The Revolutioner

by Erich Mühsam, 1908 (Original in German)
Dedicated to German Social Democracy

A guy for revolution screamed
Who as civilian lanterns cleaned
Marched like chased by Lucifer
With all the revolutioners

And he cried: “I revolute!”
His revoluting hat so cute
Tilted over his left ear
Felt most dangerous, oh dear!

But the revoluters roved
In the middle of the road
Where usually, without dismay
He cleans the lanterns every day

The revolutionary crowd
Began to tear the lanterns out
The pavement disarrayed
They built a barricade!
The pavement disarrayed
They built a barricade!

Our revolutionary cried:
“People, I’m the cleaning guy
Of this lamp, so kind and warm
Please, don’t do it any harm.”

“If we take away their light
The citizens won’t see at night
Spare these lamps, I do deplore
Or I won’t play with you no more!”

The revolutionaries laughed
And the gas lanterns they smashed
And the lampman slid away
Cried so bitter in dismay

So he stayed at home
And wrote a mighty tome:
Called: How to revolt
and still scrub lanterns to the last bolt

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