The Spirit of the Nation/The Squire's Complaint



Oh, dear, these are shocking bad times, Sir Robert has bothered us quite;
Tipperary is teeming with crimes—don't we hear of an outrage each night?
But the reason is known very well to each squire from Dublin to Scariff,
They are caused by that arch imp of hell, Sir Bob, and his damnable tariff,
Faith, so are these shocking bad times.


Time was when a stone of good wheat would fetch us a half-crown, or more;
Oh, 'tis then that our labours were sweet—we had ating and drinking galore;
But now we can't get thirteen pence for the self same identical corn,
Though we strain every sinew, and hence we are left sick at heart and forlorn,
To rail at these shocking bad times.


The poor laws, to add to our griefs, are saddled upon us, poor asses,
With commissioners added, the thieves, to reverse ev'ry vote the board passes;
And yet, though the taxes we pay, the paupers in hordes still infest us,
They'll not go to the workhouse, they say, they'd just as soon enter a pesthouse,
No wonder we've shocking bad times.


Some say that provisions are cheap—so they are; but when none we can buy,
Pigs, poultry, and oxen, and sheep, are as far from our reach as when high;
Where all this will end I can't say, so I may as well wind up my rhymes;
But this I'll observe, by the way, that I ne'er saw such shocking bad times,
I ne'er saw such shocking bad times.