The stench of the city is a tangible whiff
cutting into nostrils, goatees, wigs and quiffs.
The factories as they churn out smoke
Make the ladies clutch their handkerchiefs and the gentlemen choke.
The procession of children from the workhouse in boxes
Goes unnoticed by the gentry as they hide in shadow with doxies.
No, not doxies, my mistake – unfortunate women –
as if anyone cares to give them safer work for more than a shilling.