THINK ON THE POOR.
Title:THINK ON THE POOR
Keywords:charity, poverty, religion
This poem is republished from the Sunday Magazine, and is typically moral in its tone, with a brief mention of divinity on its mention of the ‘Saviour’. Several poems in the Victorian period shared this title, or similar ones such as ‘God Help the Poor’, and the phrase was a kind of liberal rallying cry for the moralistic middle classes, inspired by narratives by Dickens, Gaskell, and many others. In this context, the poem is published after the Cotton Famine, as work is returning to textile towns like Preston, but the after-effects of the crisis were still being felt across the region, and particularly at this time of the year, November, as the winter months approach. The poem exhorts the well-heeled to recognise not just their responsibility to the poor but also their ultimate human connection, with the striking image of the mingling of posthumous dust in the final lines. – SR