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Ye Poor Of Wealthy England (1896)

Tune.--"Ye Mariners of England."

Ye poor of wealthy England
Who starve and sweat and freeze,
By labour sore to fill the store
Of those who live at ease ;
'Tis time you knew your real friends,
To face your real foe.
And to fight for your right.
Till ye lay vour masters low,
Small hope for you of better days
Till ye lay your masters low.

A tangled webb is Labour,
Yet here we have the clue ;
The tools whereby the many live
Are mastered by the few ;
You workers to those gentlemen
With cap in hand musts go,
And your toil they will spoil,
Till ye lay your masters low ;
But to rob them of the pow'r to rob
Will lay your masters low.

Ye fools who, from your hunger,
For them such riches pile,
Who war their lordly palaces,
Yet herd in hovels vile,--
Come, shake the leeches from your veins,
Come, bid the vampires go,
And Nay, Nay, who shall say
When ye lay your masters low ?
And earn ye then the name of men
When ye lay your masters low.

Ye poor of wealthy England,
Out off these cunning bands
If ye would eat in quietness
The labour of your hands ;
Behold how righteous is the Cause,
How feeble is the foe !
Then, say Hey for the day
When we lay our masters low !
We bid good-bye to waste and want
When we lay our masters low.



From the Queensland newspaper the Worker Saturday 2 May 1896, p. 8.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory