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TheMaskofAnarchy
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WrittenontheoccasionofthemassacreatManchester.
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SearchbyLocation byPercyByssheShelley Visitthe
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AsIlayasleepinItaly
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PoetryForum Andwithgreatpoweritforthledme
GlossaryPoeticTerms TowalkinthevisionsofPoesy.

ClassicPoems
ImetMurderontheway
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HehadamasklikeCastlereagh
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Verysmoothhelooked,yetgrim
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Sevenbloodhoundsfollowedhim:
NobelPrizeLiterature

PoetsonPoetry
Allwerefatandwelltheymight
Poets'Timeline
Beinadmirableplight,
PoetryBookReviews
Foronebyone,andtwobytwo,

Hetossedthemhumanheartstochew
OtherGraves Whichfromhiswidecloakhedrew.

Writers
NextcameFraud,andhehadon,
Musicians
LikeLordEldon,anerminedgown
Artists
Hisbigtears,forheweptwell,

Turnedtomillstonesastheyfell.
What'sNewonPG
Andthelittlechildren,who
RelatedSites Roundhisfeetplayedtoandfro,
LiteraryNorfolk Thinkingeverytearagem,
LiteraryBritain Hadtheirbrainsknockedoutbythem.
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ClothedwiththeBible,aswithlight,
Andtheshadowsofthenight,
LikeSidmouth,next,Hypocrisy
Onacrocodilerodeby.

AndmanymoreDestructionsplayed
Inthisghastlymasquerade,
Alldisguised,eventotheeyes,
LikeBishops,lawyers,peers,andspies.

LastcameAnarchy:herode
Onawhitehorse,splashedwithblood
Hewaspaleeventothelips,
LikeDeathintheApocalypse.

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Andheworeakinglycrown
Andinhisgraspasceptreshone
OnhisbrowthismarkIsaw
IAMGOD,ANDKING,ANDLAW!

Withapacestatelyandfast,
OverEnglishlandhepassed,
Tramplingtoamireofblood
Theadoringmultitude.

Andwithamightytrooparound
Withtheirtramplingshooktheground,
Wavingeachabloodysword,
FortheserviceoftheirLord.

Andwithglorioustriumphthey
RodethroughEnglandproudandgay,
Drunkaswithintoxication
Ofthewineofdesolation.

Oerfieldsandtowns,fromseatosea,
PassedthePageantswiftandfree,
Tearingup,andtramplingdown
TilltheycametoLondontown.

Andeachdweller,panicstricken,
Felthisheartwithterrorsicken
Hearingthetempestuouscry
OfthetriumphofAnarchy.

Forfrompomptomeethimcame,
Clothedinarmslikebloodandflame,
Thehiredmurderers,whodidsing
ThouartGod,andLaw,andKing.

Wehavewaitedweakandlone
Forthycoming,MightyOne!
Ourpursesareempty,ourswordsarecold,
Giveusglory,andblood,andgold.

Lawyersandpriestsamotleycrowd,
Totheearththeirpalebrowsbowed
Likeabadprayernotoverloud,
WhisperingThouartLawandGod.

Thenallcriedwithoneaccord,
ThouartKing,andGod,andLord
Anarchy,totheewebow,
Bethynamemadeholynow!

AndAnarchy,theSkeleton,
Bowedandgrinnedtoeveryone,
Aswellasifhiseducation
Hadcosttenmillionstothenation.

ForheknewthePalaces
OfourKingswererightlyhis
Histhesceptre,crown,andglobe,
Andthegoldinwovenrobe.

Sohesenthisslavesbefore
ToseizeupontheBankandTower,
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Andwasproceedingwithintent
TomeethispensionedParliament

Whenonefledpast,amaniacmaid,
AndhernamewasHope,shesaid:
ButshelookedmorelikeDespair,
Andshecriedoutintheair:

MyfatherTimeisweakandgray
Withwaitingforabetterday
Seehowidiotlikehestands,
Fumblingwithhispalsiedhands!

Hehashadchildafterchild,
Andthedustofdeathispiled
Overeveryonebutme
Misery,oh,Misery!

Thenshelaydowninthestreet,
Rightbeforethehorsesfeet,
Expecting,withapatienteye,
Murder,Fraud,andAnarchy.

Whenbetweenherandherfoes
Amist,alight,animagerose.
Smallatfirst,andweak,andfrail
Likethevapourofavale:

Tillascloudsgrowontheblast,
Liketowercrownedgiantsstridingfast,
Andglarewithlightningsastheyfly,
Andspeakinthundertothesky.

ItgrewaShapearrayedinmail
Brighterthanthevipersscale,
Andupborneonwingswhosegrain
Wasasthelightofsunnyrain.

Onitshelm,seenfaraway,
Aplanet,liketheMornings,lay
Andthoseplumesitslightrainedthrough
Likeashowerofcrimsondew.

