Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919

 

What We Want

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

All hail the dawn of a new day breaking,
When a strong-armed nation shall take away
The weary burdens from backs that are aching
With maximum labor and minimum pay;
When no man is honored who hoards his millions;
When no man feasts on another's toil.
And God's poor suffering, striving billions
Shall share his riches of sun and soil.

There is gold for all in the earth's broad bosom,
There is food for all in the land's great store;
Enough is provided if rightly divided;
Let each man take what he needs -- no more.
Shame on the miser with unused riches,
Who robs the toiler to swell his hoard,
Who beats down the wage of the digger of ditches,
And steals the bread frorn the poor man's board.

Shame on the owner of mines whose cruel
And selfish measures have brought him wealth,
While the ragged wretches who dig his fuel
Are robbed of comfort and hope and health.
Shame on the ruler who rides in his carriage
Bought with the labor of half-paid men --
Men who are shut out of home and marriage
And are herded like sheep in a hovel pen.

Let the clarion voice of the nation wake him
To broader vision and fairer play;
Or let the hand of a just law shake him
Till his ill-gained dollars shall roll away.
Let no man dwell under a mountain of plunder,
Let no man suffer with want and cold;
We want right living, not mere alms-giving;
We want just dividing of labor and gold.

Source:

How Salvator Won And Other Recitations
Copyright 1891
Edgar S. Werner, New York
 
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