by Evoe ( Originally published in Punch magazine ) Old Sir Archibald looked out With a sense of grievance; This was partly due to gout, Partly to St. Stephen’s. Whitely lay the winter’s snow; Shone the moon with clarity. Several people down below Stood demanding charity. Silver in a shining spate From his hand departed. Thereupon the eldest wait Touched his cap and started: “Following ancestral use, Sir, the village choir would Much appreciate a goose And some logs of firewood.” “Hither, Alfred,” cried the Squire. “Hie thee to the larder. Give these men what they require, Though the times be harder. Alfred’s brain began to jump; Thus his thoughts he fashioned: Is the old boy off his chump? Don’t he know we’re rationed? “Sir,” he cried, “out there I see Bill the breeches-maker. Comfortably off is he; So is Bert the baker. Then there’s that there ’Enery Meek Runs a soda fountain; Earns his eight pound ten a week, And the profit’s mountin’.” “Bring them port and caviare! Bring them pearl and ruby! Each of them there blokes is far Richer nor what you be. Still, sir, as you seem a bit Keen on this yer giving, There are some that’s far more hit By the cost of living.” “Alfred,” said the grey-haired Bart., “After what you’ve hinted, I suppose I’ll have to part; No one shall be stinted. When you’ve fed the village band As in bygone ages, Kindly close the window and Take a rise in wages.” Gentles who have been enthralled By this simple ditty, Imitate Sir Archibald; On the poor have pity. Yuletide, at which pedants scoff, Need have no detractors; Now it makes men better off Than their benefactors.
The end