Pen and Shears

A poem by Morris Rosenfeld

My tailor's shears I scorned then;
I strove for something higher:
To edit news--live by the pen--
The pen that shall not tire!

The pen, that was my humble slave,
Has now enslaved its master;
And fast as flows its Midas-wave,
My rebel tears flow faster.

The world I clad once, tailor-hired,
Whilst I in tatters quaked,
Today, you see me well attired,
Who lets the world go naked.

What human soul, how'er oppressed,
Can feel my chained soul's yearning!
A monster woe lies in my breast,
In voiceless anguish burning.

Oh, swing ajar the shop door, do!
I'll bear as ne'er I bore it.
My blood!... you sweatshop leeches, you!...
Now less I'll blame you for it.

I'll stitch as ne'er in former years;
I'll drive the mad wheel faster;
Slave will I be but to the shears;
The pen shall know its master!

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