The Hymn of the Republic
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
I have listened to the sighing of the burdened and the bound,
I have heard it change to crying, with a menace in the sound;
I have seen the money-getters pass unheeding on the way,
As they went to forge new fetters for the people day by day.
Then the voice of Labour thundered forth its purpose and its need,
And I marvelled, and I wondered, at the cold dull ear of greed;
For as chimes, in some great steeple, tell the passing of the hour,
So the voices of the people tell the death of purchased power.
All the gathered dust of ages, God is brushing from His book;
He is opening up its pages, and He bids His children look;
And in shock and conflagration, and in pestilence and strife,
He is speaking to the nations, of the brevity of life.
Mother Earth herself is shaken by our sorrows and our crimes;
And she bids her sons awaken to the portent of the times;
With her travail pains upon her, she is hurling from their place
All the minions of dishonour, to admit the Coming Race.
By the voice of Justice bidden, she has torn the mask from might;
All the shameful secrets hidden, she is dragging into light;
And whoever wrongs his neighbour must be brought to judgment now,
Though he wear the badge of Labour, or a crown upon his brow.
There is growth in Revolution, if the word is understood;
It is one with Evolution, up from self, to brotherhood;
He who utters it unheeding, bent on self, or selfish gain,
His own day of doom is speeding, though he toil, or though he reign.
God is calling to the masses, to the peasant, and the peer;
He is calling to all classes, that the crucial hour is near;
For each rotting throne must tremble, and fall broken in the dust,
With the leaders who dissemble, and betray a people’s trust.
Still the voice of God is calling; and above the wreck I see,
And beyond the gloom appalling, the great Government-to-Be.
From the ruins it has risen, and my soul is overjoyed,
For the school supplants the prison, and there are no ‘unemployed.’
And there are no children’s faces at the spindle or the loom;
They are out in sunny places, where the other sweet things bloom;
God has purified the alleys, He has set the white slaves free,
And they own the hills and valleys in this Government to-Be.