I know ‘tis idle thus to sing,
So set me down as “lazy;”
Or, people on the other hand
May classify me “crazy.”
But join together, I’ll be both,
For epithets and scorning
Will justify me in the song ---
I’m tired of Monday morning!
To curse our time, and know it wrong,
To curse what Goddoth send us;
Where is the palliation, but
To pray that He would send us
In thoroughfares where affluence
Could view us ever mourning;
When Sabbath suns decline, and looms
In prospect – Monday morning?
Methinks I shouldn’t care for work,
Nay, it would only ease me,
If from that labour something came
To satisfy and please me.
But toiling hard, and starving too,
No wonder ‘tis I’m burning
In simple indignation to
Descant on Monday morning.
Gay, haughty ones, with coffers full,
Who never need to grumble,
Ye know not that I am a slave, ---
A patient one, and humble;
Pinion’d with work, and blind with dust,
My deep reflections turning,
Not to my looms but pleasant hours
Cut short by Monday morning.
Once I could work my time away,
Come home each night and rest me;
And simply thought of such a time
That God had smiled and blest me.
But now I only dream of rest,
Of Sunday oft returning,
And in those dreams comes skulking on
The ghost of Monday morning.
E’en now, when Sabbath morn returns
In all its silent glory,
No [calm] repose reigns o’er our hearth,
No father’s head so hoary,
Stoops o’er the Book, as was his wont,
Imparting Bible learning;
For piety and zeal combined,
Are merged in Monday morning.
And what resource? Is there a time
For which I, poorly faring,
May crouch and sit and hope to see
When all shall cease despairing?
Yes, sailing o’er full many a sea,
To gladden life’s sojourning ;
The messenger of peace shall peal,
“Resurgam, Monday morning.”

Title:Monday Morning

Author:Henry Yates

Publication:The Blackburn Times

Published in:Blackburn

Date:February 27, 1864

Keywords:comic, morality, poverty, song, work


This poem by Henry Yates contrasts the boredom and drudgery of industrial work with the worse fate of unemployment. Published shortly before the end of the Cotton Famine it looks forward to peace in the American Civil War bringing a resurgence of former relative prosperity, even if the speaker does identify themselves as a ‘slave’ in work terms. – SR