James Oppenheim

Bread and Roses

Published: The Cry For Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest, ed. by Upton Sinclair, John C. Winston Co., 1915.
Transcribed: for marxists.org in January, 2002.

As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill-lofts gray
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing, "Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses."

As we come marching, marching, we battle, too, for men--
For they are women's children and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes--
Hearts starve as well as bodies: Give us Bread, but give us Roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient song of Bread;
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew--
Yes, bread we fight for--but we fight for Roses, too.

As we come marching, marching, we bring the Greater Days--
The rising of the women means the rising of the race--
No more the drudge and idler--ten that toil where one reposes--
But sharing of life's glories: Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses!