'Labour'

Submitted by dalcassian on 10 June, 2013 - 8:08

While the ages changed and sped
I was tolling for my bread.
Underneath my sturdy blows
Forests fell and cities rose.
And the hard reluctant soil
Blossomed richly from my toil.
Palaces and temples grand
Wrought I with my cunning hand.
Rich indeed was my reward—
Stunted soul and body scarred
With the marks of scourge und rod.
I, the tiller of the sod,
From the cradle to the grave
Shambled through the world—a slave.
Crushed and trampled, beaten, cursed,
Serving best, but served the worst,
Starved and cheated, gouged and spoiled.
Still I builded, still I toiled,
Undernourished, underpaid
In the world myself had made.
Up from slavery I rise,
Dreams and wonder in my eyes.
After brutal ages past
Coming to my own at last.
I was slave—but I am free!
I was blind—but I can see!
I, the builder, I, the maker,
I, the calm tradition breaker,
Slave and serf and clod no longer,
Know my strength—and who is stronger?
BB
[Young Spartakus, youth paper of the US Trotskyists, 1932]

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