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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Ben King (1857–1894)

The Pessimist

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;

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;

Nothing to weep but tears;

Nothing to bury but dead.

Nothing to sing but songs,

Ah, well, alas! alack!

Nowhere to go but out;

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.

Nothing to strike but a gait;

Everything moves that goes.

Nothing at all but common sense

Can ever withstand these woes.