Withstepassoftaswinditpassed
Oertheheadsofmensofast
Thattheyknewthepresencethere,
Andlooked,butallwasemptyair.

AsflowersbeneathMaysfootstepwaken,
AsstarsfromNightsloosehairareshaken,
Aswavesarisewhenloudwindscall,
Thoughtssprungwhereerthatstepdidfall.

Andtheprostratemultitude
Lookedandankledeepinblood,
Hope,thatmaidenmostserene,
Waswalkingwithaquietmien:

AndAnarchy,theghastlybirth,
Laydeadearthupontheearth
TheHorseofDeathtamelessaswind
Fled,andwithhishoofsdidgrind
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Todustthemurderersthrongedbehind.

Arushinglightofcloudsandsplendour,
Asenseawakeningandyettender
Washeardandfeltandatitsclose
Thesewordsofjoyandfeararose

AsiftheirownindignantEarth
WhichgavethesonsofEnglandbirth
Hadfelttheirblooduponherbrow,
Andshudderingwithamothersthroe

Hadturnedeverydropofblood
Bywhichherfacehadbeenbedewed
Toanaccentunwithstood,
Asifherheartcriedoutaloud:

MenofEngland,heirsofGlory,
Heroesofunwrittenstory,
NurslingsofonemightyMother,
Hopesofher,andoneanother

RiselikeLionsafterslumber
Inunvanquishablenumber.
Shakeyourchainstoearthlikedew
Whichinsleephadfallenonyou
Yearemanytheyarefew.

WhatisFreedom?yecantell
Thatwhichslaveryis,toowell
Foritsverynamehasgrown
Toanechoofyourown.

Tistoworkandhavesuchpay
Asjustkeepslifefromdaytoday
Inyourlimbs,asinacell
Forthetyrantsusetodwell,

Sothatyeforthemaremade
Loom,andplough,andsword,andspade,
Withorwithoutyourownwillbent
Totheirdefenceandnourishment.

Tistoseeyourchildrenweak
Withtheirmotherspineandpeak,
Whenthewinterwindsarebleak,
TheyaredyingwhilstIspeak.

Tistohungerforsuchdiet
Astherichmaninhisriot
Caststothefatdogsthatlie
Surfeitingbeneathhiseye

TistolettheGhostofGold
TakefromToilathousandfold
Morethaneeritssubstancecould
Inthetyranniesofold.

Papercointhatforgery
Ofthetitledeeds,whichye
Holdtosomethingfromtheworth
OftheinheritanceofEarth.
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Tistobeaslaveinsoul
Andtoholdnostrongcontrol
Overyourownwills,butbe
Allthatothersmakeofye.

Andatlengthwhenyecomplain
Withamurmurweakandvain
TistoseetheTyrantscrew
Rideoveryourwivesandyou
Bloodisonthegrasslikedew.

Thenitistofeelrevenge
Fiercelythirstingtoexchange
Bloodforbloodandwrongforwrong
Donotthuswhenyearestrong.

Birdsfindrest,innarrownest
Whenwearyoftheirwingdquest
Beastsfindfare,inwoodylair
Whenstormandsnowareintheair.

Horses,oxen,haveahome,
Whenfromdailytoiltheycome
Householddogs,whenthewindroars,
Findahomewithinwarmdoors.

Asses,swine,havelitterspread
Andwithfittingfoodarefed
Allthingshaveahomebutone
Thou,Oh,Englishman,hastnone!

ThisisSlaverysavagemen,
Orwildbeastswithinaden
Wouldendurenotasyedo
Butsuchillstheyneverknew.

Whatartthou,Freedom?O!couldslaves
Answerfromtheirlivinggraves
Thisdemandtyrantswouldflee
Likeadreamsimagery:

Thouarenot,asimpostorssay,
Ashadowsoontopassaway,
Asuperstition,andaname
EchoingfromthecaveofFame.

Forthelabourerthouartbread,
Andacomelytablespread
Fromhisdailylabourcome
Inaneatandhappyhome.

Thouartclothes,andfire,andfood
Forthetrampledmultitude
Noincountriesthatarefree
Suchstarvationcannotbe
AsinEnglandnowwesee.

Totherichthouartacheck,
Whenhisfootisontheneck
Ofhisvictim,thoudostmake
Thathetreadsuponasnake.
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ThouartJusticeneerforgold
Maythyrighteouslawsbesold
AslawsareinEnglandthou
Shieldstalikebothhighandlow.

ThouartWisdomFreemennever
DreamthatGodwilldamnforever
Allwhothinkthosethingsuntrue
OfwhichPriestsmakesuchado.

ThouartPeaceneverbythee
Wouldbloodandtreasurewastedbe
Astyrantswastedthem,whenall
LeaguedtoquenchthyflameinGaul.

