For the Voice of Industry
Ah! leave my harp and me alone
My grief thou may'st not share,
Responsive to its plaintive tone
Will flow refreshing tears.
Far from the factory's deaf’ning sound,
From all its noise and strife,
Would that my years might run their rounds
In sweep retired life.
But, if I still must wend my way,
Uncheered by hope's sweet song,
God grant, that in the mills, a day
May be blest, "Ten Hours" long.
Laborers, to the GREAT CAUSE plighted!
Firm of limb and high of soul!
Shall it e'er be said, united
We were forced to brook control?
What though broad petitions moulder,
In yonder Legislative Hall?
Let not hearts, or hopes grow colder—
Perseverance conquers all.
Sisters, haste, the bell is tolling,
Soon will close the dreadful gate;
Then, alas! We must go strolling,
Through the counting room, too late.
Now the sun is upward climbing,
And the breakfast hour has come;
Ding, dong, ding, the bell is chiming,
Hasten, sisters, hasten home.
Quickly now we take our ration,
For the bell will babble soon;
Each must hurry to her station,
There to toil till weary noon.
Mid-day sun is heaven is shining,
Merrily now the clear bell rings,
And the grateful hour of dining
To us weary sisters brings.
Now we give a welcome greeting
To these viands cooked so well;
Horror! Oh! Not half done eating -
Rattle, rattle goes the bell.
Sol behind the hills descend,
Upwards throws his ruby light;
Ding dong ding, - our toil is ended,
Joyous bell, good night, good night.
May 25, 1844
(note: This poem did not appear in the Voice of Industry; it was published in The Factory Girl’s Garland, a newspaper created for the women operatives in Exeter, New Hampshire.)