The Sleepers

I thought this poem by W.H. Davies particularly relevant. Though written nearly a century ago it seems very relevant to the wage-slave Britain of today…

The Sleepers

As I walked down the waterside

This silent morning, wet and dark;

Before the cocks in farmyards crowed,

Before the dogs began to bark;

Before the hour of five was struck

By old Westminster’s mighty clock:

As I walked down the waterside

This morning, in the cold damp air,

I saw a hundred women and men

Huddled in rags and sleeping there:

These people have no work, thought I,

And long before their time they die.

That moment, on the waterside,

A lighted car came at a bound;

I looked inside, and saw a score

Of pale and weary men that frowned;

Each man sat in a huddled heap,

Carried to work while fast asleep.

Ten cars rushed down the waterside

Like lighted coffins in the dark;

With twenty dead men in each car,

That must be brought alive by work:

These people work too hard, thought I,

And long before their time they die.

W.H. Davies

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