From the Grand Forks Daily Herald, August 4, 1915. By Edwin Markham.
Out on the road they have gathered a hundred thousand men,
To ask for a hold on life as sure as the wolf’s hold in his den.
Their need lies close to the quick of life as the earth lies close to the stone;
It is as meat to the slender rib, as marrow to the bone.
They ask but the leave of labor, to toil in the endless night,
For a little salt to savor their bread, for houses water-tight.
They ask but the right to labor and to live by the strength of their hands—
They who have bodies like knotted oaks, and patience like sea-sands.
And the right of a man to labor and his right to labor in joy—
Not all your laws can strangle that right, nor the gates of Hell destroy.
For it came with the making of man and was kneaded into his bones,
And it will stand at the last of things on the dust of crumbled thrones.