The Sweat Shop
Morris Rosenfeld

The machines in the shop are wildly noisy,
     that often, in the noise, I forget that I am: —
I become lost in that frightful din,
     My self becomes a waste, I become a machine;
I work, and work without keeping count,
     I make, and make with countless pieces;
For what? And for whom? I don’t know, I don’t ask —
     How does a machine get to think sometimes?

I look upon a plan of attack with bitter rage
     with fear, with revenge, with infernal pain; —
The clock, now I hear it correctly, it awakens it;
     “An end to the slavery, an end it should be!”
He stimulates in me my understanding, the feelings,
     And knows how the hours run on;
A lonely one I remain, as long as I will keep quiet,
      Lost as long as I remain what I am...
The person which sleeps in me begins to awaken,
     The slave, which awakens in me, seems to me sleeps on; — 
Now the right hour has come!
     An end to that loneliness, an end let it be!…
But suddenly — the whistle, the boss — an alarm!
      I go out of my mind, forget where I am, — 
It is very noisy, they fight, oh, my ego is lost, —
     I don’t know, it doesn’t bother me, I am a machine...