The Piper

They’ll scream and say I robbed them

But don’t speak of how they robbed me

Though I suppose it’s hard to recognize

Your slave once he’s been freed.


I once worked for the Mayor

Serving his every will

Day after day I worked in his house

Then the day came for his bill


He carefully examined his coffers

Stroking his bearded chin

“I can’t pay you now for your labors,” he said

I cried, “If not now sir, then when?


My daughter, my beautiful Abby

She lies sick with coughing and fever

She needs medicine, sir, a doctor

This money could help to relieve her.”


He sighed and closed his coffers

“Surely, your daughter can wait a week.

Then I will have your payment.”

I had not the words to speak


I found Abby at home that evening

When she saw me she smiled, prettier than the tulips

“I have nothing to give you,” I wept

“Doctors don’t trade medicine for music”


The sunset was a radiant rose in the sky

And her words, as clear as day

“If only they knew your talents, papa

Then they would give you your pay.”


I kissed her forehead lightly

“I hate to watch you fading away”

But Abby, still kept smiling

“You know we’ll be back together someday.


In the land where fruit and flowers roam

Where the animals are gentle and kind

Birds sing in the trees all day

Where there are no lame, no sick, no blind.”


That was the night I held her closest

That was the night she sighed

And as the night air left her lungs

My beautiful baby girl died


I wept bitter tears every night in my bed

Left my job and wandered alone

But without her, there was no happiness

Without her, there was no home


In defeat I retreated to Hamelin

And heard of their troublesome lot

Of the rats that infested the homes and the stables

The sickness and plague they had wrought


In seeing their plight and their struggle

I found in my heart small forgiveness

And took those sympathies to leaders

They accepted my odd form of assistance


In days I had finished my duties

And requested my payment - as promised

But once again, the tightly wound Mayor denied me

Could spare nothing from his pockets


“I guess some things never change,” I said

He scoffed, saying “Do what you will”

So I took up my pipe and played my song

Draining every bit of my skill


And out the children came in hundreds

Dancing to my song

They followed me down the hillside

Sensing nothing evil or wrong


I simply sang to them of Abby

My pipe, it played the greed in that town

I only spoke truth - and every child listened

And they circled round and round


Into the hillside I led them

Into that beautiful world she’d described

And just as she spoke of, the door shut

Leaving the lame and the sick ones behind


Where did you think from came all the children

To lonely households and barren mothers?

To the poor who need joy to survive this life?

To the young boys in need of little brothers?


With me they stay hidden and happy

Until they crave mortal sunlight once again

There they can stay until they are old and grey

Then join me and Abby here once again


And to those who love stuffing their coffers

Who think they are better than normal civilians

Even servants and pipers deserve happiness, yes

Even servants and pipers have children


This poem is about: 
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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