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POEMS WRITTEN IN 1819

LINES

WRITTEN DURING THE CASTLEREAGH ADMINISTRATION

I
CORPSES are cold in the tomb -
Stones on the pavement are dumb -

Abortions are dead in the womb,
And their mothers look pale, like the death-white

shore
Of Albion, free no more.

II

Her sons are as stones in the way-
They are masses of senseless clay -

They are trodden and move not away -
The abortion with which she travaileth

Is Liberty, smitten to death.

III
Then trample and dance, thou Oppressor !
For thy victim is no redresser-
Thou art sole lord and

possessor Of her corpses, and clods, and abortions — they pave

Thy path to the grave. Lines written during the Castlereagh Administration. Medwin, 1832 || England, Harvard MS. Published by Medwin, The Athenæum, December 8, 1832.

i. 4 death-white, Harvard MS., Frederickson MS. || white, Medwin, 1832.

IV

Hearest thou the festival din
Of Death and Destruction and Sin,

And Wealth crying, Havoc! within ? 'Tis the Bacchanal triumph that makes truth

dumb,
Thine Epithalamium.

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Ay, marry thy ghastly wife!
Let Fear and Disquiet and Strife

Spread thy couch in the chamber of Life; Marry Ruin, thou Tyrant! and Hell be thy

guide
To the bed of the bride!

SONG

TO THE MEN OF ENGLAND

I
MEN of England, wherefore plough

For the lords who lay ye low? iv. 1 festival, Harvard MS., Frederickson MS., Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || festal, Medwin, 1832.

iv. 4 that, Frederickson MS. || which, Harvard MS., Medwin, 1832.

v. 2 Disquiet, Frederickson MS., Harvard MS., Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || Disgust, Medwin, 1832. v. 4 Hell, Frederickson MS. || God, Harvard MS., Medwin, 1832.

5 the bride, Harvard MS., Frederickson MS., Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || thy, Harvard MS. cancelled, Medwin, 1832.

Song: To the Men of England. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 18391.

Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear?

II

Wherefore feed, and clothe, and save,
From the cradle to the grave,
Those ungrateful drones who would
Drain your sweat — nay, drink your blood ?

III

Wherefore, Bees of England, forge
Many a weapon, chain, and scourge,
That these stingless drones may spoil
The forced produce of your toil ?

IV
Have ye leisure, comfort, calm,
Shelter, food, love's gentle balm ?
Or what is it ye buy so dear
With your pain and with your fear?

V

The seed ye sow, another reaps ;
The wealth ye find, another keeps ;
The robes ye weave, another wears ;
The arms ye forge, another bears.

VI
Sow seed, but let no tyrant reap;
Find wealth, - let no impostor heap;
Weave robes, — let not the idle wear;
Forge arms,- in your defence

defence to bear.

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