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) 

A topsy-turvy, upturned world – the time to make decisions – Magnificat for election time

A topsy-turvy, upturned world,
where values are distorted,
the first is last and last is first
with everything contorted.
The rich are begging at the door
while ones they were despising
are given charge of Godly wealth,
in stature they are rising.

Magnificat has come to stay,
the proud have been extinguished;
the humble poor are lifted high,
their poverty relinquished.
The reign of God has come to pass
rebutting our world’s choices,
each one that we would count as last
within this time rejoices.

And will we ever find a place
with pride and wealth rejected,
or will hypocrisy deny
our need to be accepted?
The choice is ours, the crisis dawns,
the time to make decisions,
to stand with God or walk alone
within this world’s divisions.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
8 7 8 7 D Tune: CONSTANCE (Sullivan)
Words © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Who rules the world just like a king?

Who rules the world just like a king
within our present time and space?
Who has the power of life and death,
of healing or withholding grace.

As politicians seek our votes,
exposing or obscuring truth,
sometimes their language loses rhyme,
while arguments become obtuse.

Just what is truth and where is love,
and what would Jesus do or say?
And how are we to follow faith
within our present time and day?

Who rules our wills, who charms our lives,
the powerful, or those hid from sight;
the weak, denied, or those abused
who hide away within the night?

The least is Jesus in our midst.
The least of these is Christ the King.
Then let the world turn upside down
the poor must rise and rule and sing.
© Andrew Pratt 27/10/2012
Tune: FULDA, GONFALON ROYAL
Metre: LM
CHRIST THE KING
Words © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.