Ballade Of The Traffickers

Up goes the price of our bread--
Up goes the cost of our caking!
People must ever be fed;
Bakers must ever be baking.
So, though our nerves may be quaking,
Dumbly, in arrant despair,
Pay we the crowd that is taking
All that the traffic will bear.

Costly to sleep in a bed!
Costlier yet to be waking!
Costly for one who is wed!
Ruinous for one who is raking!
Tradespeople, ducking and draking,
Charge you as much as they dare,
Asking, without any faking,
All that the traffic will bear.

Roof that goes over our head,
Thirst so expensive for slaking,
Paper, apparel, and lead--
Why are their prices at breaking?
Yet, though our purses be aching,
Little the traffickers care;
Getting, for chopping and steaking,
All that the traffic will bear.

L'ENVOI

Take thou my verses, I pray, King,
Letting my guerdon be fair.
Even a bard must be making
All that the traffic will bear.

by Franklin Pierce Adams

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