Dora B. Montefiore

Hands Beating at the Door

Source: The Communist, September 2, 1920, p. 3 (447 words)
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Beating, beating, beating at the Door of Privilege,
Listen to the many million hands.
Ever more urgent grows the sound,
Ever more strong and conscious grows the pressure of those that beat with bare hands. . . .
The gnarled and wounded hands of labour,
The hands of homeless “heroes,” who, have returned from War to starve in Peace,
The wrinkled hands of working Motherhood,
The soft, compelling hands of little children…
And the heavy Door of Privilege, studded with the iron bolts of ancient laws,
Groans and sways under the pressure of those millions of beating hands. . .
Behind the Door huddle fear-stricken the Privileged Few.
Horror is in their eyes, for they have heard the tale of how one of the heaviest and most well-guarded Doors had lately given way,
And how the Millions, entering in., had driven out the Few,
Or had compelled them to work. . . .
So, those behind the Door shrink and tremble, as they listen to the beating of the bare hands,
Though some mock, and others say: “Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow the Terror may be upon us.”
And as the Door sways inwards with the pressure,
Those who beat upon it catch glimpses of the revels and of the luxury of the Privileged Few, whose armed mercenaries guard the inner side of the Door.
And those whose hands are bruised and weary, beating on the outside, cry to the armed guards:
“Brothers, you are on the wrong side of the Door; come and stand outside with us, and help us to beat down the Door of Privilege,
So that we may all enter in together, and share the communal life.”
And the Privileged Few inside cry out and shriek in their terror,
For well they know that if their mercenaries once understand, and escape them, their last hope is gone.
So they double their rewards to those who guard the great Door, and again they say: “It is well, it is well; the dogs will be forced to go back to their kennels.”…
But ever more urgent grows the sound al the bare, beating hands,
And ever more strong and conscious grows the pressure on the great heavy Door of Privilege;
And the Door is red with the oozing blood of those who beat with bare palms.…
And, the end is not yet. . . .
But the pressure on the Door grows and grows,
While those who are behind—the Few—fear ever more and more, because they begin now to understand
That the hour when the Door must give way is not far off.