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Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
 
Bread and Roses

By James Oppenheim

(In a parade of the strikers of Lawrence, Mass., some young girls carried a banner inscribed, “We want Bread, and Roses too!” American poet and novelist; born 1882)
 
AS we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill-lofts gray
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing, “Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.”
 
As we come marching, marching, we battle, too, for men—        5
For they are women’s children and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes—
Hearts starve as well as bodies: Give us Bread, but give us Roses!
 
As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient song of Bread;        10
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew—
Yes, it is bread we fight for—but we fight for Roses, too.
 
As we come marching, marching, we bring the Greater Days—
The rising of the women means the rising of the race—
No more the drudge and idler—ten that toil where one reposes—        15
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses!
 
 
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