Nice Returns on Urns of Ice

The process of putting on airs in a city that burns
may seem futile to those who stress utility through vice.
A better way, from the viewpoint of a gentry that yearns
for shrouded sky, is to deluge this grey earth for a price.
Or can the cost go so beyond normal means that it earns
ire among everyone still coping with ash and lice.
These sorry souls, decent enough, trade misery for turns
under stagnant water even though anguish should suffice.