God made the wicked Grocer For a mystery and a sign, That men might shun the awful shops And go to inns to dine; Where the bacon's on the rafter And the wine is in the wood, And God that made good laughter Has seen that they are good.
The evil-hearted Grocer Would call his mother "Ma'am," And bow at her and bob at her, Her aged soul to damn, And rub his horrid hands and ask What article was next Though MORTIS IN ARTICULO Should be her proper text.
His props are not his children, But pert lads underpaid, Who call out "Cash!" and bang about To work his wicked trade; He keeps a lady in a cage Most cruelly all day, And makes her count and calls her "Miss" Until she fades away.
The righteous minds of innkeepers Induce them now and then To crack a bottle with a friend Or treat unmoneyed men, But who hath seen the Grocer Treat housemaids to his teas Or crack a bottle of fish sauce Or stand a man a cheese?
He sells us sands of Araby As sugar for cash down; He sweeps his shop and sells the dust The purest salt in town, He crams with cans of poisoned meat Poor subjects of the King, And when they die by thousands Why, he laughs like anything.
The wicked Grocer groces In spirits and in wine, Not frankly and in fellowship As men in inns do dine; But packed with soap and sardines And carried off by grooms, For to be snatched by Duchesses And drunk in dressing-rooms.
The hell-instructed Grocer Has a temple made of tin, And the ruin of good innkeepers Is loudly urged therein; But now the sands are running out From sugar of a sort, The Grocer trembles; for his time, Just like his weight, is short.