Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN UNANSWERABLE APOLOGY FOR THE RICH, by MARY BARBER

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AN UNANSWERABLE APOLOGY FOR THE RICH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: All-bounteous heaven,' castalio cries
Last Line: He'd give -- just as he did before.
Subject(s): Reni, Guido (1575-1642); Wealth; Riches; Fortunes

'ALL-bounteous Heaven,' Castalio cries,
With bended knees and lifted eyes,
'When shall I have the power to bless,
And raise up merit in distress?'

How do our hearts deceive us here!
He gets ten thousand pounds a year.
With this the pious youth is able.
But then, the poor he must not treat:
Who asks the wretch that wants to eat?
Alas! to ease their woes he wishes,
But cannot live without ten dishes,
Though six would serve as well, 'tis true:
But one must live as others do.
He now feels wants unknown before,
Wants still increasing with his store.
The good Castalio must provide
Brocade, and jewels, for his bride:
Her toilet shines with plate embossed,
What sums her lace and linen cost!
The clothes that must his person grace
Shine with embroidery and lace.
The costly pride of Persian looms,
And Guido's paintings, grace his rooms.
His wealth Castalio will not waste,
But must have everything in taste.
He's an economist confessed,
But what he buys must be the best.
For common use, a set of plate;
Old China, when he dines in state;
A coach-and-six to take the air,
Besides a chariot and chair.
All these important calls supplied,
Calls of necessity, not pride,
His income's regularly spent,
He scarcely saves to pay his rent.
No man alive would do more good,
Or give more freely, if he could.
He grieves, whene'er the wretched sue,
But what can poor Castalio do?

Would Heaven but send ten thousand more,
He'd give -- just as he did before.

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