WhatifEnglishtoilandblood
Waspouredforth,evenasaflood?
Itavailed,Oh,Liberty.
Todim,butnotextinguishthee.

ThouartLovetherichhavekissed
Thyfeet,andlikehimfollowingChrist,
Givetheirsubstancetothefree
Andthroughtheroughworldfollowthee,

Orturntheirwealthtoarms,andmake
Warforthybelovdsake
Onwealth,andwar,andfraudwhencethey
Drewthepowerwhichistheirprey.

Science,Poetry,andThought
Arethylampstheymakethelot
Ofthedwellersinacot
Soserene,theycurseitnot.

Spirit,Patience,Gentleness,
Allthatcanadornandbless
Artthouletdeeds,notwords,express
Thineexceedingloveliness.

LetagreatAssemblybe
Ofthefearlessandthefree
OnsomespotofEnglishground
Wheretheplainsstretchwidearound.

Lettheblueskyoverhead,
Thegreenearthonwhichyetread,
Allthatmusteternalbe
Witnessthesolemnity.

Fromthecornersuttermost
OftheboundsofEnglishcoast
Fromeveryhut,village,andtown
Wherethosewholiveandsuffermoan
Forothersmiseryortheirown,

Fromtheworkhouseandtheprison
Wherepaleascorpsesnewlyrisen,
Women,children,youngandold
Groanforpain,andweepforcold

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Fromthehauntsofdailylife
Whereiswagedthedailystrife
Withcommonwantsandcommoncares
Whichsowsthehumanheartwithtares

Lastlyfromthepalaces
Wherethemurmurofdistress
Echoes,likethedistantsound
Ofawindalivearound

Thoseprisonhallsofwealthandfashion.
Wheresomefewfeelsuchcompassion
Forthosewhogroan,andtoil,andwail
Asmustmaketheirbrethrenpale

Yewhosufferwoesuntold,
Ortofeel,ortobehold
Yourlostcountryboughtandsold
Withapriceofbloodandgold

Letavastassemblybe,
Andwithgreatsolemnity
Declarewithmeasuredwordsthatye
Are,asGodhasmadeye,free

Beyourstrongandsimplewords
Keentowoundassharpenedswords,
Andwideastargesletthembe,
Withtheirshadetocoverye.

Letthetyrantspouraround
Withaquickandstartlingsound,
Likethelooseningofasea,
Troopsofarmedemblazonry.

Letthechargedartillerydrive
Tillthedeadairseemsalive
Withtheclashofclangingwheels,
Andthetrampofhorsesheels.

Letthefixdbayonet
Gleamwithsharpdesiretowet
ItsbrightpointinEnglishblood
Lookingkeenasoneforfood.

Letthehorsemensscimitars
Wheelandflash,likespherelessstars
Thirstingtoeclipsetheirburning
Inaseaofdeathandmourning.

Standyecalmandresolute,
Likeaforestcloseandmute,
Withfoldedarmsandlookswhichare
Weaponsofunvanquishedwar,

AndletPanic,whooutspeeds
Thecareerofarmdsteeds
Pass,adisregardedshade
Throughyourphalanxundismayed.

Letthelawsofyourownland,
Goodorill,betweenyestand
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Handtohand,andfoottofoot,
Arbitersofthedispute,

TheoldlawsofEnglandthey
Whosereverendheadswithagearegray,
Childrenofawiserday
Andwhosesolemnvoicemustbe
ThineownechoLiberty!

Onthosewhofirstshouldviolate
Suchsacredheraldsintheirstate
Restthebloodthatmustensue,
Anditwillnotrestonyou.

Andifthenthetyrantsdare
Letthemrideamongyouthere,
Slash,andstab,andmaim,andhew,
Whattheylike,thatletthemdo.

Withfoldedarmsandsteadyeyes,
Andlittlefear,andlesssurprise,
Lookuponthemastheyslay
Tilltheirragehasdiedaway.

Thentheywillreturnwithshame
Totheplacefromwhichtheycame,
Andthebloodthusshedwillspeak
Inhotblushesontheircheek.

Everywomanintheland
Willpointatthemastheystand
Theywillhardlydaretogreet
Theiracquaintanceinthestreet.

Andthebold,truewarriors
WhohavehuggedDangerinwars
Willturntothosewhowouldbefree,
Ashamedofsuchbasecompany.

AndthatslaughtertotheNation
Shallsteamuplikeinspiration,
Eloquent,oracular
Avolcanoheardafar.

Andthesewordsshallthenbecome
LikeOppressionsthundereddoom
Ringingthrougheachheartandbrain.
Heardagainagainagain

RiselikeLionsafterslumber
Inunvanquishablenumber
Shakeyourchainstoearthlikedew
Whichinsleephadfallenonyou
Yearemanytheyarefew.

PercyByssheShelley|ClassicPoems

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[TheMaskofAnarchy]

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