Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • Labor

    From The Seattle Star, September 1, 1913. By Berton Braley.

    Out of chaos, out of murk
    I arose and did my work
    While the ages changed and sped
    I was toiling for my bread
    Underneath my sturdy blows
    Forests fell and cities rose
    And the hard, reluctant soil
    Blossomed richly from my toil.
    Palaces and temples grand
    Wrought I with my cunning hand.
    Rich indeed was my reward—
    Stunted soul, and body scarred
    With the marks of scourge and rod
    I, the tiller of the sod
    From the cradle to the grave
    Shambled through the world—a slave!
    Crushed and trampled, beaten, cursed,
    Serving best, but served the worst,
    Starved and cheated, gouged and spoiled
    Still I builded, still I toiled
    Undernourished, underpaid
    In the world myself had made.

    Up from slavery I rise,
    Dreams and wonder in my eyes,
    After brutal ages past
    Coming to my own at last
    I was slave—but I am free!
    I was blind—but I can see!
    I, the builder, I the maker,
    I, the calm tradition-breaker,
    Slave and serf and clod no longer,
    Know my strength—and who is stronger?
    I am done with ancient frauds,
    Ancient lies and ancient gods—
    All that sham is overthrown,
    I shall take and keep my own
    Unimpassioned, unafraid,
    Master of the World I’ve made!