You shrewdly observed the pathetic poor
that begged, brawled and swindled;
compelled by justice to unlock doors:
scripture commanded, anger-kindled.
Children slept under weaving looms,
tugged wagons in deep coal caverns,
choked in chimney stack, soot and fumes;
parents wages wasted in gin taverns.
Your childhood mother was mindful maid
whispered her nightly maternal prayers;
your despotic father’s petty rules obeyed
until you inherited title, became an heir.
With statesmen you sat in House of Lords
gave many children hope, fresh starts;
on dull committees you struck a chord
softened hard parliamentarian hearts.
Debt damaged your family estate,
spoiled the seat, tarnished the crest:
you sold off paintings and silver plate,
to ensure tenants be generously blessed.
All energy expended after many years,
indentured labourers were freed from hell;
at your state funeral many wiped tears:
prostitutes and royalty bid final farewell…