The Navvy's Shovel

The Worker Thursday 10 April 1913 p. 13.
[From "The Song of the Shovel," by Patk. McGill, the "Navvy Poet."]

Wonderful, ancient shovel, tool of the labour slave !
To you the sparkle-of-silver the hammer and furnace gave,
For you the virginal forest was stripped of its stateliest trees,
And you have the temper that flame has, and you have the graces of these.
Athens and Rome have known you, London and Paris know,
You'll raise the towns of the future when the towns of the present go—
A race will esteem and praise you in the days that are to be,
When I am silent and songless and the headstone crumbles on me !
Wonderful, navvy shovel, the days are near at hand
When you'll rise o'er sword and sceptre a mighty power in the land.

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