A stranger stood at the Gates of hell
And the Devil himself answered the bell.
He looked him over from head to toe
And said: My friend, I’d like to know
What you have done in the line of sin
To entitle you to come within?
Then Franklin D, with his usual guile
Stepped forth with his toothy smile and said:
“When I took charge in ’33
A nations faith was mine,” said he.
“I promised them this and I promised them that
And I calmed them down with a fireside chat.
I spent their money in fishing trips
And fished from the decks of their battleships.
I gave them jobs in the WPA
Then raised their taxes and took it away.
I raised their wages and closed their shops
I killed their pigs and buried their crops
I double-crossed both old and young
And still the folks my praises sung.
I brought back beer, and what do you think?
I taxed it so high they couldn’t drink.
I furnished ’em money with Government loans
When they missed a payment I took their homes.
When I wanted to punish the folks, you know
I’d put my wife on the radio.
I paid them to let their farms lie still
And imported foodstuffs from Brazil.
I curtailed crops when I felt real mean
And shipped in crops from the Argentine.
When they started to worry, stew and fret
I got them to chant the alphabet
With the AAA and the NLB
The WPA and the CCC.
With these many units I got their goats
And still I crammed it down their throats.
My workers worked with the speed of snails
While the taxpayers chewed their fingernails.
When the organization needed dough
I closed their plants with the CIO.
I ruined jobs, I ruined health
And I put the screws on the rich man’s wealth.
And some who couldn’t stand the gaff
Would call on me and how I’d laugh.
When they got too strong on certain things
I’d pack and head for “Ole Warm Springs.”
I ruined their country, their homes and then
I placed the blame on “Nine Old Men.”
Now Franklin talked both long and loud
And the devil stood and his head he bowed.
At last he said: “Lets make it clear
You’ll have to move, you can’t stay here
For once you mingle with this mob,
I’ll have to find myself a job.”
A little research tells me the poem is attributed to V. M. Rodebaugh and was first printed in 1938.
Found in "Italy's Great War and Her National Aspirations" by Mario Alfieri and others. Published by Alfieri and Lacroix, 1917.
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