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

The March of the Workers

Morris, William

William Morris

(English poet and artist, 1834–1896; founder of the “Arts and Crafts” movement, and a lifelong Socialist)

WHAT is this—the sound and rumor? What is this that all men hear,

Like the wind in hollow valleys when the storm is drawing near,

Like the rolling-on of ocean in the eventide of fear?

’Tis the people marching on.


Hark the rolling of the thunder!

Lo! the sun! and lo! thereunder

Riseth wrath, and hope, and wonder,

And the host comes marching on.

Forth they come from grief and torment; on they go towards health and mirth.

All the wide world is their dwelling, every corner of the earth.

Buy them, sell them for thy service! Try the bargain what ’tis worth,

For the days are marching on.(Chorus)

Many a hundred years passed over have they labored deaf and blind;

Never tidings reached their sorrow, never hope their toil might find.

Now at last they’ve heard and hear it, and the cry comes down the wind

And their feet are marching on.(Chorus)

“Is it war then? Will ye perish as the dry wood in the fire?

Is it peace? Then be ye of us, let your hope be our desire.

Come and live! for life awaketh, and the world shall never tire;

And hope is marching on.(Chorus)