Daily Work

Who lags for dread of daily work,
And his appointed task would shirk,
Commits a folly and a crime;
A soulless slave — a paltry knave —
A clog upon the wheels of Time.
With work to do, and store of health,
The man's unworthy to be free,
Who will not give, that he may live,
His daily toil for daily fee.

No! Let us work! We only ask
Reward proportioned to our task: —
We have no quarrel with the great;
No feud with rank — with mill or bank —
No envy of a lord's estate.
If we can earn sufficient store
To satisfy our daily need;
And can retain, for age and pain,
A fraction, we are rich indeed.

No dread of toil have we or ours;
We know our worth, and weigh our powers;
The more we work the more we win:
Success to Trade! Success to Spade!
And to the corn that's coming in!
And joy to him, who o'er his task
Remembers toil is Nature's plan;
Who, working, thinks — and never sinks
His independence as a man.

Who only asks for humblest wealth,
Enough for competence and health;
And leisure, when his work is done,
To read his book by chimney nook,
Or stroll at setting of the sun.
Who toils as every man should toil
For fair reward, erect and free:
These are the men — the best of men —
These are the men we mean to be!
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