Claude McKay’s Workers’ Dreadnought Poetry (1919-1920) | The Beast
The Beast (July 10, 1920. Signed as Hugh Hope)
The statesmen-hirelings its favour seek.
And the world’s news is under its control;
Great are the powers of the mighty clique
That owns the slaving peoples, body and soul.
Down in its shops and offices and streets
The toilers struggle, sullen, underpaid,
And pinch-faced poverty proud Plutus meets,
And pimps and harlots ply their wretched trade.
And in its gorgeous halls where gold holds sway
The smirking mother offers her young daughter
To haughty men for whom all women are play
Or babes, or ornaments, or sheep for slaughter:
Its system makes men parasites or brutes
And tends to make all women prostitutes.