Publication:Ashton And Stalybridge Reporter
Date:Jan 31st 1863
This anonymous poet narrates the experience of a shopkeeper in the town of Droylsden, offering insight into the ways in which the effects of the Cotton Famine were felt beyond the cotton industry. The author laments that, having done what he could to help struggling operatives by giving out his stock on trust, he has been left destitute himself. He blames the ‘ruthless Droylsden gents’ – presumably referring to better-off inhabitants with the means, but not the inclination, to help shopkeepers through the crisis. – RM.
This poem of twenty-eight lines arranged in seven quatrains is written in quite regular ballad metre – alternating iambic tetrameter and trimeter – with a simple ABAB rhyme scheme for each stanza. The form of address is in the first person and in this case the reader is encouraged to associate the real poet with an actual shop keeper from the town of Droyslden between Manchester and Ashton-Under-Lyne. – SR