The Industrial Life

By Lucy Rutherford

Word Count: 193

Rating: PG

Summary: A poem of the Industrial Revolution.

Image Credit: American Girl/Mattel/

Clanging, clanging evermore

The assembly line is right on time

As children scurry through the fog

Of cotton fibers in the air

And clamber through the narrow gates

To fix the many gears and springs

Until the lateness of the night.


And then to school if possible

Or else to climb the steep, steep stairs

And shiver in the drafty room

Where all are huddled for the warmth

Of precious coal and priceless broth.


Perhaps someday we all shall find

The gold this land was said to give

But now the baby coughs and cries

And mama hardly ever sings

And all we have is faith in God

And potatoes from the threadbare priest

Who I am sure must be a saint

It’s precious rare he ever eats.


And every day we rise too soon

To go to work for other men

Who pay us some but not enough

For toiling at their hateful looms

In heat and dust like Hell’s dark lands

They drive and prod and push us on

As though we are but soulless beasts

Not worthy of a kindly hand.


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