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Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism 1883-1908 . Nesbit, E. (Edith), 1858–1924.
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page: 68

I

  • I SAW a people trampled on, oppressed,
  • With helpless hands, and eyes of light afraid,
  • With aching shoulders whereon burdens laid
  • By day and night choked hope and murdered rest;
  • A people sordid, sad, unloved, unblessed,
  • Whose shroud by their own hands was ever made,
  • Whose never‐ending toil was only paid
  • By death‐in‐life—or death, of life’s gifts best.
  • ‘What help,’ I cried, ‘for these whose hands are weak—
  • Too weak to hold the weapons they should wield;
  • Too weak to grasp a helping hand, or seek
  • With armed battalions to dispute the field,
  • And on the oppressors just revenge to wreak?’
  • Then—as I cried—the helper was revealed.
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