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A Ballad of Economics

From The Detroit Times, August 4, 1913.

We’re striving hard to live within our means;
    We’ve left behind our proper habitat
And huddled like traditional sardines
    We occupy a microscopic flat.
But though I quote domestic science pat,
    And seek the cheapest market-house in town,
And wear a thrice-remodeled coat and hat,
    I cannot keep the cost of living down!

My busy hand unceasing cooks and cleans
    (I boast to friends that work reduces fat)
We’ve discontinued all the magazines
    My eldest son has given up his ‘frat’.
My husband lunches at the Automat
    My daughter wears a subway-bargain gown
We’ve sold the dog and chloroformed the cat—
    I cannot keep the cost of living down!

Alas, my dear ones will not stand for beans,
    For mush-and-milk, and frugal cheer like that!
They yearn for cates that grace more affluent scenes
    And ill become the proletariat.
The Simple Life is marred by many a spat
    For on my pet economies they frown;
They call me stingy and an autocrat—
    I cannot keep the cost of living down!

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