I. Interpret the words given in bold type:
1. And as the sun we see, each asks, "The rich have got the earth, and what remains for me?" 2. We bear the wrong in silence, we store it in our brain. 3. With labour's arms, what labour raised, for labour's foe to spend. 4. The coming hope, the future day, when wrong to right shall bow. 5. And hearts that have the courage, man, to make that future now. 6. Toil, toil - and then a cheerless home, where hungry passions cross. 7. Eternal gain to them that give to me eternal loss. 8. They render back, those rich men, a pauper's niggard fee. 9. A trumpet through the lands will ring; a heaving through the mass. 10. And still, as rolls our million march, its watchword brave shall be...
II. Answer the following questions:
1. What is meant by a wage-slave? 2. What is the general idea of the poem? 3. In what lines of the poem is the struggle of the working class of England suggested? 4. What words does the poet use to describe the conditions of the toiling masses? 5. What images does the poet use to describe the coming revolution? 6. What idea is expressed in the sentence "The trader's is the sea"? 7. What is the answer to the wage-slave's question: "But what remains for me"? 8. What comparison does the poet use to show the strength of the working-class? 9. What idea is expressed in the line "The engine whirls for master's craft"? 10. What image is suggested by the words "The steel shines to defend"? 11. What image is suggested by the word combinations: "hollow cheeks" and "sunken eyes"? 12. What words and sentences are frequently repeated in the poem? Why are they repeated? 13. Why is the word "now" printed in italics? 14. What other English poems about the class struggle do you know?
III. Point out the main thought expressed by the poet in each of the three stanzas of the poem.
IV. Memorize the poem.
V.Read extracts from the following poems. Point out their lexical and syntactical peculiarities using the commentary given to the poem "The Song of the Wage-Slave":
THE SONG TO THE MEN OF ENGLAND
By P.B. Shelley (1792-1822)
| Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low?
| Wherefore weave with toil and care,
The rich robes your "tyrants wear?
| Wherefore feed, and clothe, and save,
From the cradle to the grave,
Those ungrateful drones who would
Drain your sweat - nay, drink your blood?
| Wherefore, Bees of England, forge
Many a weapon, chain, and scourge,
That these stingless drones may spoil
The forced produce of your toil?
THE SONG OF THE SHIRT
By T. Hood (179J-1845)
| With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread, -
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang The Song of the Shiru
| Work - work - work -:
My labour never flags;
And what are its wages? A bed of straw
A crust of bread - and rags.
That shatter'd roof - and this naked floor -
A table - a broken chair -
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank,
For sometimes falling there.
SONS OF POVERTY
By W. Jones
| Sons of poverty, assemble,
Ye whose hearts with woe are riven,
Let the guilty tyrants tremble,
Who your hearts such pains have given.
We will never
From the shrine of truth be driven.
| Must ye faint - ah: how much longer?
Better by the sword to die
Than to die of want and hunger:
They heed not your feeble cry:
Lift your voices to the sky.
VI. State what kinds of relations form the basis for each case of metonymy in the text of the poems "To the Men of England", 'The Song of the Shirt" and "Sons of Poverty".