Preface

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Joe Hill

Murdered by the Authorities of the State of Utah, November the 19th, 1915
High head and back unbending-fearless and true,
Into the night unending, why was it you?

Heart that was quick with song, torn with their lead;
Life that was young and strong, shattered and dead.

Singer of manly songs, laughter and tears;
Singer of Labor's wrongs, joys, hopes and fears.

Though you were one of us, what could we do?
Joe, there were none of us needed like you.

We gave, however small, what Life could give;
We would have given all that you might live.

Your death you held as naught, slander and shame;
We from the very thought shrank as from flame.

Each of us held his breath, tense with despair,
You, who were close to Death, seemed not to care.

White-handed loathsome power, knowing no pause,
Sinking in labor's flower, murderous claws;

Boastful, with leering eyes, blood-dripping jaws . . .
Accurst be the cowardice hidden in laws!

Utah has drained your blood; white hands are wet;
We of the "surging flood" NEVER FORGET!

Our songster! have your laws now had their fill?
Know, ye, his songs and cause ye cannot kill?

High head and back unbending--"rebel true blue,"
Into the night unending; why was it you?

- Ralph Chaplin.

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