Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WORKERS, by WALT MASON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

WORKERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It's good to work, with might and main, until
Last Line: Friends.
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Money; Wages; Work; Workers; Salaries

IT'S good to work, with might and main, until the workday ends; it's good to
work, in sun or rain—but do not work your friends. The toiler's worthy of
his hire, wherever he may be, though he be punishing a lyre or chopping down a
tree; though he be furrowing the loam, that harvests may abound, 'tis labor
brings the bacon home, and makes the wheels go round. Renown for toiling with a

vim the true distinction lends; so work until the light grows dim—but do
not work your friends. The willing worker seldom sees the lean wolf at his door;

he has his wienerwurst and cheese and other grub in store. Men's admiration he
commands, no matter where he wends; he does his work with both his hands, but
does not work his friends. There is no sadder, punker sight, in any
neighborhood, than is the husky, lazy wight who's cut out work for good. We all

have seen his maudlin tear, have heard his whining tones; a guilder there, a
kroner here, from all of us he bones. To gain a dime this shameless shirk to
lowest depths descends; for when a man quits useful work, he starts to work his


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