If you listen, you will hear from east to west,
Growing sounds of discontent and deep unrest.
It is just the progress-driven plough of God,
Tearing up the well-worn custom-bounded sod;
Shaping out each old tradition-trodden track
Into furrows, fertile furrows, rich and black.
Oh, what harvests they will yield
When they widen to a field.
They will widen, they will broaden, day by day,
As the Progress-driven plough keeps on its way.
It will riddle all the ancient roads that lead
Into palaces of selfishness and greed;
It will tear away the almshouse and the slum
That the little homes and garden plots may come.
Yes, the gardens green and sweet
Shall replace the stony street.
Let the wise man hear the menace that is blent
In this ever-growing sound of discontent.
Let him hear the rising clamour of the race
That the few shall yield the many larger space.
For the crucial hour is coming when the soil
Must be given to, or taken back by Toil.
Oh, that mighty plough of God;
Hear it breaking through the sod!
Poems of Problems. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
London : Gay and Hancock, 1914.
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