Poems Published in Radical Journals
Home Up W. J. Linton. Memories The Chartists Claribel Stories for Children James Watson Republican Letters The English Republic Site Search Main Index



June, 1819.

"For Rome! for Rome!"  That shout hath sped
    To earth's extremest bound;
And every hope by honour led
    Repeats the glorious sound.
For Rome! for Rome! let patriots now,
    Where'er they draw their breath,
Re-echo back Mazzini's vow—
    "Free Rome or Roman death."

For Rome! for Rome! ay, for the world!
    Our quarrel is the same,
Where'er a flag may be unfurl'd,
    Or beacon-summons flame.
Beneath the gleam of Kossuth's sword,
    Or in our darken'd streets,
'Tis Freedom's sacred battle word,
    Our cry, our hope repeats.

For Rome! for Rome! for human right;
    For liberty and growth!
Our words foredoom Oppression's might:
    Our lives fulfil that oath.
"For Rome! for Rome!"  Come weal or woe,
    Maintain the Roman cry;
And every heart be Roman now!—
    We will be free or die.

[Top of page]



Let us cease to battle vainly, for the world is overworn;
From the overgorged vulture Trade may turn forlorn:
    We will war no more with Wrong, nor struggle to be free,
        We will rebel no more, but be 
        True bondsmen, Anarchy!

Surely we are hope-abandoned, since the good of every land,
Looking on our baffled venture, curse the patriots' brand,
    Peace is much more fortunate,—the penitential knee,
        Shall bend to "Order," unto thee,
        New-baptised Anarchy.

Peace is cheap, and good, and pleasant,—none need ever
            doubt of that;
Even when Tyrants hunt with Famine, peaceful slaves grow
    Better this than all the turmoil, all the pains that we
        Mistook for Freedom—let us be
        Thy bondsmen, Anarchy!

Tame your hearts unto the level, take the world's life as it is,—
"Justice upon earth"—what matters idle dreams like this?
    Be content with rascal profits,—peace shall prosper thee:
        We will rebel no more, but be
        Sleek bondsmen, Anarchy!

Hope shall be a large per centage, Truth shall be a trading
Freedom, rich men's right to ruin all within their net:
    Let the helots work for wages, starve amid our glee!
        They will rebel no more, since we
        Swear peace with Anarchy.

[Top of page]



WHERE shall we place his monument,—the effigy sublime
Of England's Victor Rebel,—her Worthy, for all time?
That Englishmen may worship him, with as undaunted
And say—Where Cromwell dared to lead, we dare to
                follow now.

For we do not raise our statues except to men whose
From out the herd of commonness stands gloriously
And we build our monuments for this, that future men
                may say—
Those heroes were our sires, and we are worthy them

Nay; not in your new Commons' House, lest on the
The shadow of some creeping slave from Russell's place
                may fall:
Enshrine it rather in some cell where Chartist "felon"
Singing of England's martyr-band pouring through Freedom's

Place it where murder'd Tyler fell, but first avenge his
Or throne it in colossal pride above the Palace-wall;
Or let the armed warrior stand on Worcester's harvest
And with his truncheon saem to point to victory again.

And reverent there, as at a shrine, let stalwart men be
With wives beside them, and their babes kneeling their
                hands between,—
And praying 'mid the harvest glare unto that Reaper
For the ruddy sheaves of Freedom from the seed was
                sown of old.

How should he stand in the market-place, in the City of
                the Knave?
How could he stand on English earth, upon the Cowards'
Seek out some mountain-wild, till now unseen by all but
If ye may find some English ground where yet no slave
                hath trod.

Nay! yonder we may find a site,—yon wide and open
Where the prophecy of Crotmvell's life begins to be full
Where England's Sons, in thousands and in hundred
                thousands met,
Swear by the strength of Cromwell's soul to will their
                freedom yet.

There raise the Hero's monument, when deeds have
                clench'd your words,
When ye have tamed the tyranny of England's felon
There, on that field, new-sown with fame, whose margin
                is the sea—
Our Home, our Cromwell's England, the brave England
                of the Free.


[Top of page]



Turn from that old Grecian story!
    Hide the page of Roman fame!
Boast no more the Switzer's glory,
    Poland's hero name!
Hint how blood-stained martyr earth is,
    Own that Tell a murderer was!
Brand the first of Roman worthies!
    Curse Leonidas!

