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The Secret

From The Sun, August 10, 1913. By Berton Braley.

The way to reach the man who toils
    Amid the dingy workings
Is not by stratagems and spoils
    Or oily smiles and smirkings.
You give him model homes and such,
    Or clubs in which to revel;
You still will find yourself in “Dutch”
    Unless you’re on the level.
It isn’t coddling that he likes,
    Or lordly condescension.
Such methods will not stop his strikes
    Or banish all contention.
You must be fair and square and just,
    A man among your brothers
Before old doubtings turn to trust
    Or ancient hatred smothers.
Whatever motive yours may be
    In time he’s sure to find it.
He looks through every deed to see
    The spirit that’s behind it.
And though he may misunderstand
    Repel, at first, and doubt you,
He’ll warmly grasp the proffered hand
    When he is sure about you.
The boys within the breaker shed,
    The miners, deep below them,
Are slow of faith and hard of head;
    You’ve simply got to show them
And prove your varied aims and ends
    Are not those of the devil—
For man and master can be friends—
    If both are on the level.

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