Upton Sinclair, ed. (18781968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.
|The Song of the Wage Slave|
(From The Spell of the Yukon)
By Robert W. Service
(Canadian poet, born 1876. His poems of Alaska and the great Northwest have attained wide popularity)
|WHEN the long, long day is over, and the Big Boss gives me my pay,|
|I hope that it wont be hell-fire, as some of the parsons say.|
|And I hope that it wont be heaven, with some of the parsons Ive met|
|All I want is just quiet, just to rest and forget.|
|Look at my face, toil-furrowed; look at my calloused hands;|| 5|
|Master, Ive done Thy bidding, wrought in Thy many lands|
|Wrought for the little masters, big-bellied they be, and rich;|
|Ive done their desire for a daily hire, and I die like a dog in a ditch.
|I, the primitive toiler, half naked and grimed to the eyes,|
|Sweating it deep in their ditches, swining it stark in their styes;|| 10|
|Hurling down forests before me, spanning tumultuous streams;|
|Down in the ditch building oer me palaces fairer than dreams;|
|Boring the rock to the ore-bed, driving the road through the fen,|
|Resolute, dumb, uncomplaining, a man in a world of men.|
|Master, Ive filled my contract, wrought in Thy many lands;|| 15|
|Not by my sins wilt Thou judge me, but by the work of my hands.|
|Master, Ive done Thy bidding, and the light is low in the west,|
|And the long, long shift is over.
Master, Ive earned itRest.|