James Oppenheim

(1882-1932 / United States)

Bread And Roses


As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill-lofts gray
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing, 'Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.'

As we come marching, marching, we battle, too, for men-
For they are women's children and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes-
Hearts starve as well as bodies: Give us Bread, but give us Roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient song of Bread;
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew-
Yes, bread we fight for-but we fight for Roses, too.

As we come marching, marching, we bring the Greater Days-
The rising of the women means the rising of the race-
No more the drudge and idler-ten that toil where one reposes-
But sharing of life's glories: Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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