We have trod, have trod, have trod
upon our heels, our wounded heels
and cried to God and prayed to God
for chairs and pipes and three square meals,
for ottomans to prop our heels,
to heal our wounded, trod-on heels.
But Progress is the firing squad
which livelong day we march to meet,
selecting those who are most parched
to sing and dance on bloodied feet,
to mock their wounds and paint the street
with blood from feet which long have marched
and longer yet will march the street
and tramp the cobblestones to dust
to leave us choked and blind and parched
by gravel ground to dust by feet
while Progress shrieks: you will, you must!
And Progress was the first thing that mankind ever knew;
Before he had a word for love, his fingers could count two.
Progress was the first thing that man has ever done,
and it will be the last thing that he will ever do.