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The Age of George III

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A view of 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 tempestuous day.

P.B. Shelley, Poetical Works (O.U.P., 1919)

See also the Masque of Anarchy


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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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