Julia Griffin


Non-Poor Getty

[Lady Ursula] gave in to Getty because “I felt so lost and lonely I fell for this dear old man’s kindness and charm.” …
She later recalled that she felt sorry for him because of his wealth. —The Times

When John Paul Getty sought to get
The Duke of Rutland’s daughter,
He seemed farouche to all her set;
He never would have caught her

Had Lady Ursula, enthralled,
Not chosen to adore him,
Because (as later she recalled)
She felt so sorry for him.

He blew a duchy’s rent on her,
The sky alone his ceiling;
And ah! the more he spent on her,
The sorrier her feeling.

He bought her pearls and ermine’s pelt,
Some real estate in fashion,
Till incrementally she felt
Quite dizzy with compassion,

And cried he was a dear old man!
No words could be sincerer;
Though it may be (for such things can)
He found her even dearer.

At last his servants pushed her out,
And in her loaded lorry,
Poor Lady Ursula, no doubt,
Felt desperately sorry;

But JPG had also felt:
Before the deal was blasted,
He’d six bright years beneath his belt,
Delightful while they lasted,

As from a life of going Dutch
He found emancipation:
Which goes to show it wasn’t such
A sorry situation.

The moral: age creeps on in stealth,
So if you like ’em pretty,
Just mind you have titanic wealth,
And they’ll be yours, for pity.

Julia Griffin divides her life between Georgia, US, and the UK. She dreams of a time when her parents and her dogs will live on the same continent.