Born into a life of poverty hardship and squalor
where hunger bites and disease is rife
in the dirty cobbled crowded streets
where it's a daily battle
to stay to stay alive
and find a morsel of food
to survive.

Uneducated illiterate
caught in the poverty trap
drinking polluted water
from the same cholera riddled tap.

An impoverished woman
sells her body for a bottle of gin
and a lodging for the night
a pickpocket and mucher
ever watchful wait for a victims
pocket to alight.

Children run through the narrow streets
dressed in rags no shoes on their dirty feet
the putrid smell from the gutter
and the thick smoke
from the choking bellowing chimneys
make it hard to breath
rats as big as cats
scurry and spread disease.

Dilapidated buildings covered in black soot
horse manure and raw sewage under foot.

Beggars flea infested with large mournful eyes
reach out pleadingly to the passing gentry
to fill their bowls with plenty.

A peeler posts a notice
of a forth coming hanging
at the local Gaol on a rusty nail
for the few who can read.

A desperate mother
with hungry children
steals a loaf of bread from a market stall
a yell goes out 'thief'!
and she is soon captured in the sprawl.

The judge sentences her to 10 years penal servitude
far away over the sea to Botany bay
but she dies upon the ship of fever
upon the way.

Her children are sent to the hellish workhouse
for the poor not to see their Mother no more.

A nightmare of a life of poverty crime and squalor.

Peter Dome. copyright.2012.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

For mortality rate of inner city children at the time, was as high as 74%,died before the age of 5.

A mucher, was someone who robbed drunks and the dead, A peeler was a early policeman, named after their founder, Robert Peel. A Goal, was a Jail, that's how it was spelled at the time.

People could be sentenced to years of hard labour, and sent to Australia simply for stealing a loaf of bread.

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