The Afflicted Poor by George Crabbe

Say ye—oppress'd by some fantastic woes,

Some jarring nerve that baffles your repose,

Who press the downy couch while slaves advance

With timid eye to read the distant glance;

Who with sad pray'rs the weary doctor tease,

To name the nameless, ever new disease;

Who with mock patience dire complaint endure,

Which real pain, and that alone, can cure:

How would ye bear in real pain to lie,

Despised, neglected, left alone to die?

How would ye bear to draw your latest breath,

Where all that's wretched paves the way for death?

Such is that room which one rude beam divides,

And naked rafters form the sloping sides;

Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are seen,

And lath and mud are all that lie between,

Save one dull pane that coarsely patch'd gives way

To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day:

There, on a matted flock with dust o'erspread,

The drooping wretch reclines his languid head!

For him no hand the cordial cup supplies,

Nor wipes the tear which stagnates in his eyes;

No friends, with soft discourse, his pangs beguile.

Nor promise hope till sickness wears a smile.

George Crabbe.

George Crabbe.