Claude McKay’s Workers’ Dreadnought Poetry (1919-1920) | Song of the New Soldier and Worker
Song of the New Soldier and Worker (April 3, 1920. Signed as Hugh Hope)
We are tired, tired, tired—we are work-weary and war-weary;
What though the skies are soft-blue and the birds still sing
And the balmy air of day is like wine? Life is dreary
And the whole wide world is sick and suffering.
We are weary, weary, weary, sad and tired no longer
Will we go on as before, glad to be the willing tools
Of the hard and heartless few, the favoured and the stronger,
Who have strength to crush and kill, for we are fools.
We will calmly fold our arms sore from labouring, and aching,
We will not still feed and guard the hungry, hideous, huge machine
That yawns with ugly mouth, performs its grim task of life-breaking
Like a fat whore, coarse and brazen and obscene.
O, to pull the thing to pieces! O, to wreck it all and smash
With the power and the will that only holy hate can give;
Even though our broken bodies may be caught in the crash—
Even so—that children yet unborn may live!