Rich and Poor, or Saint and Sinner
by Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866)<.p>
The poor man’s sins are glaring;
In the face of ghostly warning
He is caught in the fact
Of an overt act—
Buying greens on a Sunday morning.
The rich man’s sins are hidden
In the pomp of wealth and station;
And escape the sight
Of the children of light,
Who are wise in their generation.
The rich man has a kitchen,
And cooks to dress his dinner;
The poor who would roast
To the baker’s must post,
And thus becomes a sinner.
The rich man has a cellar,
And a ready butler by him;
The poor man must steer
For his pint of beer
Where the saint can’t choose but to spy him.
The rich man’s painted windows
Hide the concerts of the quality;
The poor can but share
A crack’d fiddle in the air,
Which offends all sound morality.
The rich man is invisible
In the crowd of his gay society;
But the poor man’s delight
Is a sore in the sight,
And a stench in the nose of piety.