The Woman That You Pass By


My trade was old when the world was new,  Ere the pyramids rose by the

Men quitted their wives, and gave me their goods  For the warmth of my kiss, and my smile.

For never was wife who could hold her man  By the honeymoon's

Did I veil mine eyes and beckon to him,  God's truth, and 'tis you who know.

My trade was old when the world was new,  Long ere Caesar ruled in Rome,

To spend their gold in a harlot's cell  Patricians quitted home.

And high born dames since the world began  Have learned to sit and to

And to patiently wait for their lords to leave  The woman that you pass by.

I'm only a pawn in the game called life,  Yet I take what you never could hold;

I garner the kisses you'd barter life for  And with them,

I gather your gold.

I garner the best of your manhood's prime  Then quit them when shattered in health;

I bring to heel the ones that you love  And smiling I shear them of wealth.

To garner the wealth that you hold in store  I must keep me surpassing fair,

For the life that I lead is an open book  And the game that I deal is square.

Stop--think of the maids and wives you know  As you drift thru life's subtle game--How many are dealing as straight as I?  How many can say the same?

You give your all, and you slave your life  In a struggle to hold one man;

You think you're paid if he call you wife  And be true to you for a span.

You keep his house and you bear his child  And you walk with your head held

But most of his love, and his kisses go  To the woman that you pass by.

The favors you give,

I sell for gold,  And men prize what costs them high;

You never will learn that love goes out  With the tear in a woman's eye;

That the patient drudge who sits at home  And learns to save and to

Can never hold the light of love  But is doomed to lose in the end.

So I follow the old dishonored trade,  Bedecked in garments fine,

And the cream of the earth is saved for me  In raiment and food and wine.

And life to me is a merry game  Tho, sometimes,

I weep and sigh,

For deep down in your heart, do you envy me  The woman that you pass by?

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