Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics

Percy Bysshe 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 leechlike to their fainting country cling
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow.
A people starved and stabbed in th’ untilled field;
An army, whom 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.
.
—–
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets, and is regarded by some as among the finest lyric poets in the English language, and one of the most influential. A radical in his poetry as well as in his political and social views, Shelley did not see fame during his lifetime, but recognition for his poetry grew steadily following his death. Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt, Thomas Love Peacock, and his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

One comment on “Percy Bysshe Shelley: England in 1819

  1. charlie.brice@gmail.com
    June 8, 2017

    I love Shelly and this poem is so relevant to our time. Charlie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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