Boast no more of proud Platææ, (1)
    Salamis, or Marathon;
Suli's rock, (2) no longer be a
    Monumental stone!
Fling we the red scroll behind us;
    Let our dim eyes strain to see,
The new glory that shall blind us
    To Thermnopylæ.

Brutus' never-swerving sentence, (3)
    Never more example us;
Let our peacefuller '' expedience "
    Blame staunch Regulus, (4)
Shamers of the modern Brennus!
    Doth not blood against you cry?
Thy reproach, beleagured Venice!
    Cleaves to Hungary.

Tousaaint, Kosciusko, Hofer,
    Blum, Riego.—warriors true!
Sainted Peace forbids us lore, or
    Praise, or copy you:
Kossuth and Mazzini vainly
    Point where patriot duty leads;
Armed Truth looks so ungainly, (5)
    Laurels are but weeds.

Scoff at Cromwell's fervent passion!
    Doubt even Alfred really brave!
Patriots of a smoother fashion,
    Trample Hampden's grave!
England's grandest record—slur it!
    Break the high Miltonic vow!
Cobden, Bright, Elihu Burritt,
    Be our heroes now!!!


1.  "The battle of Platææ was won by the Greeks, commanded by Pausanias, king of Lacedaemon, over Mardonius and 300,000 invading Persians.  Had Pausanias been fortunate enough to live in later days, he might have proposed a peace convention to Persia, instead of following the barbarous precedents of Marathon and Salamis."

(New Peace Catechism.)

2.  From the rocky promontory of Suli, a band of Greek warriors and their families (during the war of independence) precipitated themselves into the sea, rather than return under the dominion of Turkey.  Who does not recollect Byron's noble song in "Dan Juan," on "The isles of Greece, where burning Sappho loved and sung?

"Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
 On Suli's rock, or Parga' s shore,
 Exists the remnant of a line,
 Such as the Doric mothers bore:
 And there perchance some seed is sown,
 The blood of Hercules might own."

3.  Brutus, the first of Roman freemen, condemned his own sons to death for conspiring against the Republic.  But his whole life was a never-swerving sentence against tyranny, from his oath over Lucretia's glorious corpse, to his last battle in defence of his country, when he fell in single combat with Aruns, (Tarquin's son)—slaying him also.

4.  Regulus was a Roman general, during the first war with Carthage.  After numerous successes, being defeated and taken prisoner, the Carthaginians sent him to Rome with their ambassadors, to persuade the senate to make peace.  Regulus (though he had bound himself to return to Carthage) urged the continuance of the war, for the advantage of Rome; and, in vindication of his word, went back to torture and death at Carthage.

5.   Gainless would not have suited the rhyme.



[Top of page]




God's gift, the Land, our common heritage,—
    To Adam and his seed, and not entail'd
    Upon a few! What "deed" hath countervail'd
That tenure handed down from age to age?

God's only curse is labour: with the sweat
    Of honest brows to earn the fruit of toil.
    He plagued us not with landlords, to despoil
The labourer of his God-acknowledged debt.

Parcel the measured ocean, fence the air,—
    Claim property in clouds and spray-topp'd waves,—
    In sun and stars,—in heaven, as in our graves—
If thou art earth-lord, Tyrant! and God's heir.

[Top of page]




THE black cock on the pathless moor,
    The red deer in the fern,
Yon cloud of rooks the plough'd field o'er,
    The river-watching hern,
The pheasant in the lofty wood,—
    And all God's creatures free
To roam through earth, and air, and flood,—
    These are not Property.

But earth, its mines, its thousand streams,—
    And air's uncounted waves,
Freighted with gold and silver beams 
    To brighten lowliest graves,—
The mountain-cleaving waterfall,—
    The ever-restless sea,
God gave, not to a few, but all, 
    As common Property.

What thou hast grown, or nurtured,—that 
    Thou well may'st call thine own:
Thy horse, thy kine, thy household cat,— 
    The harvest thou hast sown.
But earth belongeth to the whole,—
    God gave it not to thee;
Nor made the meanest human soul
    Another's Property.

[Top of page]




Rackrent field and rent the moor:
     Such is Landlord's law, man!
"He lends God who gives the Poor,"—
    Seems an idle saw, man!
Rob the labourer of the sod;
Say your warrant comes from God;
    Dare them find a flaw, man!

Eat the harvest he has sown:
    All in right of law, man!
Steal his bread, nor give him stone:
    Improving on the saw, man! 
Curse him! when potatoes fail, 
Press him for a double gale: 
    There's in his lease a flaw, man! 

