Primo Maggio (The First of May)

Come O May! The people await you
Their hearts longing for freedom await you;
Sweet Easter of those who work
Come and shine in the glory of the sun.

Sing a hymn of winged hope
To the great greenness that brings the fruit to ripeness
To the great flowering Ideal
Within which the shining future trembles.

O phalanxes of slaves, run away from
The worksites, the parched workshops,
Flee from the fields, from the swelling seas,
Put aside never-ending toil.

Let us raise our calloused hands,
Let us join together in a growing force.
We want to redeem our world,
Tyrannized by both sloth and gold.

Youth, grief, yearnings,
Springtimes of secret fascinations,
Green May of humankind,
Give your courage and your faith to our hearts.

Give flowers to the rebels who failed
Their sight fixed upon the break of dawn,
To the bold rebel who fights and works
To the far-seeing poet who sings and dies

Pietro Gori, 1890.

From: Haymarket Scrapbook (Chicago, Charles H. Kerr, 1986 and reprinted by AK Press). Translated by: Robert D'Attilio.