Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

The Average Man

George Essex Evans 1863 (London) – 1909 (Toowoomba)



His hat looks worn, and his coat-sleeves shine,
As I see him step from his ’bus at nine;
His boots are pieced and his tie home-made,
And his trousers patched where the edge was frayed,
And his face is lined by the stress of life
Where a man must fight for his bairns an wife.
“Who’s that?” I ask, as his face I scan.
And the answer comes—“O, an average man.”
He has not got notes, he has not got gold,
But his homely lunch, in his handbag old;
And day by day, as the seasons go,
He follows his duty to and fro,
And shadows follow him everywhere—
Grim want, and worry, and dread are there,
For life is not on a gorgeous plan—
Far, far from it—to the average man.

The floods, the banks, and the curtailed screw,
The weekly bills, and the grasping Jew,
The servant’s wage and the doctor’s fee,
And the needful change by the breezy sea,
And the pent-up hours at the desk, which mean
A man’s brain changed to a mere machine,
And a wife’s tired eyes and the children wan,
All press like lead on the average man.

When the blood is up ’tis a simple thing
To charge where the bombs and the bullets sing.
But he is worthy a higher place
Who fronts his woes with a smiling face,
For the noblest strife in our life to-day
Is the humdrum fight in the humdrum way.
O, wealth and genius may lead the van,
But the hero is often an average man.

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:19 min read
59 Views

George Essex Evans

George Essex Evans was an Australian poet. more…

All George Essex Evans poems | George Essex Evans Books

(0 fans)

Discuss this George Essex Evans poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "The Average Man" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Nov. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/14974/the-average-man>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    November 2022

    Poetry Contest

    Enter our monthly contest for the chance to win cash prizes and gain recognition for your talent.
    4
    days
    13
    hours
    4
    minutes

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Who wrote the epic poem "Os Lusíadas" in 1572?
    • A. Fernando Pessoa
    • B. Luís de Camões
    • C. Cesário Verde
    • D. Miguel Cervantes