Hunt him from his naked home 
    With cunning dogs of law, man! 
Bid him to the poor-house come, 
    If winter winds are raw, man! 
Raze his cottage: should it stand 
For an eyesore on your land? 
    Yours! Who finds a flaw, man?

If he houses in your ditch,
    'Tis against the law, man!
Drive him to your neighbours: which
    Matters not a straw, man!
Let his wife and children there 
Starve and rot: What need you care, 
    For slaves you never saw, man? 

Feed your beasts where peasants fed
    Such is Famine's law, man!
Which would fetch you most a head?
    Truth cuts like a saw, man!
Alone, upon the bloody sod,
Thou read'st thy warrant—is't from God? 
    Canst thou find a flaw? man!

[Top of page]



THE consecrated land!—
Our fathers' and, alas! our children's grave:
Growing from out their hearts the wild flowers wave
O'er that dear earth, and on it let doth stand
          The poor man's shrine.
What prince dare lay his hand
          On this, and say—"'Tis mine!"

Is not our martyrs' earth
Held sacred too? not merely the low ditch,
Where kings can fling them, but the wide land which
Should be more than the grave stone of their worth.
          Where Hampden and Fitzgerald trod,—
What "peer" can own that earth?
          None—none but God.

The "consecrated" soil!
Is not the round earth God's,—his sacred field,
Where man may learn celestial arms to wield,
And grow divine through sanctity of toil?—
          What landlord dare
To dispossess God's seed? what power shall spoil
          Those whom God planted there?

[Top of page]





"GOAD them on—they are pauper brats!"  The day was
        raw and "hard,"
When the herd of babes was driven forth from the
        wretched poor-house yard,
Ten weary miles,* to the "parent-house," to be
        "check'd" by the guardians there:—
"Parent" and "guardian!"  God of Heaven!—and these
        thy children were.
                                        Goad them on!

Ten weary miles!  They have breakfasted.  The
        stirabout was good:
They fed them scantly; a fuller meal or a more
        luxurious food
Had left them not in walking trim, had made their
        forced march slow—
They are babes of from five to fourteen years: your
        pauper ages so.
                                        Goad them on!

Ten weary miles, from eight o' the clock, till now, at
        dinner hour,
They have reach'd the "parent-house; they wait till
        night begins to lower;
And the "guardians" view them, "check" them, and
        again they're on the road.
"No food?"  They were sent to be "check'd," man!
        not one of them had food.
                                        Goad them on!

Ten wearier, wearier miles, they drag, in the dark and
        stormy night;
They are "falling bind," and "falling dead," with
        weakness and affright;
And the driver can but carry two—the rest somehow
        crawl on,
Ill-clad, and travel-sore, and faint, and foodless from
        the dawn.
                                        Goad them on!

So, one by one, to the poor-house they return as best
        they may;
Some find their way in the stormy night, and some not
        till the day.
Call over their numbers!  Eighty-fire on that horrible
        march were led;
But eighty-four are counted now:—What! only one is
                                        Goad them on!

Poor child! he had felt him failing: "Would they only
        beg some bread 
At a road-side house for him?"  Who dared? Still on
        he staggered.
A fall! a cry! he has struck his skull, reeling against a
They are too weak to lift the Dead: kind Death!
        relieve them all.
                                        Goad them on!

These are your children, Landlorded!  What matters?
        Rents are high.
The Landlord does not want the Poor: 'tis better they
        should die.
Why "Hell or Connaught" sounds like grace to "Hell or
        Ireland" now;
And what if those who damn God's earth divide the land
                                        Goad them on!

* Seven Irish miles are equal to ten English.

[Top of page]




Fitzsteal* was his father's heir, flash'd his gold at school,
Drove through College tandem, took his full degree as
In his rich, uncultured rankness grew like foulest weed:
Labour, peasant-litter'd, had no schoolmaster but Need.

Fitzsteal hath his racing stud,—his mares are thorough-
His dogs are plump, his horses sleek, his stable-boys are
Fitzsteal hath his foreign cook, his foreign whore, and
Labour's wife and children on the veriest refuse dine.

Fitzsteal hath an indigestion,—twice in every day
Sir Henry calls to feel his pulse, chat, and take his pay:
In their wretched hovel where the wind and rain slip
Labour's family lie dying—if the Union doctor knew.

