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.
Farmer and Lawyer Again
(From “The Vision of Piers Plowman”)

By William Langland

(One of the earliest of English social protests, a picture of the misery of the workers of the fourteenth century)
SOME were for ploughing, and played full seldom,
Set their seed and sowed their seed and sweated hard,
To win what wastrels with gluttony destroy.…
There wandered a hundred in hoods of silk,
Serjeants they seemed, and served at the Bar,        5
Pleading the Law for pennies and for pounds,
Unlocking their lips never for love of our Lord.
Thou mightest better mete the mist on Malvern hills
Than get a mutter from their mouths—save thou show thy money!

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