Medici

 
A name which even bankers trust:

They spend no more than what they must

To keep their lavish state in view,

Lest they be thought as poor as you.

The boats, the houses here and there,

The planes in which they take the air,

And let it be remembered, please,

All their well-published charities -

The va-et-vient of wealth demands

Expense the rich man understands.

But how was all that money made?

By clever cheats; the law obeyed

In letter, or if broken, then

The lawyers thronged, those useful men,

And case on case was argued till

Only they could pay the bill.

Meanwhile the press they owned would hide

How, out of sight, their victims died

In public wards and tenements,

The widows and the orphans, dense

At learning all the laws of thrift.

‘If you would know,’ said savage Swift,

‘How God considers riches, you

Must look at those God gives them to.’

But Swift, embittered, saw too far.

Poor victors of the market war,

They are most pitiful, for they

Are most neglected. Who dares say

To him who stole his brother’s share,

This ever-needy millionaire:

‘Give secret alms: the day on which

The poor, resplendent, judge the rich

Will come despite your millions, and

What you gave be cash in hand?’

No, all alike must flatter, when

We meet these tragic money-men,

And they, the unbefriended, see

We envy them their misery.