Oh, when the world is hopeless
what is a man to do?
When the vast, vast masses of men have been caught by the machine
into the industrial dance of the living death, the jigging of wage-paid work,
and fed on condition they dance this dance of corpses driven by steam.
When year by year, year in, year out, in millions, in increasing millions
they dance, dance, dance this dry industrial jig of the corpses entangled in iron
and there’s no escape, for the iron goes through their genitals, brains, and souls
then what is a man to do?
For mankind is a single corpus, we are all one flesh
even with the industrial masses, and the greedy middle mass.
Is it hopeless, hopeless, hopeless?
has the iron got them fast?
are their hearts the hub of the wheel?
the millions, millions of my fellow-men!
Then must a single man die with them, in the clutch of iron?
Or must he try to amputate himself from the iron-entangled body of mankind
and risk bleeding to death, but perhaps escape into some unpopular place
and leave the fearful Laocoön of his fellow-man entangled in iron
to its fearful fate.