Hog Butcher for the World
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell my you are crooked and I answer: Yes it is true I have seen the gunmen kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of the women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and course and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the soft little cities;
Fierce as a dog lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with withe teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a fight,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs is the heart of the people, Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.