Poem: ‘Song of the Wage-Slaves’
We grow in might and numbers as we mix from every clime,
And march beneath our Standard scorning fear or blows of Time:
Our cause is universal, and to burst Man’s bonds we meet:
The Workers’ war for freedom can ne’er end in their defeat?
We fill the world with riches by our work of mind and hands,
Yet we are ground in bondage by the Lords of Wealth and Lands.
Our pay is but a pittance: we’re machines to grind out wealth
To make the rich men richer while we’re robbed of peace and health.
Life’s best gifts are denied us; from our wage-slave’s hell we rise,
To smash the bloody system built on greed and fraud and lies!
‘Mid great wealth some are starving who can’t sell themselves for bread;
Their days are dumb with darkness, while their hearts to joy are dead.
We’ll cease to bear some burdens that have weighed us down for years—
The manacles of slavery ever wet with blood and tears;
Nor wage wars for our masters when they lust for power and gold:
We’ll end it all for ever! And the world in peace we’ll hold.
The earth shall be for workers!—not for thieves and parasites!
Who turn it to Inferno by their strife for spurious rights.
We’ll trample down all fetters; we shall wing to heights unknown
And attain to Life Resplendent when we make the world our own!