plutocrat’s chant

by Benedict L. Prieth

Image: Library of Congress
Image: 1889 Victorian House Restoration

Tell me not in mournful numbers
Trusts are but an empty dream,
And the merger dead that slumbers
And things are not what they seem.
Trusts are real, trusts are earnest,
Wealth unbounded is their goal,
Dust thou art, to dust returnest
Was not spoken of King Coal.

Princeton-educated Benedict Lincoln Prieth, with his brother Edwin, operated the German-language New Jersey freie Zeitung founded in 1858 by their father Benedict Prieth. In 1917 the Prieth brothers were arrested and charged for openly criticizing U.S. involvement in World War I. While under indictment the younger Benedict ran for city commissioner, with significant support from Newark’s German-American community. The trial ended in a hung jury in 1918.

“Plutocrat’s Chant” appeared in the December 1902 issue of The Whim, a journal published in Newark by Prieth and Ernest Crosby.

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