Thomas Moore

(28 May 1779 – 25 February 1852 / Dublin)

An Expostulation to Lord King


How can you, my Lord, thus delight to torment all
The Peers of realm about cheapening their corn,
When you know, if one hasn't a very high rental,
'Tis hardly worth while being very high born?

Why bore them so rudely, each night of your life,
On a question, my Lord, there's so much to abhor in?
A question - like asking one, "How is your wife?" --
At once so confounded domestic and foreign.

As to weavers, no matter how poorly they feast;
But Peers, and such animals, fed up for show,
(Like the well-physick'd elephant, lately deceas'd,)
Take wonderful quantum of cramming, you know.

You might see, my dear Baron, how bor'd and distrest
Were their high noble hearts by your merciless tale,
When the force of the agony wrung even a jest
From the frugal Scotch wit of my Lord L-d-d-le!

Bright Peer! to whom Nature and Berwickshire gave
A humour, endow'd with effects so provoking,
That, when the whole House looks unusually grave,
You may always conclude that Lord L-d-d-le's joking!

And then, those unfortunate weavers of Perth -
Not to know the vast difference Providence dooms
Between weavers of Perth and Peers of high birth,
'Twixt those who have heir-looms, and those who've but looms!

"To talk now of starving!" - as great Ath-l said --
(and nobles all cheer'd, and the bishops all wonder'd,)
"When, some years ago, he and others had fed
Of these same hungry devils about fifteen hundred!"

It follows from hence - and the Duke's very words
Should be publish'd wherever poor rogues of this craft are --
That weavers,once rescued from starving by Lords,
Are bound to be starved by said Lords ever after.

When Rome was uproarious, her knowing patricians
Made "Bread and the Circus" a cure for each row;
But not so the plan of our noble physicians,
"No Bread and the Tread-mill" 's the regimen now.

So cease, my dear Baron of Ockham, your prose,
As I shall my poetry -- neither convinces;
And all we have spoken and written but show,
When you tread on a nobleman's corn, how he winces.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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