The Clock

The Clock in the workshop, – it rests not a moment;

It points on, and ticks on: eternity-time;

Once someone told me the clock had a meaning,­

In pointing and ticking had reason and rhyme. . .

At times, when I listen, I hear the clock plainly;

The reason of old – the old meaning – is gone!

The maddening pendulum urges me forward

To labor and still labor on.

The tick of the clock is the boss in his anger.

The face of the clock has the eyes of the foe.

The clock – I shudder – Dost hear how it draws me?

It calls me “Machine” – and it cries [to] me “Sew”!

Morris Rosenfeld, the presser of men’s clothing in Herbert Gutman‘s Work Culture & Society in Industrializing America.

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