Henry Salt Archive

Henry Salt (1853-1939) was the author of the Life of Henry David Thoreau, Animals Rights and A Plea for Vegetarianism which inspired Gandhi for follow a vegetarian diet.

All Fools' Day

Once more comes round the season gay,
When folly claims her festive day;
Her day of blithe fantastic fun,
When gawks on bootless errands run;
When greenhorn schoolboys, mug in hand,
Their pint of pigeon’s-milk demand;
When circulars arrive, entreating
Attendance at some bogus meeting;
When mischief reigns, and urchins sly
Play pranks on sober passers-by;
Nor need the rogues due vengeance fear,
Since April comes but once a year.

Yet one there is, foredoomed by fate
To mockery of a longer date;
The Workman,—who must pine and mope,
Like Tantalus, in hopeless hope,
Each year, each month, each week, each day,
Grim disappointment’s helpless prey;
Must sweat and toil from youth to age,
Oft cheated of the oft-earned wage;
Hear talk of philanthropic schemes
More childish than a dotard’s dreams;
Be hailed free man by statesmen grave,
Yet treated worse than negro slave;
Bereft of substance, hope and health,
That scamps may squander countless wealth.

Thus, day by day, and week by week,
Seeking the bliss that’s still to seek;
And month by month, and year by year,
Nearing the prize that’s never near,
He lives, the rich man’s dupe and tool,
An everlasting April Fool.

H. S. S.
Justice, April 2, 1887