or money, or a Jag,
That a burden makes of life
Or his voice dropped to a whisper-
“Does it mean his wife?”

“What is the White Man’s Burden?”
About the first is clothes.
He starts in life quite minus
As everybody knows
But soon begins a struggle
To get the latest style.
And when they’re bought and paid for
To wear them with a smile.

Another of his burdens
And one that’s hard to hear.
is getting’ proper food to eat,
Which requires greatest care.
To all the cook’s enticements,
To all the pastry’s lures,
tie fails a willing victim-
Then takes dyspepsia cures.

“What Is the ‘White Man’s Burden?’
Go ask the plumber bold.
The iceman and the coal man
Who revel in the cold.
The funnyman and poet,
The politician shrewd.
The deadbeat and his mother-in-law,
The masher and the dude.

“What Is the White Man’s Burden?”
The war inquiry boards.
The yowlers ‘gainst expansion.
The yellow journal hordes.
The only thing surprising
That cause for wonder gives
Is how ‘neath all his burdens
The average white man lives.

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by Bill Arp

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