Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
The Working Man’s Song
 
John Stuart Blackie (1809–95)
 
 
I AM no gentleman, not I!
  No bowing, scraping thing!
I bear my head more free and high
  Than titled count or king.
I am no gentleman, not I!        5
        No, no, no!
And only to one Lord on high
        My head I bow.
 
I am no gentleman, not I!
  No vain and varnish’d thing!        10
And from my heart, without a die,
  My honest thoughts I fling.
I am no gentleman, not I!
        No, no, no!
Our stout John Knox was none—and why        15
        Should I be so?
 
I am no gentleman, not I!
  No mincing, modish thing,
In gay saloon a butterfly,
  Some wax-doll Miss to wing.        20
I am no gentleman, not I!
        No, no, no!
No moth, to sport in fashion’s eye,
        A Bond Street beau.
 
I am no gentleman, not I!        25
  No bully, braggart thing,
With jockeys on the course to vie,
  With bull-dogs in the ring.
I am no gentleman, not I!
        No, no, no!        30
The working man might sooner die
        Than sink so low.
 
I am no gentleman, not I!
  No star-bedizen’d thing!
My fathers filch’d no dignity,        35
  By fawning to a king.
I am no gentleman, not I!
        No, no, no!
And to the wage of honesty
        My rank I owe.        40
 
I am no gentleman, not I!
  No bowing, scraping thing!
I bear my head more free and high
  Than titled count or king.
I am no gentleman, not I!        45
        No, no, no!
And thank the blessed God on high,
        Who made me so!
 

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