Must not our southern lords be fools
To buy their slaves, when they’re so plenty,
When stealing land by laws and rules,
And keeping poor folks’ stomachs empty,
Would give them wages slaves for naught,
Who’d beg to have their labour bought;
And women, too, breathe soft the word,
Who’d sell their bodies for their board?
Our wages slaves ne’er run away,
The fear of starving makes them stay;
Though they must earn the daily bread
For others’ mouths beside their own,
Who on the best are ever fed,
Aping the monarch on his throne;
Yet hirelings bowed with want and care
Are glad the coarsest food to share.
The keep of chattels is a bore,
When sick or they can work or more;
Without the lash to drive the work,
Chattels are very apt to shirk;
But the poor landless wages slave,
Must clothing, food, and shelter crave;
For these he works with willing hand
For anyone by sea or land.
Then grasp the land, the source of wealth,
Of life, of energy, and health;
And only let the workers toil,
While you by law can reap the spoil.
What man or woman e’er so brave,
Will want not make a wages slave,
A slave in body and in mind,
To any tyrant of their kind?