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.

The Blessings of Emigration

The rich, who dearly love the poor,
Propose to open wide the door
Of this o’er-crowded nation;
To liberate the working-man
They preach the kind, paternal, plan
Of wholesale emigration.

Must it be so? So let it be.
But which of us shall cross the sea,
And who shall stay, my brothers?
‘Tis clear enough, “the unemployed”
Must be the first to make a void,
To benefit the others.

“The unemployed”—and who are they?
Not those, methinks, who night and day
Cry vainly for employment;
But rather those who feel no shame
To spend a lifetime on the game
Of wealthy self-enjoyment.

Such men the country well can spare,
Why should each selfish millionaire
Not practise what he preaches?
If some are forced to emigrate,
‘Tis best that those who drain the state
Drop off like full-gorged leeches.

The Prince himself many lead the van,
With many a lord and gentleman
Who lives in idle glory;
Ay, and amidst the rest I see
Those philanthropic Samuels three—
Morley, and Smith, and Storey.

So praise to those who teach the poor
Their plan of opening wide the door
Of this o’ercrowded nation;
For, rightly carried out, I deem
There is much merit in the scheme
Of wholesale emigration.

H. S. S.
Justice, May 9th, 1885 - No. 69