MARCH 20th DEMONSTRATION (AS THE PESSIMIST SAW IT)
In the suburbs live the fractions:
The half-man, quarter-man, man of two ninths,
Eighth of a man, tenth of a man, five percenter,
Centiman, milliman, still smaller fractions;
And as each of these is to a man
So is his trollop to half a woman.
With nothing to live for,
Nothing to die for,
They waddle through life towards death.
Shall we depart, then. from the suburbs,
And descend among the workers,
Here only to sing man's praises?
Shall we seek, like good romantics,
Where degradation is deepest,
To stumble upon the sublime
Exactly where we expected?
These are the workers, my friend:
So they live, so they dress. so they march, so they speak.
Less downtrodden, perhaps than you thought?
Does a greater voice speak through their lives,
In the essence refined from one life
Or the actual lives of all, totalled?
An ideal voice pure and thrilling
As this real one's voice dull and earthy?
A voice, vast in power and meaning,
Looking after no gross Number One?
My friend, come out of your dream;
If you say: "All hail to the mob,
That incarnates social progress"
Your description can hardly be faulted,
But why does the prospect delight you?
Are you certain that social progress
Is giving men more to live for,
Is giving men more to die for?
Look steadily at the world
As it dances mockingly round you,
And may your dreams die bravely
As the resolute Sioux at the stake.