Song

2    Father is gone!
3Why did they tax his bread?
4    God's will be done!
5Mother has sold her bed;
6Better to die than wed!
7Where shall she lay her head?
8    Home we have none!
10    God's will be done!
11Long for work did he seek,
12    Work he found none.
13Tears on his hollow cheek
14Told what no tongue could speak:
16    God's will be done!
17Doctor said air was best --
18    Food had we none;
19Father, with panting breast,
20    Groan'd to be gone:
21Now he is with the blest --
22Mother says death is best!
23We have no place of rest --
24    Yes, ye have one!

Notes

1] "Tune -- `Robin Adair'" (poet's note): this is "a popular song by Lady Caroline Keppel (1735-?)" (Selected Poetry of Ebenezer Elliott, ed. Mark Storey [Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2008): 246). Back to Line
9] clamm'd: clemmed (starved). Back to Line
15] break: possibly strike-break, undermine a workers' strike by hiring scabs (OED, "break," v., 9a). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1830
Publication Notes: 
Ebenezer Elliott, Corn Law Rhymes (London, 1831): 28-29.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2009
Rhyme: 
Form: