Society Satires.

The Local Magnate.

He climbs the ladder towards the highest place1
With swift activity, if not with grace ;2
Then poised upon the topmost step, he finds3
It ticklish work to fight with all the winds4
Of opposition, that blow free and strong,5
And would lay bare his failings to the throng.6
But fling the gold out to the needy crowd,7
Nor do it secretly, but shout aloud,8
For gold shall gild the hollowness within,9
And hide away each loved and secret sin.10
Thus does the local magnate win his way ?11
And all ungrudging for his honours pay.12
He entertains (not unawares) the great,13
And is most loyal to the Queen’s Estate.14
He lays, on a ‘ foundation stone,’ the chance15
To ask a Prince to greet him with a glance ;16
Or finds an ‘opening’ of some civic hall17
A splendid opening for a royal call ;18
Then he receives a knighthood with surprise,19
Or sneers at honours which his lips despise !20