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The Answer

From The Tacoma Times, January 14, 1913.
 By Berton Braley.

 If “business” cannot thrive unless
 It works a child to weariness,
 If “business” to be “good” demands
 The toil of little baby hands,
 And takes the tiny child away
 From sun and fields and merry play;
 If “business” makes the young its spoil
 And drags the mother forth to toil
 At tasks that rob her eyes of light
 From bitter morn to gloomy night;
 If “business” can’t afford to give
 A wage on which a girl can live,
 But drives her out upon the street
 To gain her clothes—and food to eat;
 If “business” only thus can feed
 By heartless shame and ruthless greed,
 Then “business” is a foul disgrace,
 A menace to the human race
 Which should be fought with will intense
 Like some vast, spreading pestilence.
 But business can be cleansed and purged,
 Its evils fought, its scoundrels scourged;
 The Plunderbund may rage and rant,
 Swearing, “It can’t be done, it can’t!”
 Proclaiming Ruin and Despair
 If we should make the game for Square;
 But, spite of Scribe and Pharisee
 We strive for right that is to be!

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