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The Prince And The Pauper

by Mark Spencer © 2009

Philip was very well to do,
A Prince among his peers.
With no regard for human life,
No plight could draw his tears.

He would stand upon his mountain,
Looking down on the Earth,
As if power and possessions,
Somehow increased his worth.

He cared nothing for the needy,
His wealth, he would not share.
He hoped that most would starve to death,
And stop using his air.

Alexander was a pauper,
A man down on his luck.
Reduced to begging on the streets
To earn himself a buck.

He was hired several times a week,
By one of Philip's aids.
Because he looked like Philip's twin,
He joined in these charades.

Philip had many enemies,
He needed a decoy.
Since Alexander was hungry,
He agreed to the ploy.

And at nightfall, for his trouble,
He didn't make a sound,
As they paid for the risks he took,
With just one English pound.

And so it went for many months,
Until the threat had passed.
Alexander wasn't needed,
So aside he was cast.

They threw him in a prison cell,
In case there'd come a day,
When Philip might need him again,
They feared he'd slip away.

That cell would be his final home,
Until the day he died.
Forgotten by a shallow world,
Where not a tear was cried.

And Philip too, would pass away,
They mourned him everywhere.
He had a royal funeral,
It was a grand affair.

The two met at the Pearly Gates,
Saw Jesus waiting there,
Alexander received his wings,
For all he had to bear.

Philip claimed they were mistaken,
"You've honored the wrong man.
That fellow's been a criminal
Since his journey began."

But the Savior reassured him,
"I know to whom I speak.
Alexander was my servant,
His spirit is unique."

"He's earned the gifts that I bestow,
For what he had to do.
He's been rewarded for his faith,
As it shall be for you."

"For you I have no wings to give,
No reward for your deeds.
There was so much you could have done,
But you planted no seeds."

"There were only weeds of hatred,
For all humanity.
And for everyone you hated,
You also hated me."

"What you've gained is separation,
From all, within these gates.
You'll be cast into the darkness,
To face what now awaits."

"This will be the final lesson,
You'll ever have to learn.
What waits across that dark abyss,
Is what your choices earn."

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Click Here to contact Mark Spencer to request permission to use this poem.