Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, KIRKLAND LAKE, by JAMES WREFORD WATSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

KIRKLAND LAKE, by            
First Line: Under the dark industrial sky
Last Line: They die for freedom that are free.
Alternate Author Name(s): Wreford, James
Subject(s): Freedom; Social Classes; Social Protest; Liberty; Caste

Under the dark industrial sky
we wonder why we have to die
who living, were valued at a wage
that starved our youth and murdered age?
Or why engage for tyrants here
to end the tyranny of fear,
whose quarrel is with all of those
the heavens of our desire that close?
For justice undertake a cause
that has no justice in its laws,
but claims for unity the right
forbids the citizen unite.
For thirty dollars shall we sell
our happiness to mend their hell,
to save their cuckoos, clear our nest,
redeem by our unrest their rest
and fight for freedom who are not free?
Let freemen die, but why should we
who toil to set the rich on high
three shifts beneath the smoking sky.
Let those who call on us to keep
their freedom safe and safe their sleep
account and pledge us higher for
the wealth and peace our griefs ensure!
a week-end fit for play like theirs
and futures guaranteed from cares,
evenings when not too tired a man
his leisure take and pleasure can,
a chance for more than daily bread—
their daughters for our sons to wed,
so working and in wanting we
may equal them and be as free.
But till that day let them not cry
upon our loyal sons to die,
who with our usual logic see
they die for freedom that are free.

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