Martin Farquhar Tupper
A Dozen Ballads About White Slavery. II. The Factory Slave
Pale, and shabby, and looking so ill,
Hungry and cold and wet,
On a winter's morning going to mill
The factory-child I met:
All the day long among perilous wheels,
His duty it was to tend
Spindles and jennies and shuttles and reels,
A toil without an end,
For iron never grows weary, nor feels,
Nor ever made child its friend!
One among hundreds was that boy
Who never had known of a home nor a toy,
But work'd without hope, and lived without joy!
Stunted, sorrowful, looking so old,
Blear-eyed, weary and wan,
Though thrice ten years had barely been told,
I came to the factory man:
All life long in a poisonous air,
Blighting to body and mind,
Where health soon turns to be stagnant there,
And piety deaf and blind,
His lot was a loom and a ricketty chair,
And cotton to weave and wind!
One among thousands all alike
His only excitements were Drink and the Strike,
To think of the torch and to dream of the pike!
Faded, slatternly, looking so weak,
Tho' once a Scotch lassie so braw,
- With sin in her eye, and disease on her cheek,
The factory-girl I saw:
That close dim room was her home for years
With all things vile to endure,
Irksome labour, and quarrels, and jeers,
And words and deeds impure,
And so till Death,- amid sorrows and fears,
And all without a cure!
One of a multitude was that girl
Slaving amid the machinery's whirl,
Bold, and beggar'd of modesty's pearl!
O but how base and shameful a thing
Is this, ye getters of wealth,-
That your prosperities Ruin should bring
On happiness, virtue, and health!
Consider the Mind, remember the Soul,
Of these poor Bodies take care;
If Providence over them gives you control,
As stewards to be judged, beware!
And you, good men,- ay, good on the whole,
No Strikes! - lt all be fair.
Thus, on a just anti-slavery plan
Let each do well, as well as he can,
And all will go better with Master and Man!
Martin Farquhar Tupper's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Dozen Ballads About White Slavery. II. The Factory Slave by Martin Farquhar Tupper )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
William Ernest Henley
- ziel, co the skipper
- What You Given Me, Lilly Emery
- Just Open Your Eyes, Ronell Warren Alman
- Margarita, Margarita Kamal
- sometimes dead is better, Mandolyn Davidson
- it's a good thing we never were, Mandolyn Davidson
- Great And Noble Nations, David Harris
- i'm aging. it's in the script., Mandolyn Davidson
- tripping the alarm on a nightmare, Mandolyn Davidson
- Letters To Myself, Margarita Kamal