Song of the Low

Song of the Low         by Ernest Jones

We’er low—we’re low—we’re very very low,
        As low as low can be;
The rich are high—for we make them so—
        And a miserable lot are we!
        And a miserable lot are we! are we!
                A miserable lot are we!

We plough and sow—we’re so very very low,
    That we delve in the dirty clay,
Till we bless the plain with the golden grain,
    And the vale with the fragrant hay.
Our place we know—we’re so very low,
    ‘Tis down at the landlords’ feet:
We’re not too low—the bread to grow,
    But too low the bread to eat.
                We’re low, we’re low, etc.

Down, down we go—we’re so very very low,
    To the hell of the deep sunk mines.
But we gather the proudest gems that glow,
    When the crown of a despot shines;
And whenever he lacks—upon our backs
    Fresh loads he deigns to lay,
We’re far too low to vote the tax.
    But not too low to pay.
            We’re low, we’re low, etc.

We’re low, we’re low—mere rabble, we know,
    But at our plastic power,
The mould at the lordling’s feet will grow
    Into palace and church and tower—
Then prostrate fall—in the rich man’s hall,
    And cringe at the rich man’s door,
We’re not too low to build the wall,
    But too low to tread the floor.
            We’re low, we’re low, etc.

We’re low, we’re low—we’re very very low,
    Yet from our fingers glide
The silken flow—and the robes that glow,
    Round the limbs of the sons of pride.
And what we get—and what we give,
    We know—and we know our share.
We’re not too low the cloth to weave—
    But too low the cloth to wear.
            We’re low, we’re low, etc.

We’re low, we’re low—we’re very very low,
    And yet when the trumpets ring,
The thrust of a poor man’s arm will go
    Through the heart of the proudest king!
We’re low; we’re low—our place we know,
    We’re only the rank and file,
We’re not too low—to kill the foe,
    But too low to touch the spoil.
            We’re low, were low, etc.

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