Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Poem By A “Factory Girl” Working In 19th-Century Textile Mill

Below is a poem written by a “factory girl” of Lowell, Massachusetts. The anonymous author of this poem was an Irish immigrant of the 19th century working in a textile mill in Lowell.

Above is a picture of abandoned mills in Lowell. 

Here is a link to the American Textile History Museum in Lowell. 

Here is the Lowell National Historical Park which features Lowell’s mill history. 

Here is a history of Irish immigration to the United States. 

Here is the poem—

When I set out for Lowell,

Some factory for to find,

I left my native country

And all my friends behind.

But now I am in Lowell,

And summon’d by the bell,

I think less of the factory

Than of my native dell.

The factory bell begins to ring

And we must obey

And to our old employment go,

Or else be turned away.

Come all ye weary factory girls,

I’ll have you understand,

I’m going to leave the factory

And return to my native land.

January 30, 2008 - Posted by | History, Poetry | , , , , ,


  1. Nice poem

    Comment by dmarks | January 30, 2008

  2. Thanks for the comment. Please visit the blog again.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 31, 2008

  3. keroac was from lowell, always wanted to visit.

    Comment by bill brady | February 2, 2008

  4. You still can—Looks like there are some things to see.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 4, 2008

  5. I live here in Lowell-I’ve heard this sung as a ballad. I was just telling my wife this morning how my grandmother’s sister came to Lowell, lost a finger in the mills, and returned to Ireland. You should visit.

    Comment by Steve O'Connor | January 11, 2009

  6. Steve–Thnak you very much for the kind comment and for the information. I was in Boston last year but, sorry to say, did not visit Lowell. I did though see an old mill in Waltham.

    Please visit the blog again.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 12, 2009

  7. That was stupid and horrible!!! that didn’t help me with my project at all

    Comment by Jane | April 29, 2009

  8. Jane–I wager it will take a lot more than just this poem to help you. Sorry you appear to live in a community that has no library.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 29, 2009

  9. Neil, I’m sure many Irish (and others) wanted to go back home as many do now. Love the poem and the painting of the woman on the top of your sidebar. A “Texas Liberal” huh? Are you very lonely out there? I’m speaking from the heart of New York City. 🙂 I share your politics.

    Comment by maryt/theteach | September 21, 2009

  10. Maryt–Thank you for your nice comment. There are many liberals in Houston and in Texas. Though not enough I suppose. At least not at the moment. I’ve added your blog to my blogroll. Please visit this shop again.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | September 23, 2009

  11. yo i want to write poems about kids and harsh things that happens to them how do i start?

    Comment by momo13 | October 6, 2010

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