Chants for Socialists

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(1834 - 1896)
William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he helped win acceptance of socialism in fin de siècle Great Britain. (From : Wikipedia.org.)

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This document contains 10 sections, with 3,900 words or 25,155 characters.


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(706 Words / 4,487 Characters)
Fair now is the springtide, now earth lies beholding With the eyes of a lover the face of the sun; Long lasteth the daylight, and hope is enfolding The green-growing acres with increase begun. Now sweet, sweet it is through the land to be straying Mid the birds and the blossoms and the beasts of the field; Love mingles with love, and no evil is weighing On thy heart or mine, where all sorrow is healed. From township to township, o'er down and by tillage Far, far have we wandered and long was the day, But now cometh eve at the end of the village, Where over the gray wall the church riseth gray. There is wind in the twilight; in the white road before us The straw from the ox-yard is blowing about; The moon's rim is rising, a star glitters o'er us, And the vane on the spire-top is swinging in doubt. Down there dip... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Come hither, lads, and hearken, for a tale there is to tell, Of the wonderful days a-coming, when all shall be better than well. And the tale shall be told of a country, a land in the midst of the sea, And folk shall call it England in the days that are going to be. There more than one in a thousand in the days that are yet to come Shall have some hope of the morrow, some joy of the ancient home. For then--laugh not, but listen to this strange tale of mine - All folk that are in England shall be better lodged than swine. Then a man shall work and bethink him, and rejoice in the deeds of his hand, Nor yet come home in the even too faint and weary to stand. Men in that time a-coming shall work and have no fear For to-morrow's lack of earning and the hunger-wolf anear. I tell you this for a wonder, that no man then shall be glad Of h... (From : Marxists.org.)

(315 Words / 2,087 Characters)
I heard men saying, Leave hope and praying, All days shall be as all have been; To-day and to-morrow bring fear and sorrow, The never-ending toil between. When Earth was younger mid toil and hunger, In hope we strove, and our hands were strong; Then great men led us, with words they fed us, And bade us right the earthly wrong. Go read in story their deeds and glory, Their names amid the nameless dead; Turn then from lying to us slow-dying In that good world to which they led; Where fast and faster our iron master, The thing we made, for ever drives, Bids us grind treasure and fashion pleasure For other hopes and other lives. Where home is a hovel and dull we grovel, Forgetting that the world is fair; Where no babe we cherish, lest its very soul perish; Where our mirth is crime, our lo... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Saith man to man, We've heard and known That we no master need To live upon this earth, our own, In fair and manly deed. The grief of slaves long passed away For us hath forged the chain, Till now each worker's patient day Builds up the House of Pain. And we, shall we too, crouch and quail, Ashamed, afraid of strife, And lest our lives untimely fail Embrace the Death in Life? Nay, cry aloud, and have no fear, We few against the world; Awake, arise! the hope we bear Against the curse is hurled. It grows and grows--are we the same, The feeble band, the few? Or what are these with eyes aflame, And hands to deal and do? This is the host that bears the word, No MASTER HIGH OR LOW - A lightning flame, a shearing sword, A storm to overthrow. (From : Marxists.org.)

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Hear a word, a word in season, for the day is drawing nigh, When the Cause shall call upon us, some to live, and some to die! He that dies shall not die lonely, many an one hath gone before; He that lives shall bear no burden heavier than the life they bore. Nothing ancient is their story, e'en but yesterday they bled, Youngest they of earth's beloved, last of all the valiant dead. E'en the tidings we are telling was the tale they had to tell, E'en the hope that our hearts cherish, was the hope for which they fell. In the grave where tyrants thrust them, lies their labor and their pain, But undying from their sorrow springeth up the hope again. Mourn not therefore, nor lament it, that the world outlives their life; Voice and vision yet they give us, making strong our hands for strife. Some had name, and fame, and honor, learn'd they were, and w... (From : Marxists.org.)

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What is this, the sound and rumor? What is this that all men hear, Like the wind in hollow valleys when the storm is drawing near, Like the rolling on of ocean in the eventide of fear? 'Tis the people marching on. Whither go they, and whence come they? What are these of whom ye tell? In what country are they dwelling 'twixt the gates of heaven and hell? Are they mine or thine for money? Will they serve a master well? Still the rumor's marching on. Hark the rolling of the thunder! Lo the sun! and lo thereunder Riseth wrath, and hope, and wonder, And the host comes marching on. Forth they come from grief and torment; on they wend toward health and mirth, All the wide world is their dwelling, every corner of the earth. Buy them, sell them for thy service! Try the bargain what 'tis worth, F... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Come, comrades, come, your glasses clink; Up with your hands a health to drink, The health of all that workers be, In every land, on every sea. And he that will this health deny, Down among the dead men, down among the dead men, Down, down, down, down, Down among the dead men let him lie! Well done! now drink another toast, And pledge the gath'ring of the host, The people armed in brain and hand, To claim their rights in every land. And he that will this health deny, Down among the dead men, down among the dead men, Down, down, down, down, Down among the dead men let him lie! There's liquor left; come, let's be kind, And drink the rich a better mind, That when we knock upon the door, They may be off and say no more. And he that will this health deny, Down among the dead men, down among th... (From : Marxists.org.)

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What cometh here from west to east awending? And who are these, the marchers stern and slow? We bear the message that the rich are sending Aback to those who bade them wake and know. Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay, But one and all if they would dusk the day. We asked them for a life of toilsome earning, They bade us bide their leisure for our bread; We craved to speak to tell our woeful learning: We come back speechless, bearing back our dead. Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay, But one and all if they would dusk the day. They will not learn; they have no ears to hearken. They turn their faces from the eyes of fate; Their gay-lit halls shut out the skies that darken. But, lo! this dead man knocking at the gate. Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay, But one and all if they would dusk the day. (From : Marxists.org.)

(389 Words / 2,746 Characters)
THE WORKERS O Earth, once again cometh Spring to deliver Thy winter-worn heart, O thou friend of the Sun; Fair blossom the meadows from river to river And the birds sing their triumph o'er winter undone. O Earth, how a-toiling thou singest thy labor And upholdest the flower-crowned cup of thy bliss, As when in the feast-tide drinks neighbor to neighbor And all words are gleeful, and naught is amiss. But we, we, O Mother, through long generations, We have toiled and been fruitful, but never with thee Might we raise up our bowed heads and cry to the nations To look on our beauty, and hearken our glee. Unlovely of aspect, heart-sick and a-weary On the season's fair pageant all dim-eyed we gaze; Of thy fairness we fashion a prison-house dreary And in sorrow wear over each day of our days. (From : Marxists.org.)

(220 Words / 1,507 Characters)
Clad is the year in all her best, The land is sweet and sheen; Now Spring with Summer at her breast, Ges down the meadows green. Here are we met to welcome in The young abounding year, To praise what she would have us win Ere winter draweth near. For surely all is not in vain, This gallant show she brings; But seal of hope and sign of gain, Beareth this Spring of springs. No longer now the seasons wear Dull, without any tale Of how the chain the toilers bear Is growing thin and frail. But hope of plenty and goodwill Flies forth from land to land, Nor any now the voice can still That crieth on the hand. A little while shall Spring come back And find the Ancient Home Yet marred by foolish waste and lack, And most enthralled by some. (From : Marxists.org.)

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February 20, 2021 ; 5:40:02 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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