The Truth by Francis William Lauderdale Adams

Come then, let us at least know what’s the truth.
Let us not blink our eyes and say
We did not understand; old age or youth
Benumbed our sense or stole our sight away.

It is a lie — just that, a lie — to declare
That Wages are the worth of Work.
No; they are what the Employer wills to spare
To let the Employee sheer starvation shirk.

They’re the life-pittance Competition leaves,
The least for which brother’ll slay brother.
He who the fruits of this hell-strife receives,
He is a thief, an assassin, and none other.

It is a lie — just that, a lie — to declare
That Rent’s the interest on just gains.
Rent’s the thumb-screw that makes the worker share
With him who worked not the produce of his pains.

Rent’s the wise tax the human tape-worm knows.
The fat he takes; the life-lean leaves.
The holy Landlord is, as we suppose,
Just this — the model of assassin-thieves!

What is the trick the Rich-man, then, contrives?
How play my lords their brilliant rôles? —
They live on the plunder of our toiling lives,
The degradation of our bodies and souls!

From: Adams, Francis, Songs of the Army of the Night and Mass of Christ, 2003, University of Sydney of Library: Sydney, p. 57.
(http://adc.library.usyd.edu.au/data-2/adasong.pdf)

Date: 1888

By: Francis William Lauderdale Adams (1862-1893)

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