Union Songs

Master's Peace In Industry

A poem by Ernest Antony©Ernest Antony 1930

"Let there be peace between us, slave," my master said to me;
Yes, let us now co-operate for peace in industry.
Though bitter strife has heretofore between us two prevailed,
Oh, let us lay aside the sword, its power now has failed.

Now usually he curses me, and calls me Bolshevick,
When he puts greater pressure on and I am forced to kick;
So, in my childish ignorance. I thought the day was here
When slaving lambs with master lions, might lie without a fear

But, oh, how sad an error 'twas, as I was soon to find.
For master had in view a peace of quite a different kind.
His formula of peace was this—that I should harder toil,
For lower wages, so that he could gather greater spoil.

And his intent was but to gain by innocent consent,
To slave and starve a little more and be much more content.
That I should make no effort to prevent him stealing more.
Is quite a simple way to end the economic war.

If he wants peace in industry, and bigger profits too,
The slaves are going to suffer more than they already do.
His peace gives no assurance that he'd be satisfied,
Before the race of slaves have all from slow starvation died.


This poem is in Ernest Antony's book of thirty three poems titled The Hungry Mile and published in Sydney in 1930.

see also

Ernest Antony and the Hungry Mile Launch of Second Edition 2008

The Hungry Mile And 'Maritime Invisibility' by Rowan Cahill and

Ernest Antony: Forgotten Poet by Rowan Cahill

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