Songs of Labor and Other Poems

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R. G. Badger, 1914 - Clothing workers - 75 pages
A volume of proletarian poems, also including love poems and poems about Jewish holidays, the evanescence of youth, and the need for a Jewish homeland.

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Page 8 - Once someone told me the clock had a meaning,— In pointing and ticking had reason and rhyme. . . . At times, when I listen, I hear the clock plainly;— The reason of old— the old meaning— is gone! The maddening pendulum urges me forward To labor and still labor on. The tick of the clock is the boss in his anger. The face of the clock has the eyes of the foe. The clock— I shudder— Dost hear how it draws me? It calls me "Machine
Page 10 - I have a little boy at home, A pretty little son ; I think sometimes the world is mine In him, my only one. But seldom, seldom do I see My child in heaven's light; I find him always fast asleep . . . I see him but at night. Ere dawn my labor drives me forth ; 'Tis night when I am free; A stranger am I to my child ; And strange my child to me.
Page 62 - Briar and blossom bow to meet him In derision round his path; Gloomily the hemlocks greet him, And the crow screams out in wrath. Strange the birds, and strange the flowers, Strange the sunshine seems and dim, Folk on earth and heav'nly powers — Lo, the May is strange to him! Little flowers, it were meeter If ye made not quite so bold. Sweet are ye, but oh, far sweeter Knew he in the days of old! Oranges by thousands glowing Filled the groves on either hand, All the plants were God's own sowing...
Page 22 - Oh. buy but two candles, good women, but two!" In Hester Street stands on the pavement of stone • A small, orphaned basket, forsaken, alone. Beside it is sitting a corpse, cold and stark: The seller of candles — will nobody mark? No, none of the passers have noticed her yet. The rich ones, on feasting are busily set, And such as are pious, you well may believe, Have no time to spare on the gay Sabbath eve. So no one has noticed and no one has seen. And now comes the nightfall, and with it, serene,...
Page 10 - ... am I to my child ; And strange my child to me. I come in darkness to my home, With weariness and— pay; My pallid wife, she waits to tell The things he learned to say. How plain and prettily he asked : "Dear mamma, when's 'Tonight'? 0 when will come my dear papa And bring a penny bright ?" 1 hear her words— I hasten out— This moment must it be!
Page 58 - For Hire Work with might and main, Or with hand and heart, Work with soul and brain, Or with holy art, Thread, or genius fire Make a vest, or verse If tis done for hire, It is done the worse.
Page 7 - OH. here in the shop the machines roar so wildly, ^^ That oft, unaware that I am, or have been, I sink and am lost in the terrible tumult; And void is my soul — I am but a machine. I work, and I work, and I work, never ceasing, Create and create things from morning till e'en ; For what ? and for whom ? Oh, I know not ! Oh, ask Whoever has heard of a conscious machine?
Page 8 - I'll draw you the picture : A battlefield bloody; the conflict at rest; Around and about me the corpses are lying; The blood cries aloud from the earth's gory breast. A moment — and hark ! The loud signal is sounded. The dead rise again and renewed is the fight. They struggle, these corpses; for strangers, for strange^ They struggle, they fall, and they sink into night. The Survey, June 6, !!>• Unb Ichri - bod) wail - Id) hab
Page 61 - Wheresoe'er on field and hillside, With her paint-brush Spring is seen In the valley, by the rillside, All the earth is decked with green. Once again the sun beguiles — Moves the drowsy world to smiles.
Page 64 - No more wand'ring, no more sadness; Peace shall be your lot, and still Hero-hearts shall throb with gladness 'Neath Moriah's silent hill. Nevermore of dread afflictions Or oppressions need ye tell; Filled with joy and benedictions In the old home shall ye dwell. To the fatherland returning. Following the homeward path, Ye shall find the embers burning, Still, upon the ruined hearth!

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