One day beneath a streetlamp On a cold and careless night I saw a lonely penny Softly shimmering in the light.
I stooped down quick to grab it And just as suddenly as I did I noticed honest Lincoln Staring at me with a grin.
So stunned was I with wonder And confusion in my head That I've tried now to remember And record just what he said:
"If only you had a penny For each mopey, midnight walk Each sorry, selfish wishing And each rowdy, rumpus squawk.
For every gimpy gawking And for every dopey dare For every time you trotted off As if you didn't care.
And if only you had a penny For each hateful word or two You've thrown at those you care for And that they've thrown back at you.
For every simple mishap Each embarrassing day at school When all the children chided And you thought yourself a fool.
For every aching heartbreak And for every faithless friend For all the times you cowered Feeling like it was the end.
For every opportunity And for every handsome dream That, rather than chase after, Watched float gently off downstream.
If for each you had a penny All these moments (and then some) Still it wouldn't match the value Of the person you've become."
And on that night I realized With a penny in my hand That if I only had a penny I'd still be a wealthy man.