This page is a labour of love -- and hence, must often take a back seat to labour for pay.   It will come.....


Ernest Jones





Composed during illness, on the sixth day of my incarceration, in a solitary cell, on bread and water, and without books, --August, 1849.


      They told me 'twas a fearful thing

        to pine in prison lone:

      The brain became a shrivelled scroll,

        the heart a living stone.


      Nor solitude, nor silent cell

        The teeming mind can tame:

      No tribute needs the granite-well;

        No food the planet-flame.


      Denied the fruit of others' thought,

        To write my own denied,

      Sweet sisters, Hope and Memory, brought

        Bright volumes to my side.


      And oft we trace, with airy pen,

        Full many a word of worth;

      For Time will pass, and Freedom then

        Shall flash them on the earth.


      They told me that my veins would flag,

        My ardour would decay;

      And heavily their fetters drag

        My blood's young strength away.


      Like conquerors bounding to the goal,

        Where cold, white marble gleams,

      Magnificent red rivers! roll!-

        Roll! all you thousand streams!.


      Oft, to passion's stormy gale,

        When sleep I seek in vain,

      Fleets of fancy up them sail,

        And anchor in my brain.


      But never a wish for base retreat,

        Or thought of a recreant part,

      While yet a single pulse shall beat

        Proud marches in my heart.


      They'll find me still unchanged and strong,

        when breaks their puny thrall;

      With hate-for not one living soul-

        And pity-for them all


   Notes to the People, 1851, 66.



Ernest Jones


Song of the Lower Classes

We plow and sow, we're so very, very low,
That we delve in the dirty clay;
Till we bless the plain with the golden grain,
And the vale with the fragrant hay.
Our place we know, we're so very, very low,
'Tis down at the landlord's feet;
We're not too low the grain to grow,
But too low the bread to eat.

Down, down we go, we're so very, very ow,
To the hell of the deep-sunk mines;
But we gather the proudest gems that glow,
When the crown of the despot shines;
And when'er he lacks, upon our backs
Fresh loads he deigns to lay:
We're far too low to vote the tax
But not too low to pay.

We're low, we're low -- we're very, very low --
And yet from our fingers glide
The silken floss and the robes that glow
Round the limbs of the sons of pride;
And what we get, and what we give,
We know, and we know our share;
We're not too low the cloth to weave,
But too low the cloth to wear.

We're low, we're low, we're very, very low,
And yet when the trumpets ring,
The thrust of a poor man's arm will go
Through the heart of the proudest king.
We're low, we're low -- mere rabble, we know --
We're only the rank and the file;
We're not too low to kill the foe,
But too low to share the spoil.

Notes to the People,  1852