Saturday, January 06, 2018

Poverty's answer to pride

Poverty, dressed in her sombre attire,
Sallied out one wintry day; 
In hopes of obtaining food and fire, 
She passed on her weary way;
And bending low, with quivering lip --
and downcast, tearful eye, 
She poured her sorrowful tale of want
In the ear of each passer by; 
And some, as they thought of their happy homes, 
Gave heed to her earnest cry. 

Pride, arrayed in her gorgeous dress
of silks and satins rare, 
Stood glancing at Poverty's keen distress, 
and attitude of despair; 
Then scornfully curling her haughty lip, 
and assuming a regal grace, 
She inquired what Poverty wanted there, 
With her gaunt and wolfish face; 
An object so mean as her shrinking form, 
Was entirely out of place. 

Poverty, stung by the bitter taunt, 
Stood erect by the side of Pride, 
And with tears suppressed and sighs restrained
She slowly and firmly replied; 
My presence inspires you with naught but disgust: 
I am hungry, and sad and forlorn; 
Yet I would not exchange my much abused rags -- 
My garments all tattered and worn -- 
For all the bright gems that are bound in your hair, 
Your cold, haughty brow to adorn. 

You're a curse in the palace -- a curse in the cot -- 
Your blight falls alike upon all; 
And woe to the household where you are a guest, 
Whether palace, or cottage, or hall; 
Woe, woe to the being in whose heart you raise
Your altar of unhallowed fire; 
For the flattering hopes that you place on the pile, 
Will sink him down deep in the mire; 
And with anguish of spirit, and head deeply bowed, 
He will see the last bright spark expire. 

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