some poetry

A bit of doggerel from Punch Magazine (25 April 1934).

I Want to Be a Consumer

“And what do you mean to be?”
The kind old Bishop said
As he took the boy on his ample knee
And patted his curly head.
“We should all of us choose a calling
To help Society’s plan;
Then what do you mean to be, my boy,
When you grow up to be a man?”

“I want to be a Consumer,”
The bright-haired lad replied
As he gazed up into the Bishop’s face
In innocence open-eyed.
“I’ve never had aims of a selfish sort,
For that, as I know, is wrong.
I want to be a consumer, Sir,
And help the world along.

“I want to be a Consumer
And work both night and day,
For that is the thing that’s needed most,
I’ve heard economists say,
I won’t just be a Producer,
Like Bobby and James and John;

I want to be a Consumer, Sir,
And help this nation on.”

“But what do you want to be?”
The Bishop said again,
“For we all of us have to work,” said he,
“As must I think be plain.
Are you thinking of studying medicine
Or taking a Bar exam?”
“Why, no!” the bright-haired lad replied
As he helped himself to jam.

“I want to be a Consumer
And live in a useful way;
For that is the thing that’s needed most,
I’ve heard economists say.
There are too many people working
And too many things are made.
I want to be a Consumer, Sir,
And help to further trade.

“I want to be a Consumer,
And do my duty well;
For that is the thing that’s needed most,
I’ve heard Economists tell.
I’ve made up my mind,” the lad was heard
As he lit a cigar, to say;
“I want to be a Consumer, sir,
And I want to begin today.”

–Patrick Barrington

(HT: Front Porch Republic)

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