We have fed you all for a thousand years,
And you hail us still unfed.
Tho' there's never a dollar of all your wealth
But marks the workers' dead.
We have yielded our best to give you rest,
And you lie on crimson wool;
For if blood be the price on all your wealth.
Good God, we have paid in full!
There's never a mine blown skyward now
But we're buried alive for you;
There's never a wreck drifts shore ward now
But we are its ghastly crew.
Go reckon our dead by the forges red,
And the factories where we spin;
If blood be the price of your cursed wealth
Good God. we have paid it in!
We have fed you all a thousand years.
For that was our doom, you know,
From the days when you chained us in your fields,
To the strike of a week ago.
You have eaten our lives and our babies and wives,
And we're told its your legal share;
But if blood be the price of your lawful wealth,
Good God, we have bought it fair.
Dating from the early part of the
20th Century, this powerful working class
verse may have come from the
Industrial Workers of the World. It parallels
a poem on the British Navy by Rudyard Kipling