Just as today, genuine business opportunities existed 85 years ago; and
Just as today, people pondered and hesitated; and
Just as today, people lost opportunity.
The following was published in Farm and Land Magazine in 1917:
I hesitate to make a list
Of all the countless deals I’ve missed.
Bonanzas that were in my grip-
I watched through my fingers slip:
The windfalls which I should have bought
Were lost because I over thought:
I thought of this, I thought of that,
I could have sworn I smelled a rat.
And while I thought things over twice
Another grabbed them at the price.
It seems I always hesitate,
Then make up my mind much too late.
A very cautious man am I
And that is why I never buy.
How Nassau and how Suffolk grew!
North Jersey! Staten Island too!
When others culled those sprawling farms
and welcomed deals with open arms-
A corner here, ten acres there,
Compounding values year by year,
I chose to think and as I thought,
They bought the deals I should have bought.
The golden chances I had then
Are lost and will not come again.
Today I cannot be enticed
For everything’s so overpriced.
The deals of yesteryear are dead:
The market’s soft-and so’s my head.
Last night I had a fearful dream
I know I wakened with a scream:
Some men approached my bed-
For trinkets on the barrel head
(In dollar bills worth twenty-four
And nothing less and nothing more)
They’d sell Manhattan Isle to me,
The most I’d go was twenty-three
Those men scowled: “Not on a bet!”
And sold to Peter Minuit.
At times a tear drop drowns my eye
For deals I had but did not buy:
And now life’s saddest words I pen
“If only I’d invested then!”