. . . Are you not near the Luddites? By the Lord! If there's a row, but I'll be among ye! How go on the weavers--the breakers of frames--the Lutherans of politics--the reformers?
As the Liberty lads o'er the sea
Bought their freedom, and cheaply, with blood,
So we, boys, we
Will die fighting, or live free,
And down with all kings but King Ludd!
When the web that we weave is complete,
And the shuttle exchanged for the sword,
We will fling the winding-sheet
O'er the despot at our feet,
And dye it deep in the gore he has pour'd.
There's an amiable chanson for you--all impromptu. I have written it principally to shock your neighbour * * , who is all clergy and loyalty--mirth and innocence--milk and water. . . .
Though black as his heart its hue,
Since his veins are corrupted to mud,
Yet this is the dew
Which the tree shall renew
Of Liberty, planted by Ludd!
(Lord Byron, "Song for the Luddites", sent in a letter to Thomas Moore, 24 Dec. 1816)
Of course, if we read with an eye, what is the actual horror here?
It's the slipping hinge between "the gore he has pour'd" and the "black" heart of the machine/despot, with its "veins corrupted to mud."
That is, the dyeing of the shroud - black - is done in the gore already spilled (read: that of lives destroyed in the course of being employed as living labor), not in that of the slain master. The shroud is not oil-slicked. No, it is dyed in the dying that had been happening, such that even at the point of the despot/machine's death, it lies cloaked in the winding-sheet that was the very product it made all along. From absorption of labor power, in the name of production, to the sopping up of life lost, in the name of the mocking burial of what never lived.
But if it is not its blood but our own in which it is dyed, then we too must have those same black hearts, that busted pump that shoves our cheap gore around worked veins. In exhanging shuttle for swords, we lay ourselves down next to the slain machine, pulling the wet shroud over us all, tuck us all in.
Let the living bury themselves as, and with, their dead.