Fitzsteal hath his miles of coal—you and I must pay
Double for our Winter fire, to keep him "warm" at play;
Fitzsteal rents the very bog where Labour digs his peat;
Matters little to the cripple with his frozen feet.

Fitzsteal losses hath at cards—his creditors complain;
He raises rents, and sharply bids his jackall to distrain:
Labour's black potatoe-crop is seized—they even sell
His old flock-bed,—Fitzsteal's awake the night long at his

Fitzsteal hath his house in town, with liveried slaves to
His blazon'd carriage, should it please his Lordship ride
            in state:
Driven from the roadside ditch, where he had piled
            a shed,
Houseless Labour hath nowhere that he can lay his head.

Fitzsteal, dying in his palace, full of years and bread,
In his father's tomb is laid, with brass above his head:
Labour's children, fever-murdered, on a dung heap lie,**
Labour may be coffin'd in the poor-house by-and-bye.

Fitzsteal was Sir Richard's heir, has never toil'd a day;
Are there improvements on his lands?—for them the
            tennants pay:
Labour never rested yet.   Is all the difference this—
That Labour cultivates the land, and Fitzsteal calls it his?

* Descended from the old Norman blood of Steele, Anglice Steal,
   who came over with the Conqueror.

** A literal fact.

[Top of page]



AIR—"Le Chant du Depart."

THE day-star of the Brave
Is yet by danger clouded,
    And Treason rules darkly the air;
And the King and the Slave,
In their falsehood enshrouded,
    Would doom our free hopes to despair.
Despair, ye Accurst! ye Oppressors!
    The hour of the Free turns the glass;
And the steps of the world's Redressors
    Shall tread you to dust as they pass.


The People's Star hath grandly risen!
    We are free, and for ever free:
Our earth no more shall be a prison;
    No more shall slaves or tyrants be.

The day-star of the Free
Ascends on high in glory,
    And victory dawns on our path:
O ye Kings! what are ye,
We should falter before ye,
    Or dread the vain threats of your wrath?
Despair, ye Accurst! ye Oppressors!
    The hand of the Brave turns the glass 
And the steps of the world's Redressors
    Shall tread you to dust as they pass.


The People's Star hath grandly risen!
    We are free, and for ever free:
Our earth no more shall be a prison;
    No more shall slaves or tyrants be.

[Top of page]



Air—"When Arthur first at Court began." 

When Royalty, for change, began
    To wear wide laughing sleeves,—
It entertain'd three serving-men, 
    And all of them were thieves. 

The Brat he was a Bishop proud; 
    The second, a rascal Peer;
And the third, he was a Parliament-man: 
    And all were rogues, I hear.

The Bisbop stole for the love of God; 
    The Peer for the love of plunder;
And the Parliament-man as a go-between, 
    His fellow vagabonds under.

The first was damn'd for his blasphemy; 
    The next was hang'd for a thief;
And the People took charge of the Parliament-
    So that Royalty died of grief.

[Top of page]



Air—Blue Bonnets over the Border.

Wake! wake!  Freedom hath need of ye;
    Up from the sloth where too long ye have slumber'd:
Rise! rise! hope taketh heed of ye:
    Rise! for the hours of Oppresion are number'd.
                           Ages have pray'd for ye;
                           Heaping up aid for ye;
        Even Despair signs your warrant of glory:
                           Hasten ye!  Victory
                           Waiteth to welcome ye!
        On for your birthright!  God goeth before ye.
Rise! rise!  Freedom hath need of ye;
    Out of the sloth where your energies slumber'd:
March! march!  God give good speed to ye!
    On! for the hours of Oppresion are number'd.

Leap from the torpor of Doubt that enthrall'd ye;
    Cast off the Hate coiling round ye like pain;
Trample the shadowy fear that appall'd ye
    Come from the poor house, the prison, the chain:
                           Welcome to Liberty!
                           Earth heaveth joyfully;
        Tyranny's minions are quailing before ye;
                           Long shall Futurity,
                           Pointing with pride to ye:
        Tell how the Serf won his garland of glory.
Wake! wake!  Freedom hath need of ye;
    Stormfully burst from the depth of your slumbers;
Rise! rise!  Hope taketh heed of ye;
    Tyrants are whelm'd in the tide of our numbers. 



[Home] [Up] [W. J. Linton.] [Memories] [The Chartists] [Claribel] [Stories for Children] [James Watson] [Republican Letters] [The English Republic] [Site Search] [Main Index]