Rich and poor – So sad that this poem is still pertinent after 174 years?

"How little can the rich man know
Of what the poor man feels,
When Want, like some dark dæmon foe,
Nearer and nearer steals!

He never tramp'd the weary round,
A stroke of work to gain,
And sicken'd at the dreaded sound
Telling him 'twas in vain.

Foot-sore, heart-sore, he never came
Back through the winter's wind,
To a dark cellar, there no flame,
No light, no food, to find.

He never saw his darlings lie
Shivering, the flags their bed;
He never heard that maddening cry,
'Daddy, a bit of bread!'"

William Gaskell (in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, 1848) 

Published by

Andrew Pratt

Andrew Pratt was born in Paignton, Devon, England in 1948.

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