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Poem by Charles Lamb
In a costly palace Youth goes clad in gold; In a wretched workhouse Age's limbs are cold: There they sit, the old men by a shivering fire, Still close and closer cowering, warmth is their desire. In a costly palace, when the brave gallants dine, They have store of good venison, with old canary wine, With singing and music to heighten the cheer; Coarse bits, with grudging, are the pauper's best fare. In a costly palace Youth is still carest By a train of attendants which laugh at my young Lord's jest; In a wretched workhouse the contrary prevails: Does Age begin to prattle?Чno man heark'neth to his tales. In a costly palace if the child with a pin Do but chance to prick a finger, straight the doctor is called in; In a wretched workhouse men are left to perish For want of proper cordials, which their old age might cherish. In a costly palace Youth enjoys his lust; In a wretched workhouse Age, in corners thrust, Think upon the former days, when he was well to do, Had children to stand by him, both friends and kinsmen too. In a costly palace Youth his temples hides With a new devised peruke that reaches to his sides; In a wretched workhouse Age's crown is bare, With a few thin locks just to fence out the cold air. In peace, as in war, 'tis our young gallants' pride, To walk, each one i' the streets, with a rapier by his side, That none to do them injury may have pretence; Wretched Age, in poverty, must brook offence.
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