How Long? [Poem]

How long will the parsons lie.
Who, smiling and smirking, tell
Of a “beautiful land on high”
For the vile who oppress and cry,
“O, Lord ! I believe !”—and yell
To the unbelievers who dwell
In goodness fierce threats of hell ?
How long will the parsons lie ?

How long will the rulers lie.
Who. double-faced, aye delight
To trade on a cheap-drawn sigh
For the poor, but are ever nigh
To work out the rich man’s spite
And crush, with tyrannic might,
All freedom and truth and right ?
How long will the rulers lie ?

How long will the rich men lie.
And claim as their own the land –
The land that the poor live by –
And all things beneath the sky ;
The toil of the worker’s hand,
The lives of the hunger-banned ?
How long shall their false claim stand ?
How long will the rich men lie?

* * *

How long will the People lie
In abject and crouching woe
At the feet of the men on high,
Who are only men, and can die ?
How long will they vainly cry ?
How long ere their rights they know ?
How long till they sweep the sky
With Freedom’s flag, and defy
The forces of Tyranny ?
How long ere they boldly go
To Slavery’s overthrow ?
How long will the reckoning grow?
How long will the people lie ?


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