If you ask life for a penny…

I bargained with life for a penny
And life would pay me no more
Though I begged at every tide
When I counted my scanty store
For life is a just employer
And will pay you what you ask
But when you have set the wages
Then you must bear the task
I worked for a menial’s hire
Only to find dismayed
Whatever I had asked of life
Life would have gladly paid.

– Jessie B. Rittenhouse