Eugene Debs: Labor Day Message, 1897

There are periods of time in the course of human events when every sentiment of fealty to humanity prompts men to make declarations involving new departures from the old beaten pathways in which men have tramped and wrought and starved and died, and left as an inheritance to their children the same deplorable condition — lives in which the agony of trial, beginning in the cradle, pursues its victim until death closes the scene; a condition in which high aspirations and noble ambitions live for a time to allure their possessors and then

Like Dead Sea fruits that tempt the eye,
Turn to ashes on the lip.

a condition which tells by the wounds and bruises which afflict the victims how deep has penetrated the steel of oppression when selfishness and greed directed the blow.

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