’Twas the night before the Fourth of July, the people slept serene; The fireworks were stored in the old town hall that stood on the village green. The steeple clock tolled the midnight hour, and at its final stroke, The fire in the queer old-fashioned stove lifted its voice and spoke; “The earth and air have naught to do, the water, too, may play, And only fire is made to work on Independence Day.
“I won’t stand such injustice! It’s wrong, beyond a doubt, And I shall take my holiday. Goodbye, I’m going out!” Up spoke a Roman candle then, “The principle is right! Suppose we strike, and all agree we will not work tonight!” “My stars!” said a small sky rocket. “What an awful time there’ll be, When the whole town comes together tonight, the great display to see!”
“Let them come,” said a saucy pinwheel, “yes, let them come if they like, As a delegate I’ll announce to them that the fireworks are going to strike!” “My friends,” said a small cap pistol, “this movement is all wrong, Gunpowder, noise, and fireworks to Fourth of July belong. My great ancestral musket made Independence Day, I frown on your whole conspiracy, and you are wrong, I say!”
And so they talked and they argued, some for and some against, And they progressed no further than they were when they commenced. Until in a burst of eloquence a queer little piece of punk Arose in his place and said, “I think we ought to show some spunk. And I for one have decided, although I am no shirk, That today is a legal holiday and not even fire should work.
“And I am of some importance,” here he gave a pretentious cough, “For without my assistance none of you could very well be put off.” “You are right,” said the Roman candle, “and I think we are all agreed To strike for our rights and our liberty. Hurrah! we shall succeed!” The dissenters cried with one accord, “Our objections we withdraw. Hurrah, hurrah for the fireworks’ strike!” and they cried again, “Hurrah!”
Then a match piped up with a tiny voice, “Your splendid scheme I like. I agree with all your principles and so I, too, will strike!” Suiting the action to the word, the silly little dunce Clambered down from his matchsafe and excitedly struck at once. He lost his head, and he ran around among the fireworks dry, And he cried, “Hurrah for the fireworks’ strike! Hurrah for the Fourth of July!”
With his waving flame he lit the punk—a firecracker caught a spark,— Then rockets and wheels and bombs went off—no longer the place was dark! The explosions made a fearful noise, the flames leaped high and higher, The village folk awoke and cried, “The town hall is on fire!” So the strike of the fireworks ended in a wonderful display Of pyrotechnic grandeur on Independence Day!