Working men of Manchester, unkempt, ill-fed and pale,
Eeking out their daily lives in ceaseless rude travail,
Enslaved by genocide machines, in thankless factory walls,
Their souls tormented by the cries of bairns, when hunger calls.
They served the master-class full well and brought wealth to the land,
Yet were denied their just rewards, subdued by iron hand.
In wretched hovels, filthy, damp, they were obliged to bide,
Their kin, struck down by dread disease, oft mercifully died.
This dumb people, so convulsed, by such a plight severe,
Could not make known their wretchedness to even Government’s ear.
By strikes, petitions, anarchy, their needs they did convey
To those in power across the land, the answer, always nay.
Yet could these souls in misery, be likened to a pawn,
Manoeuvred by the hands of greed, in industry’s new dawn?
They flocked from villages and farms, and Ireland’s hungry fields,
To seek a new dimension in the form of life’s ideals.
The urban sprawl then quickly grew, to match industrial growth,
But profits pooled went to the rich, there was not room for both.
But one must ask, why were they poor, denied life’s basic needs?
Were they really victims of the game of wealth and greed?
Could the human race survive if leaders had it not,
Men of vision, wealth and power, to shape their country’s lot?
Our way of private enterprise, disliked by Engels, Marx,
Perhaps surpasses other ways in answering questions that it asks.
How can production, standards rise, if incentive’s not innate,
And workers merely do their jobs, paid for by the State?
What joy is there in job appeal for those who live this way,
Whose lives are only numbers in a game of Stately play?
To answer questions such as these, we look at history’s tale
And find in past experience the ways that should prevail.
As time moves resolutely on, deep thinkers write and plan
To find a way that will provide a better life for man.
New housing projects are designed, with gardens all sublime,
And space abounds in dwelling grounds, signs of a better time.
The workers now can dress in wool, and all are better fed
Than those poor souls of Manchester, for whom our hearts have bled.
For they were of a sadder time, of Queen Victoria’s reign,
When values weren’t the same as now, and class was fought in vain.
But time has moved a hundred years, with many visions rent,
Though much has been achieved for all the human spirit spent.
So where will go the human race, as bonds of want release,
‘Twill surely find Utopia and ever live in peace.