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.
Man as God
(From “A Ballad in Blank Verse”)

By John Davidson

(Scotch poet and dramatist, 1857–1909; after struggling for many years in London against poverty and ill-health, committed suicide, leaving some of the most striking and original poetry of the present age)
HOW vain! he cried. A God? a mole, a worm!
An engine frail, of brittle bones conjoined;
With tissue packed; with nerves, transmitting force;
And driven by water, thick and coloured red:
That may for some few pence a day be hired        5
In thousands to be shot at! Oh, a God,
That lies and steals and murders! Such a God
Passionate, dissolute, incontinent!
A God that starves in thousands, and ashamed,
Or shameless in the workhouse lurks; that sweats        10
In mines and foundries! An enchanted God,
Whose nostrils in a palace breathe perfume,
Whose cracking shoulders hold the palace up,
Whose shoeless feet are rotting in the mire!

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