The greatness of England’s a stout Briton’s boast,
Her workmen are truly its fulcrum and base,
And with a patriot’s pride each makes it his toast,
Whilst a bold independence lights up his face!
But when failure in trade stops spindle and wheel,
And his “little ones” ask a mute mother for bread,
His household gods go for the day’s scanty meal,
‘Till his home-shrine is rifl’d e’en to the bed –
Ah! 'tis then when he’s pinch’d and lies on the floor,
Does he take his sad turn at the grim workhouse door,
To be mocked with the labour test! – God help the poor!
Manchester, March 22nd, 1862. W.H. WEBB.