Treatment of Villains

By Brian Box

Whilst browsing through back copies of the Mercury I came upon the following verse, by an un-named poet, published in August 1883 (25th).

It would appear that even in those days it was thought that villains were getting better treatment than their victims.

I cannot take my walks abroad
I’m under lock and key
And much the public I applaud
For all they care of me.

Not more than others I deserve
In fact, much less than more;
Yet I have food, while others starve
Or beg from door to door.

The honest pauper in the street
Half naked I behold;
While I am clad from head to feet
And covered from the cold.

Thousands there are who scarce can tell
Where they may lay their head;
But I’ve a warm and well-aired cell,
A bath, good books, good bed.

While they are fed on workhouse fare
And grudged their scanty food,
Three times a day my meals I get,
Sufficient, wholesome, good.

Then to the British public health,
Who all our care relieves
And whilst they treat us as they do
They’ll never want for thieves.

This page was added on 20/03/2012.

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