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POEMS WRITTEN IN 1819.

THE MASQUE OF ANARCHY.

I.

As I lay asleep in Italy,
There came a voice from over the sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

II.

I met Murder on the way ;
He had a mask like Castlereagh ;
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven bloodhounds followed him :

III.

All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them human hearts to chew,
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

IV.

Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Lord F- , an ermine gown ;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell ;
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V.

And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.

VI.

Clothed with the bible as with light,
And the shadow of the night,
Like S*** next, Hypocrisy,
On a crocodile came by.

VII.

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

VIII.

Last came Anarchy; he rode
On a white horse splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

IX.

And he wore a kingly crown ;
In his hand a sceptre shone ;
On his brow this mark I saw :
“ I am God, and King, and Law !”

X.

With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he past,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.

XI.

And a mighty troop around
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword
For the service of their lord.

XII.

And, with glorious triumph, they
Rode through England, proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.

XIII.

O'er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down,
Till they came to London town.

XIV.

And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken,
Hearing the tremendous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

XV.

For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers who did sing,
“ Thou art God, and Law, and King.

XVI.

“We have waited, weak and lone,
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our purses are empty, our swords are cold,
Give us glory, and blood, and gold."

XVII.

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed,
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering—“Thou art Law and God I”

XVIII.

Then all cried with one accord,
“ Thou art King, and Law, and Lord ;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now !”

XIX.

And Anarchy, the skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education
Had cost ten millions to the nation.

XX.

For he knew the palaces
Of our kings were nightly his ;
His the sceptre, crown, and globe,
And the gold-inwoven robe.

XXI.

So he sent his slaves before • To seize upon the Bank and Tower, And was proceeding with intent To meet his pensioned parliament,

XXII.

When one fled past, a maniac maid, And her name was Hope, she said ; But she looked more like Despair, And she cried out in the air:

XXIII.

“ My father, Time, is weak and gray
With waiting for a better day;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Trembling with his palsied hands !

XXIT.
“ He has had child after child,

And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me.
Misery! oh, misery!"

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