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.
God and the Strong Ones

By Margaret Widdemer

(Contemporary American poet)
“WE have made them fools and weak!” said the Strong Ones:
  “We have bound them, they are dumb and deaf and blind;
We have crushed them in our hands like a heap of crumbling sands,
  We have left them naught to seek or find:
They are quiet at our feet!” said the Strong Ones;        5
  “We have made them one with wood and stone and clod;
Serf and laborer and woman, they are less than wise or human!——”
    “I shall raise the weak!” saith God.
“They are stirring in the dark!” said the Strong Ones,
  “They are struggling, who were moveless like the dead;        10
We can hear them cry and strain hand and foot against the chain,
  We can hear their heavy upward tread.…
What if they are restless?” said the Strong Ones;
  “What if they have stirred beneath the rod?
Fools and weak and blinded men, we can tread them down again——”        15
    “Shall ye conquer Me?” saith God.
“They will trample us and bind!” said the Strong Ones;
  “We are crushed beneath the blackened feet and hands;
All the strong and fair and great they will crush from out the state;
  They will whelm it with the weight of pressing sands—        20
They are maddened and are blind!” said the Strong Ones;
  “Black decay has come where they have trod;
They will break the world in twain if their hands are on the rein—”
    “What is that to me?” saith God.
“Ye have made them in their strength, who were Strong Ones,        25
  Ye have only taught the blackness ye have known:
These are evil men and blind?—Ay, but molded to your mind!
  How shall ye cry out against your own?
Ye have held the light and beauty I have given
  Far above the muddied ways where they must plod:        30
Ye have builded this your lord with the lash and with the sword—
    Reap what ye have sown!” saith God.

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