Patriotic pieces from the Great War/The Workers
By permission of the author
We laid the keel of the ship that sails the waters of peace or war.
We built her strong for the strongest gales, and big for the load she bore!
We made the ship and we made her great with the things that we put inside—
We made the ship and we made the freight, the seas of the world to ride!
If a ship of war, then we made her guns—if a ship of trade, her wares!
She's built of the bone of the working ones, and the blood of her flag is theirs!
Sailor or soldier or citizen she will carry across the main—
She's made of the muscle of working men, and born of the worker's brain.
The load of her deck, the grain of her hold, whatever her cargo be,
Food or clothing or goods or gold, whatever she takes to sea,
The sower's arm or the toiler's toil made ready the thing to go—
The shop's machine or the farmer's soil or the forge's lusty blow!
The birds of the sea must nest on land, on the land the birds are born;
They must take their stores from the toiler's hand, they must take their wheat and corn;
For they who sail are a mighty race, and serving a mighty need—
But he who stands in the Worker's place is serving the world indeed!