As I wandered along the old Highway

To my home at the end of the day;

I saw the Church with its heavenward spire,

Behind it the Sun that celestial fire.


Silhouetted over the graveyard wall

Were stone markers ornate and tall;

This scene before me, in just a blink,

I became aware and began to think.


Of all those people once as I,

Behind that wall there to lie;

Awaiting the Judgment as they must,

Decay reducing their forms to dust.


I could see those beings in my dream,

In life both of high and low esteem;

Remembered by tombstones small and great,

Some with none at all, or of lowly slate.


There lies my friend, ‘Old John’ the Tramp

A gentleman of the road in sun or damp;

Now no material wealth had he

As he ate my food it was plain to see.


But he was rich within his mind,

Of Earth’s adornment he was not blind;

Also laid there near him beside,

Is a man I knew of wealth and pride.


Of nature’s mantle he was unaware

And the poor or needy he didn’t care;

With his cunning and treachery complete,

He felt fulfilled, success was sweet.


Now there he lies in the same estate,

Of who was the better, there’s no debate;

It must be him who trod the road

And sometimes called at my abode.


Monty Alexander 5.5.96

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