When the Leaves Come Out/The Conquest of the Earth

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The War is on—a growing storm against your outposts hurled.
It is no war of compromise; the death-flag is unfurled.
The armies of the dispossessed lay siege unto the world.

This is our war—our Holy War—the final Social Strife.
No mercy do we ask or give—no other prize but Life;
A war to win or lose the world—a battle to the knife.

Too long you gouged us one by one, and gloried in our fall,
Or when we fought dividedly you crushed us to the wall;
But now we know the hurt of one is injury to all.

No flags or tongues keep us apart; our creed is to be free.
The only Fatherland we have is world-wide Industry.
Where ere we toil we face the foe—our Common Enemy.

Too long we drudged like driven beasts beneath your iron sway;
Too long we faced, diverted, dumb, your hell-hounds in the fray;
Now WAR is on and YOU'RE the one to settle and to pay.

In One Big Union now we stand, the world to gain and own,
And in your beastly ugly face our battle-cry is thrown.
The earth with all its unborn wealth is OURS and ours ALONE.

Our weapons are "your" vast machines; they answer to OUR call.
The hands that guide them rule the world—the greatest force of all—
A power so mighty that it makes all other power small.

What will you say when that Day comes, when on the land and sea
Your sullen slaves have seen the Light of better times to be,
And leave their tasks to toil no more until they can be free?

When wheels and drills and looms will cease and each tool idle stands,
And mines and mills and factories are silent in all lands—
When you are driven forth to earn your living with your hands!

Ah, do not drivel platitudes at anything we do,
The dirty weapons you have used will suit our purpose too.
And we will pay you back in full just as we learned from you!

For in our strong, hard hands we hold a sure, resistless might,
More terrible than all your lies or guns and dynamite.
(What e'er is good for you is "wrong"; what's good for us is "right.")

You kept us in uncertainty, heart-hopeless and afraid.
You gave us cast-off crusts and rags, and claimed that we were "paid,"
You blighted us to suit your needs, then mocked the thing you made.

It seems the sight of your black deeds would daily haunt your mind,
The bodies that you rob and wreck, the souls you warp and grind;
But you grow greedier each day—more ravening and blind.

In spite of ceaseless golden streams that in your coffers pour—
More wealth than you can use or waste—you clamor still for gore;
You gouge and squeeze and clutch and scream for more and more and MORE.

Your narrow eyes see but the "game," your mouth is hard with sneers.
The only time you'll feel the touch of human woe and tears
Is when the sudden cyclone roars around your very ears.

You boasted, swollen with your pride, "I am because I am";
You flashed the scrawls that made you great—your printed paper sham;
Take one long loving look at them; they are not worth a damn!

They do not mean a thing to us; our hate-forged strength is sweet,
And all your "holy" codes and "laws" we trample with our feet;
Not all your lawyers, soldiers, priests can save you from defeat.

For you're a loathsome outlawed thing—a greed-fanged parasite,
An enemy of humankind without a single "right"—
The stolen plunder that you prize is ours to take on sight.

You are like rattlesnake or vermin red with lust.
You are a mad-dog hot for blood that bites because it must;
A thing to spit upon and curse and stamp into the dust.

For your syphilitic sons would keep the Future Race in chains;
Grow fat in lustful luxury from hired hands and brains,
And drench the earth, as you have done, for greater, richer gains!

But we've declared a War on you—decreed that you must fall!
Do you demand that WE make some portion large or small?
You have no valid right or claim to ANY share at all!

War rages now beneath your walls—around your marble towers
Where you enjoy the bloody feast mid wine and song and flowers;
And soon we'll make your life and bread as safe as you made ours.

WE made the mills, WE dug the mines, WE laid the shining rails,
We filled those golden coffers full, we spread your Argo sails;
And now we sweep you from the earth with force that never fails.

For it is OURS and ONLY ours, this world is ours alone.
OURS are the hands that dug and reaped those riches heaven thrown.
We plant the Red Flag on it ALL and claim it as our own.

The torpid ages travailed long while systems died and grew,
Until the final hour struck that sounded DOOM for you;
You are the Past, the Dead, the Dust; we Heralds of the New.

We are the Herators of Time, not outcasts of despair—
The Builders of a gleaming world, the Future, calm and fair;
And we've starved through your dismal night to feast in plenty there.

We want this world for all who work—a heritage by birth;
We want as "pay" the fullest joy that Human Life is worth:
We therefore start the New Crusade the Conquest of the Earth.

From out the reeking hells of greed where we have delved and spun
We'll stream forth with a ringing song, the Final Battle won,
To find upon the fair green earth our place within the sun!

The War is on—a howling storm—against your fastness hurled.
Our battle-line now girts the globe, the death-flag is unfurled.
We, who have slaved and slept and bled, shall soon possess the world!

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