Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Extracts from Poems by the Way: The Day Is Coming
By William Morris (1834–1896)
COME hither, lads, and hearken,
for a tale there is to tell,
Of the wonderful days a-coming,
when all shall be better than well.
And the tale shall be told of a country,        5
a land in the midst of the sea,
And folk shall call it England
in the days that are going to be.
There more than one in a thousand
in the days that are yet to come,        10
Shall have some hope of the morrow
some joy of the ancient home.
For then, laugh not, but listen
to this strange tale of mine,
All folk that are in England        15
shall be better lodged than swine.
Then a man shall work and bethink him
and rejoice in the deeds of his hand,
Nor yet come home in the even
too faint and weary to stand.        20
Men in that time a-coming
shall work and have no fear
For to-morrow’s lack of earning
and the hunger-wolf anear.
I tell you this for a wonder,        25
that no man then shall be glad
Of his fellow’s fall and mishap
to snatch at the work he had.
For that which the worker winneth
shall then be his indeed,        30
Nor shall half be reaped for nothing
by him that sowed no seed.
O strange new wonderful justice!
But for whom shall we gather the gain?
For ourselves and for each of our fellows,        35
and no hand shall labour in vain.
Then all Mine and all Thine shall be Ours,
and no more shall any man crave
For riches that serve for nothing
but to fetter a friend for a slave.        40
And what wealth then shall be left us
when none shall gather gold
To buy his friend in the market,
and pinch and pine the sold?
Nay, what save the lovely city,        45
and the little house on the hill,
And the wastes and the woodland beauty,
and the happy fields we till;
And the homes of ancient stories,
the tombs of the mighty dead;        50
And the wise men seeking out marvels,
and the poet’s teeming head;
And the painter’s hand of wonder;
and the marvellous fiddle-bow,
And the banded choirs of music:        55
all those that do and know.
For all these shall be ours and all men’s,
nor shall any lack a share
Of the toil and the gain of living
in the days when the world grows fair.        60

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