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A poem by James Parkerson

An Address To The Insolvent

Title:     An Address To The Insolvent
Author: James Parkerson [More Titles by Parkerson]

Embarress’d man be just and true,
Insolvent acts releases you;
I mean your person from a jail,
Tho’ keen reproach the man assail.
Take my advice when e’er you find,
Misfortunes canker in your mind;
Resign your trade give up your store,
For going on will hurt you more.
When e’er you find you cannot pay,
Your trade give up without delay;
Too apt we are when cares oppress,
To liquor fly to make them less.
Many I fear from business stray,
Soon as they find they cannot pay;
Others to prisons frequent fly,
To waste their time in luxury.
Painful sensations are their doom,
When they behold a prison’s gloom;
Do not suppose I mean there are,
But few in prisons that act fair.
Yes, I should hope not one in ten,
Pursue a base ungenerous plan.
If it’s your fate to be confin’d,
Enter a jail with fervent mind;
To give up all were all is due,
And virtue’s course through life pursue.
Abstain from drinking, or you’ll find,
Doing such things disturb the mind;
Think of your wife and view the tear,
That start from her caus’d by despair.
A prison’s horrors shake her frame,
When she at entrance say her name;
Perhaps an infant in her arms,
Raise in your mind grief’s quick alarms.
Sometimes an aged father flies,
To see you there before he dies;
Likely a tender mother say,
My son I’ll see without delay.
Each brings affections sighs and tears,
With throbbing hearts and thousand fears;
Perhaps their little all they give,
That you from prison quickly live.
A brother comes a brother say,
I cannot from you keep away;
Take my last shilling I’ve no more,
You know the reason I am poor.
Let my forgiveness dry your tears,
And lull to rest a brother’s fears;
A tender sister, close the scene
Of anguish, grief, and sorrow keen;
She gives a sigh and said adieu,
And waft her blessings then on you.
Johnson who keeps the County Jail,
The captives fate he much bewail;
And tries the utmost in his power,
To soften each corroding hour,
Of those appointed to his care,
And lull to rest the mind’s despair.
Respect to all he daily pay,
While they the prison laws obey;
But if decorum’s rules they break,
Coercive steps he quickly take;
Till order is restor’d again,
And they from acting wrong refrain.
Each turnkey is a civil man,
And will oblige you if they can;
Yet faithful to their trust they are,
And will do nothing that’s unfair.
On City prison now I dwell,
The captives like their keeper well;
They say he’s kind to every man,
And ease their troubles all he can.

[The end]
James Parkerson's poem: Address To The Insolvent