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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 | , , , , , | 11 Comments