Franklin P. Adams

Here you will find the Poem A Psalm of Labouring Life of poet Franklin P. Adams

A Psalm of Labouring Life

Tell me not, in doctored numbers, 
Life is but a name for work! 
For the labour that encumbers 
Me I wish that I could shirk.

Life is phony! Life is rotten! 
And the wealthy have no soul; 
Why should you be picking cotton, 
Why should I be mining coal?

Not employment and not sorrow 
Is my destined end or way; 
But to act that each tomorrow 
Finds me idler than today.

Work is long, and plutes are lunching; 
Money is the thing I crave; 
But my heart continues punching 
Funeral time-clocks to the grave.

In the world's uneven battle, 
In the swindle known as life, 
Be not like the stockyard's cattle-- 
Stick your partner with the knife!

Trust no boss, however pleasant! 
Capital is but a curse! 
Strike,--strike in the living present! 
Fill, oh fill the bulging purse.!

Lives of strikers all remind us 
We can make our lives a crime, 
And, departing, leave behind us 
Bills for double overtime.

Charges that, perhaps another, 
Working for a stingy ten 
Bucks a day, some mining brother 
Seeing, shall walk out again.

Let us, then, be up and striking, 
Discontent with all of it; 
Still undoing, still disliking, 
Learn to labour--and to quit.