Claude McKay's Early Poetry (1911-1922): A Digital Collection

The Beast

The statesmen-hirelings its favour seek.
And the world's news is under its control;
​Great are the powers of the mighty clique
​That owns the slaving peoples, body and soul.
Down in its shops and offices and streets
​The toilers struggle, sullen, underpaid,
And pinch-faced poverty proud Plutus meets,
And pimps and harlots ply their wretched trade.
And in its gorgeous halls where gold holds sway
​the smirking mother offers her young daughter
​To haughty men for whom all women are play
​Or babes, or ornaments, or sheep for slaughter:
​Its system makes men parasites or brutes
And tends to make all women prostitutes.

(Workers Dreadnought. July 10, 1920. Signed as Hugh Hope)
​(Edited and Proofread by Amardeep Singh)

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