Address to the Enslaved Millions

Oh ! spirit of the injured, why1
In apathy so long remain ?2
See labour’s starving thousands die,3
While labour wails for bread in vain !4
Why, millions, slumber now your might,5
When plundered of your dearest right ?6
Pale, puling cowards, arouse ! where7
Has all your ancient courage gone ?8
As ye are many, why not dare9
Again to make the right your own ?10
Ask ye no more, ye many slaves,11
Than wretched lives or early graves ?12
Ye meek-lipped cowards ! pleased to crawl13
Where’er and how your masters tell,14
Submissive to each wayward call ;15
Oh! but you suit your bondage well,16
And thus contented you may be17
But cowards never can be free!18
Are men now filled with woman’s fears ?19
Do tyrants number more than slaves ?20
Is man’s brave blood ail changed to tears,21
That from his brother man must crave22
The bread that God has made for all23
For humblest cot and proudest hall ?24
I grieve not that the few should wield25
For selfish power the tyrant’s rod26
I marvel that the many yield27
So tamely to the hated load,—28
That labour’s millions thus should be29
So humbly apt to bow the knee.30
Away ! ye coward slaves, away !31
Kneel, kneel ! and weep your woman’s tears;32
Ye are unworthy freedom’s day,33
Thus darkened in a night of fears ;34
No ; liberty is not for you,35
But for the braver—tyrant few !36
Yet even in your martial zeal,37
Whene’er your masters gave command,38
Ye’ve made the foreign foeman feel39
We dare not conquer such a land40
A land where labour’s millions still.41
As freemen ought— can starve at will.42
Your poor, poor children still unfed,43
Hear how their wild appeals arise :—44
“O father ! father! give us bread ;”45
Yet all in vain their famished cries !46
Less potent these—less potent all47
Your children’s than a despot’s call !48