Skip to Content
Indiana University

Search Options




View Options


Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism 1883-1908 . Nesbit, E. (Edith), 1858–1924.
previous
next
page: 40

A Last Appeal

  • KNOWING our needs, hardly knowing our powers,
  • Hear how we cry to you, brothers of ours!—
  • Brothers in nature, pulse, passions, and pains,
  • Our sins in you, and your blood in our veins.
  • First in your palace, or last in our den,
  • Basest or best, we are all of us men!
  • page: 41
  • Justice eternal cries out in our name,
  • What is the least common manhood can claim?
  • ‘Food that we make for you,
  • Money we earn:
  • Give us our share of them—
  • Give us our turn.’
  • You with the land and the money, we make
  • Out of our lives the new wealth that you take.
  • Have we earned only such pitiful dole
  • As just holds worn body to desolate soul?
  • When that soul is bewildered each day and perplext
  • With the problem of how to get bread for the next,
  • Is it better to end it, as some of us do,
  • Or to fight it out bravely, still calling to you—
  • ‘Food that we make for you,
  • Money we earn:
  • Give us our share of them—
  • Give us our turn.’?
  • Ever more passionate grows our demand—
  • Give us our share of our food and our land:
  • Give us our rights, make us equal and free—
  • Let us be all we are not, but might be.
  • Our sons would be honest, our daughters be pure,
  • If our wage were more certain, your vices less sure—
  • Oh, you who are forging the fetters we feel,
  • Hear our wild protest, our maddened appeal—
  • ‘Food that we make for you,
  • Money we earn:
  • Give us our share of them—
  • Give us our turn.’
  • Hear us, and answer, while Time is your friend,
  • Lest we be answered by God in the end;
  • Lest, when the flame of His patience burns low,
  • We be the weapon He shapes for His blow—
  • page: 42
  • Lest with His foot on your necks He shall stand,
  • And appeal that you spurned be new‐born as command,
  • And thunder your doom, as you die by the rod
  • Of the vengeance of man through the justice of God.
  • ‘Food that we make for you,
  • Money we earn:
  • Give us our share of them—
  • Give us our turn.’
1884.
previous
next