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Masses & Mainstream
November, 1950 p. 12

October Revolution


THE little spark,
touched by what suffering and what splendid endeavor,
when I was only three, and lay in my mother's arms!
Sleep gently, my child, oh, gently,
the wild winds blow-sleep, and in your sleep
will be a sound of men singing of tomorrow,
where the red banners unfurl to the morning breeze.

And now my own children sleep.
Sleep, my children, sleep well,
no care, and not for you
shall there be the jail, the knouted whip, diverse terror;
for it is October, my children,
and far away men build in freedom-

Ah, what shall I tell a Korean mother
who holds a broken child in her arms?
Ah, what shall I tell a Grecian maiden
whose lover has gone to return no more?
And my own children-
what shall I tell them when I go away?

If I go away, I will come again,
for this is the time of dawning, of dawning.
Your beautiful world will be like a garden,
and pure will you grow in it,
and proud will you stand in it,
and when you reach out, you will touch my dreams.

This is October, when the workers arose,
and the red banners unfurled in the cleansing wind,
and the sound of their singing was heard all over the world.