“Arrange your face,” the master says.
“You aren’t actors on a stage.
Your business isn’t being plain.
Your only work is getting done
What needs be done to run this place.
Believe you irreplaceable?
Believe we care for broken hearts?
You show yourself unready once
And readily we show you out.
They challenge us with powered steam.
They challenge us with steel machines.
They challenge us with printing press.
And here we pay you twice as much
To wear emotions on your sleeves?
You roll them, roll them, roll them high.
You show them strength of men’s resolve.
You show them what automatons
Can never craft in Christendom.
To work, to work, to work, you men.
And may the Lord be merciful.”

“You rather well arranged your face,”
The usurer applauds aside.
“You seemed an actor on a stage.
And how with words you’ve learned to chide
These honest men their honest thoughts.
Of course, you have no use for thoughts.
No printing press will waste its ink.
And that alone does make me think
Of what at all I may receive
In auctioning your rousing words.
Perhaps, a fiction: comedy.
Perhaps, the truth: a tragedy.
I hear they’re printing stubs for pass,
At pence-a-piece for spectacles.
Do choose yourself some pretty words.
It’s been a while we nailed someone.”

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