England in 1819

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England in 1819
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.