LESSON 73 SONG OF THE SHIRT
With fingers weary and worn, with eyelids heavy and red, a woman sat, in unwomanly rags, plying her needle and thread:
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt, and still with a voice of dolorous pitch, she sang the "Song of the Shirt!"
"Work! work! work!"
While the cock is crowing aloof! and work! work! work!, till the stars shine through the roof!
It is oh to be a slave along with the barbarous Turk, where woman has never a soul to save, if this is Christian work!
"Work! work! work!", till the brain begins to swim;
Work! work! work!, till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band, band, and gusset, and seam,
till over the buttons I fall asleep, and sew them on in a dream!
O men, with sisters dear! O men, with mothers and wives! It is not linen you're wearing out, But human creatures'lives! Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt, sewing at once, with a double thread, a shroud as well as a shirt.