The Politician's Prayer

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men. — WILLIAM ALLINGHAM

WHEN first, we entered Public Life we thought that it was meet
To smile at friendly bankers when we met them on the street.
We broke our bread with brokers, yet our reputations soared.
We scarcely blushed at being flushed with Chairmen of the Board.
We never cut a Croesus dead, and yet you may be sure
Noblesse obliged: we did not shirk our duty to the Poor.
We chartered many a ferryboat. We baked many a clam.
We kept it in mind to temper the wind before we sheared the lamb.
But now, alas, what’s come to pass! The Poor are vanished, fled.
A race of Little People overruns the earth instead.
These Little Folk are everywhere and they don’t give a fig
For politicians who consort with anything that’s Big.
No more we’ll mill with millionaires — except beneath the rose.
And when we waltz to Wall Street, we’ll go on tippy toes.
The Little People’s Era’s here, and if we would survive it.
Our love for Private Enterprise we must, at times, keep Private.
And I, a District Leader, Lord, beseech thee humbly. Bless
And guide our feet upon the paths of righteous Middleness.
But help us love the masses, Lord, because without a doubt
The Little Men will git us ef we don’t watch out.