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Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo

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Dismal England of old. Rife with strife hundred-fold.
Adverts promise fools’ gold. Plots like clots, bloody, bold;
greed’s misdeed; honour sold; foul trickery foretold.
Life in death’s cargo hold; filthy, grim, fog-dim, cold.

Merrie England of ages past. Notions like buttons holding fast
to a Dickens Yuletide repast. Tra-la-la’s ring unsurpassed.
to puzzles solved, resolved at last. To quips and wit and intrigue vast.
To bright futures unharassed. To good’s triumph, woes outcast.

Whether ‘twas dismal or merrie matters not, you see.
I pen what drops the shillings in the purse o’ me.