Fairfield, PA, USA
|It is Christmas Day in the workhouse|
|Posted on: 12/4/2016 8:31:25 PM|
|(The Old Alms House Cemetery sits within the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The county Alms House complex, for sheltering the poor and mentally ill, stood in the vicinity at the time of the battle in 1863, and the cemetery remains on Barlow Knoll.}|
Christmas Day in the Workhouse
George R. Sims (1903)
It is Christmas Day in the workhouse,
And the cold, bare walls are bright
With garlands of green and holly,
And the place is a pleasant sight;
For with clean-washed hands and faces,
In a long and hungry line
The paupers sit at the table,
For this is the hour they dine.
And the guardians and their ladies,
Although the wind is east,
Have come in their furs and wrappers,
To watch their charges feast;
To smile and be condescending,
Put pudding on pauper plates.
To be hosts at the workhouse banquet
They've paid for — with the rates.
Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly
With their "Thank'ee kindly, mum's!'"
So long as they fill their stomachs,
What matter it whence it comes!
But one of the old men mutters,
And pushes his plate aside:
"Great God!" he cries, "but it chokes me!
For this is the day she died!"
You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. -- Simon Cameron