Amongst the northern factories, a bob or two was made
By businessmen, in times gone by, when workers were ill paid.
And in the Ridings tales were told of Mammon’s keenest soul,
Who made the acquisition of great wealth his only goal.
Josiah Bowes-Deplutocrat surveyed his country pile,
And on his sallow face allowed a cold obnoxious smile,
As he reflected on his wealth, accrued through dint of sweat
And broken backs of northerners he'd never ever met;
For landlord as he was to all the poor on his estate,
He gave no quarter when at times the rent came in too late.
The stories of his lack of image in a mirrored glass,
Like wildfire spread and were quite rife amongst the working class.
And on the rare occasions when through city streets he strolled,
The dogs would howl in fear, as in his wake the air went cold.
In every aspect of his life, he took without return,
Affecting those that wear flat caps, whilst lacking all concern.
Associates in business knew his grasping ways of old,
And rumours spread he’d parted with his soul for Satan’s gold.
For none recalled just how Deplutocrat first made his mark,
And many wondered if his past held secrets deep and dark.
Then, on one inauspicious winter’s day, a test was set,
By forces from Eternity quite disinclined, as yet,
To give up hope Deplutocrat had any soul to save,
And cheat Old Nick, before he popped off to a wormy grave.
Angelic hosts would offer him the chance to clean his slate,
Forsake his wealth and do good works before it was too late.
But when in terms most stark and clear, the consequence was shown
To indolent refusal to reform and sins atone,
Deplutocrat was seen to sneer, quite loathsome to the last,
And set his fate along the road to meet a fiery blast.
So, Providence, in unseen ledger, made a gentle note,
And in its ghostly copperplate, this memorandum wrote:
That unlike Scrooge, Deplutocrat should not escape his fate,
And through excessive wine and food, his heartbeat should abate,
Until in death, Deplutocrat departed sans regret,
To sweat and toil eternally, forever deep in debt.
Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Humble