The Ignorant Masses



Ted Robinson in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.


The Social Uplifters, those eminent sifters

Of merit and poor people’s needs,

Went down to the slums to regenerate bums,

And to do meritorious deeds.

We washed them, we dressed them, with libraries blessed them,

We prayed with those ignorant mobs –

And the wretches were hateful, and vilely ungrateful,

And said what they wanted was jobs!


Our noble Committee then searched through the city

            To find all the fallen and lost;

We learned how they came to be living in shame –

            This, mind you, at no little cost.

We swamped them with tracts and statistical facts,

            But creatures were terribly rude;

They acknowledged ‘twas nice to be free from all vice,

            But they said what they wanted was food!


They’re just as God made them – it’s useless to aid them,

            The brutes do not ask for reform;

Intellectual feasts are all wasted on beasts

            Who want to be fed and kept warm.

Le them keep their allotted positions, besotted

            And blind! When you bid them advance –

Those ignorant asses, the underworld classes

            Will say all they want is a chance!