“OH, RING THE FACTORY BELL!”
[Suggested by a conversation with an operative out of employ.]
Oh! ring again that factory bell,
That once awoke the morn;
I used to hate that slumber-knell,
And deem my lot forlorn,
But now I listen for that sound,
The hours I vainly tell,
And think what joy would spread around,
To hear the factory bell.
I sit and look into the grate,
White ashes cold lie there;
One shelf contains an empty plate,
And all the rest are bare.
A broken box is now my seat,
Our chairs we’re forced to sell;
And sold are all my pictures neat –
Oh! ring that factory bell!
We reared a rose, my wife and I;
‘Twas on our wedding day;
We brought it; she wept bitterly
To see it ta’en away.
The books, too, I had read to her,
When all seemed bright and well,
Go, one by one, ‘tis hard to bear –
Oh! ring that factory bell.
I see my children day by day
Grow paler and more sad,
And look quite faint amidst their play –
It almost drives me mad.
My wife stands sighing at the door,
I see her bosom swell,
And find her tear-drops on the floor –
Oh! ring that factory bell!