George Pope Morris

(1802-1864 / USA)

The Millionaire. - Poem by George Pope Morris

In the upper circles
Moves a famous man
Who has had no equal
Since the world began.
He was once a broker
Down by the exchange;
He is now a nabob--
Don't you think it strange?

In his low back office,
Near the Bowling Green,
With his brother brokers
He was often seen;--
Shaving and discounting,
Dabbling in the stocks,
He achieved a fortune
Of a million ROCKS!'

Next he formed a marriage
With a lady fair,
And his splendid carriage
Bowled about THE square,
Where his spacious mansion
Like a palace stood,
Envied and admired
By the multitude.

Then he took the tour
Of the continent,
Bearer of dispatches
From the President:
A legation button
By permission wore,
And became that worthy,
An official bore.

Charmed with foreign countries,
Lots of coin to spend,
He a house in London
Took a the West End,
Where he dwelt a season,
And in grandeur shone,
But to all the beau monde
Utterly unknown.

England then was 'foggy,
And society
Too aristocratic'
For his--pedigree:
So he crossed the channel
To escape the BLUES,
And became the idol
Of the parvenues.

'Dear, delightful Paris!'
He would often say:
'Every earthly pleasure
One can have for--pay.
Wealth gives high position;
But when money's tight,
Man is at a discount,
And it serves him right.'

After years of study
How to cut a dash,
He came home embellished
With a huge--moustache!
Now he is a lion,
All the rage up town,
And gives gorgeous parties
Supervised by--Brown!

The almighty dollar
Is, no doubt, divine,
And he worships daily
At that noble shrine;
Fashion is his idol,
Money is his god,
And they both together
Rule him like a rod.

Books, and busts, and pictures,
Are with him a card--
While abroad he bought them
Cheaply--by the yard!
But his sumptuous dinners,
To a turn quite right,
With his boon companions,
Are his chief delight.

Thee his wit and wassail,
Like twin-currents flow
In his newest stories,
Published--long ago.
His enchanted hearers
Giggle till they weep,
As it is their duty
Till they--fall asleep.

* * * *

On his carriage panel
Is a blazoned crest,
With a Latin motto
Given him--in jest.
His black coach and footman,
Dressed in livery,
Every day at Stewart's
Many crowd to see.

* * * *

Well--in upper-ten-dom
Let him rest in peace,
And may his investments
Cent, per cent, increase:
Though on earth for no one
Cares the millionaire,
So does NOT exactly
His devoted--heir!

* * * *

There's a useful moral
Woven with my rhyme,
Which may be considered
At--some other time:
Crockery is not porcelain--
It is merely delf--
And the kind most common
Is the man himself.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 6, 2010

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