The Wants of the People

What do we want? Our daily bread;
Leave to earn it by our skill:
Leave to labor freely for it,
Leave to buy it where we will:
For 'tis hard upon the many,
Hard — unpitied by the few,
To starve and die for want of work,
Or live, half-starved, with work to do.

What do we want? Our daily bread;
Fair reward for labor done;
Daily bread for wives and children;
All our wants are merged in one.
When the fierce fiend, Hunger, grips us,
Evil fancies clog our brains,
Vengeance settles on our hearts,
And Frenzy gallops through our veins.

What do we want? Our daily bread:
Give us that; all else will come;
Self-respect, and self-denial,
And the happiness of home;
Kindly feelings, Education,
Liberty for act and thought;
And surety that, whate'er befall,
Our children shall be fed and taught.

What do we want? Our daily bread;
Give us that for willing toil:
Make us sharers in the plenty
God has shower'd upon the soil;
And we'll nurse our better natures
With bold hearts and judgment strong,
To do as much as men can do
To keep the world from going wrong.

What do we want? Our daily bread,
And trade untrammel'd as the wind;
And from our ranks shall spirits start,
To aid the progress of mankind.
Sages, poets, mechanicians;
Mighty thinkers shall arise,
To take their share of loftier work,
And teach, exalt, and civilize.

What do we want? Our daily bread:
Grant it: — make our efforts free;
Let us work, and let us prosper;
You shall prosper more than we;
And the humblest homes of England
Shall, in proper time, give birth
To better men than we have been,
To live upon a better earth.
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