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Full encum­bered with our treasure,
Pressing for­ward, upward sloping,
Né’er to pause for want of leisure,
Breath­less straining, eager groping.

Care­less gain another farthing,
Care­less thieve the widow’s mite,
Care­less leave an orphan starving,
Care­less strip, enshackle, blight.

Use their throats, a ruddy stairway,
Leverage belly-pinch and need,
All their pen­nies pilfer, ere they
Blue-faced rattle, pur­pled bleed.

Nota­rize and seal their bondage,
Charge a fee, extract a levy,
Stake your interest in their wantage,
Neck­lace ’round a mill-stone heavy.

Grade them, grind them, mill them,
Pul­ver­ized from dust to dust,
In a pauper’s pie to bake them,
Use a fork to crimp the crust.

Let them sub­sist, but barely,
We depend on their dependence,
Give them sus­te­nance, but sparely,
Né’er ascend our meet ascendance.

They’re a fuel, an inventory,
Store them in a barrel tight,
Packed within a branded lorry,
Feed a fur­nace with their light.

But an object of our pleasure,
But an object of our gain,
But a ledger entry’s measure
Of our incon­tested reign.

We the lords o’er masses!
We the lords o’er industry!
We the lordly money-changers,
Lording expeditiously

To build tem­ples to our power
In the fever of reknown,
And to rape the earth and scour
For the gems to light our crown!

Né’er the means the end forbidding,
Uti­lize these lesser hordes,
Let them do our toil­some bidding,
Drown the din, strum joyful chords

On a lyre, we watch them burning,
Stop our ears to hear them scream,
From stone hearts there’s no returning,
There’s no flesh left to redeem.

Illus­tra­tion: Gus­tave Doré’s depic­tion of the avari­cious and prodigal in hell.