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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Slowly the People waken; they have been, Like weary soldiers, sleeping in their tents, While traitors tiptoed through the silent camp Intent on plunder. Suddenly a sound-- A careless movement of too bold a thief-- Starts one dull sleeper; then another stirs, A third cries out a warning, and at last The people are awake! Oh, when as one The many rise, united and alert, With Justice for their motto, they reflect The mighty force of God's Omnipotence. And nothing stands before them. Lusty Greed, Tyrannical Corruption long in power, And smirking Cant (whose right hand robs and slays So that the left may dower Church and School), Monopoly, whose mandate took from Toil The Mother Earth, that Idleness might loll And breed the Monster of Colossal Wealth-- All these must fall before the gathering Force Of public indignation. That old strife Which marks the progress of each century, The war of Right with Might, is on once more, And shame to him who does not take his stand. This is the weightiest moment of all time, And on the issues of the present hour A nation's honour and a country's peace, A People's future, Ay, a World's, depends. Until the vital questions of the day Are solved and settled, and the spendthrift thieves Who rob the coffers of the saving poor Are led from fashion's feasts to prison fare, And taught the saving grace of honest work-- Till Labour claims the privilege of toil And toil the proceeds of its labour shares-- Let no man sleep, let no man dare to sleep!
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
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