Friday, October 03, 2008

England in 1819 by Percy Bysshe Shelley

This week, a brutal political poem from Shelley.  


England in 1819

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,--mud from a muddy spring,
Rulers who neither see, nor feel, nor know,
But leech-like to their fainting country cling,
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow,
A people starved and stabbed in the untilled field,
An army, which liberticide and prey
Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield,
Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay;
Religion Christless, Godless--a book sealed;
A Senate,--Time's worst statute unrepealed,
Are graves, from which a glorious Phantom may
Burst, to illumine our tempestous day.


Percy Bysshe Shelley was born August 4, 1792 in Sussex, England. He is considered to be one of the great poets of the British Romantic Period along with William Wordsworth, Lord Byron and John Keats. Like Keats, Shelley died young, drowning in a shipwreck shortly before his thirtieth birthday.

17 Comments:

Blogger Novalis said...

Stiff stuff, and a lot more poetic than MSNBC! Thanks for the literary (and electoral) reminder.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

"liberticide" -- great word -- sounds like Colbert -- wait... did I just compare Colbert to Shelley?

This poem could have been written yesterday. Great choice.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

wow! i agree with cynthia, it could've been written yesterday.

sometimes you become sickened by the goings on and you just can't take it anymore.

good post for the election season.

1:23 PM  
Blogger pd said...

great poem, it could have been written in the future. And yet it is timeless and merciless.

2:05 AM  
Anonymous webhosting said...

Good poem!

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Blogger thomas connelly said...

nice collection of poems. keep up the good work!!

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Blogger The villager: said...

In the days before telly,
there was Percy Bysshe Shelley...

Powerful stuff !

Shame poetry isn't at the forefront of our imagination in these pale times of talentless celebrity culture.

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