The Worker


I have broken my hands on your granite,

I have broken my strength on your steel,

I have sweated through years for your pleasure,

I have worked like a slave for your weal,

And what is the wage you have paid me

You masters and drivers of men –

Enough so I come in my hunger

To beg for more labor again!


I have given my manhood to serve you,

I have given my gladness and youth;

You have used me, and spent me, and crushed me,

And thrown me aside without ruth;

You have shut my eyes of from the sunlight,

My lungs from the untainted air,

You have housed me in horrible places

Surrounded by squalor and care.


I have built you the world in its beauty,

I have brought you the glory and spoil,

You have blightd my sons and my daughters,

You have scourged me again to my toil,

Yet I suffer it all in my patience

For somehow I dimly have known

That some day the worker will conquer

In a world that was meant for his own

—Berton Bradley.