Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
 
The Pessimist
By Ben King (1857–1894)
 
Sometimes published under the title “The Sum of Life.”—EDITOR.

NOTHING to do but work;
  Nothing to eat but food;
Nothing to wear but clothes,
  To keep one from going nude.
 
Nothing to breathe but air;        5
  Quick as a flash ’tis gone;
Nowhere to fall but off;
  Nowhere to stand but on.
 
Nothing to comb but hair;
  Nowhere to sleep but in bed;        10
Nothing to weep but tears;
  Nothing to bury but dead.
 
Nothing to sing but songs,
  Ah, well, alas! alack!
Nowhere to go but out;        15
  Nowhere to come but back.
 
Nothing to see but sights;
  Nothing to quench but thirst;
Nothing to have but what we’ve got;
  Thus thro’ life we are cursed.        20
 
Nothing to strike but a gait;
  Everything moves that goes.
Nothing at all but common sense
  Can ever withstand these woes.
 
 
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