(Apologies to Alexander Pope)
(In which our narrator considers a politician’s remark that voluntary support
given to a food bank shows a nation’s compassion and is ‘rather uplifting’).
Now elegant in polished shoes you speak
And praise all acts of kindness in the meek.
Through charity may man buff up his soul
Use beans and tea bags to achieve this goal,
For now that good may triumph over bad
Our haloes polish up with brillo pads.
Star-high we join the company of nymphs
And treat the undeserving poor as wimps.
Let them all work, you cry, employment’s best,
A perfect way to feather one’s own nest.
Man up, you Scroungers, leave your easy beds,
The likes of you might just as well be dead.
Our thanks to you, O rigid, strait-laced one
You banish fog and show us shiny sun.
Wasters and Idlers, to your gutters go,
Perchance from some rich table crumbs will flow.
Bags of rice, instant mash, a tin of meat,
A bar or two of chocolate for treats,
O praise the food bank, praise the man who gives,
Uplifted now, we learn the way to live.