Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
The People’s Anthem

By Ebenezer Elliott

(One of the leaders of the Chartist movement in England, 1781–1849; known as the “Poet of the People,” and by his enemies as the “Corn-law Rhymer”)
WHEN wilt thou save the people?
  O God of mercy! when?
Not kings and lords, but nations!
  Not thrones and crowns, but men!
Flowers of thy heart, O God, are they!        5
Let them not pass, like weeds, away!
Their heritage a sunless day!
             God save the people!
Shall crime bring crime for ever,
  Strength aiding still the strong?        10
Is it thy will, O Father!
  That man shall toil for wrong?
“No!” say thy mountains; “No!” thy skies;
“Man’s clouded sun shall brightly rise,
And songs be heard instead of sighs.”        15
             God save the people!
When wilt thou save the people?
  O God of mercy! when?
The people, Lord! the people!
  Not thrones and crowns, but men!        20
God save the people! thine they are;
Thy children, as thy angels fair;
Save them from bondage and despair!
             God save the people!

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