By Lucy Rutherford
Word Count: 193
Summary: A poem of the Industrial Revolution.
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.