The Striker [leaflet, circa 1942-43]

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Many have sung the soldier 
From the rude red days of old, 
To this madder hour of more murderous power 
And death schemes manifold. 
But no one has sung the striker, 
Though a better fighter he 
For the bigger cause and the larger laws 
Of the world that is to be. 

Many have sung the statesman 
Of nation and state and clan; 
Though he served himself from the purs of pelf 
And lorded it over man. 
Yet greater than he, the striker, 
Lacking both fame and fee 
At the cost of all he has built the wall 
Of the city that is to be. 

Many have sung the scholar, 
Maker of book and school, 
Though his ease was earned by the throng unlearned 
Who slaved that the few might rule. 
But the lore and the law of the striker 
Will set the whole world free; 
Neither ease nor toil shall the spirit spoil 
In the knowledge that is to be. 

Many have sang the saintly, 
The pure of all times and creeds; 
But, alas, the good have denied the food 
For even the children’s needs; 
Kinder by far the striker, 
And truly more righteous he, 
For he stakes his meal on the common weal 
And the justice that is to be. 

Some day, when all are toilers, 
And nobody works for naught, 
When the worker rules over states and schools, 
And shapes all the realms of thought; 
They shall sing the song of the striker, 
No longer an outcast he, 
But with arms abreast, he shall stand confessed 
In the triumph that is to be. 

—Robert Whitaker. 

Reprinted from the INDUSTRIAL WORKER Jan. 2, 1942 
127 George St, Glasgow, C.1. 

[First published in the Industrial Pioneer, May 1921, Vol. 1, No. 4, Serial No. 4 see with some slight differences of wording eg ‘When the worker rules over kirks and schools’]