Saturday, September 24, 2016

God Save the Workingman (poem)

God save the workman's right
From Mammon's sordid might,
        And Birth's pretence.
Confound the tricky rule,
Of foreign courtly tool,
Give us from Freedom's School
        The men of sense.

Forced as a boon to ask
For labour's daily task
        From purse-proud knaves;
Not ours the land we till,
Not ours the stores we fill
Living and dying still
        Beggars and slaves.

We toil at loam and spade,
And still the more we made,
        The less we gain;
For you the profits keep,
And you the surplus heap,
Till all our age can reap,
        Is want and pain.

Our poverty's your wealth,
Our sickness is your health,
        Our death your life;
Your shops in poison deal,
Banks forge, and statesmen steal,
And rots the commonweal,

With bloodstain'd despots' shame,
You link our country's name,
        And aid their crime;
God! hear thy people pray,
If there's no other way,
Give us one Glorious day
        Of Cromwell's time.

But if the Lord of Life
Will turn you hearts from strife,
        To clasp our hand,
And bid oppression cease;
The brotherhood and peace,
In Freedom's safe increase,
        Shall bless our land.

Ernest Jones, Chartist 

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