Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Sonnet: England in 1819 -- Percy Bysshe Shelley

       
(Poem #592) Sonnet: 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 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 tempestous day.
-- Percy Bysshe Shelley
A nicely vitriolic sonnet - Shelley seems to have warmed to his theme and
produced an uncharacteristically[1] good poem. The tirade is delivered with
a sure touch, verging on the heavy-handed, but never going overboard, and
ending with a very appropriate image - indeed, one that blends the twin
messages of decay and hope almost perfectly.

In form, this is a Shakespearean sonnet (12+2 rather than 8+6), though the
rhyme scheme doesn't follow that of either the traditional Shakespearean or
the Spenserean sonnet.

[1] strictly IMHO, I hasten to add, but I do not in general care for
Shelley.

Notes:

Well, it looks like matters still hadn't improved since Wordsworth's "London
1802" <g>. England in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars was apparently a
hotbed of discontent:

  The end of the long wars against Napoleon did not usher in a period of
  peace and contentment. Although both agricultural and industrial
  production had greatly, if unevenly, increased during the wars, the total
  national debt had nearly quadrupled since 1793. Of the total annual public
  revenue after 1815, more than half had to be employed to pay interest on
  this debt. Furthermore, the abolition of Pitt's income tax in 1816 meant
  that the debt burden fell on consumers--many of them with low incomes--and
  on industrialists. The archaic and regressive nature of the national
  taxation system, along with a mounting scale of locally levied poor-law
  rates, which fell heavily on middle-income groups, provoked widespread
  anxiety and criticism.

        -- EB

The king in the opening line was George III.

Links:

For a biography and assessment see the notes on Ozymandias: poem #22

Some more annotations:
http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/rp/poems/shelley8.html

Another annotated version, in hypertext:
http://www.mindspring.com/~ttrigilio/intro-poetry/england1819.html

[The above site seems to have been developed as a teaching aid - the
hyperlinked pages are highly interesting]

More on the Peterloo massacre:
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRpeterloo.htm

And Wordsworth's London 1802 can be found at poem #128

-martin

56 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Ira Cooper said...

I do not know if this is the proper way to comment, but it is a pity, since
in my opinion, George III was possibly the finest man to hold the British
throne.

Abraham Thomas said...

In response to Ira Cooper's comment:

The tragedy of George III's reign was that he was ill-suited (some would say
incompetent), both physically and mentally, to handle the not-inconsiderable
problems that faced British polity at the turn of the 18th century; at the
same time, his conscience would not permit him to avoid addressing them.
Although the earlier part of his reign did indeed see a vast refinement of
the concept of the constitutional monarchy, it's difficult to disagree with
Shelley's 1819 description of him as "an old, mad, blind, despised, and
dying king".

Of course, Shelley's political opinions should always be taken with a grain
of salt... still, the overall complaint is, I think, valid.

thomas.

PS. Britannica has more, of course.

Bob Strauss said...

This poem, which (I believe) got Shelley kicked out of England, is a nice contrast to "Hail to thee blithe spirit".
A very inconsistent poet.

Bob
__________________________________________
Bob Strauss Cataloger
Hunter Library Western Carolina U.
Class home page: [broken link] http://www3.wcu.edu/~strauss
Personal home page: [broken link] http://www3.wcu.edu/~strauss/personal
Phone :

Anonymous said...

Oh for such a poet today - 2011

Ideas de negocios said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me

Space Matters Real Estates said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Plots for sale in Hyderabad
Plots for sale in Banjara Hills
Plots for sale in Jubilee Hills
Plots for sale in Manikonda
Plots for sale in Madhapur
Plots for sale in kondapur
Plots for sale in Gachibowli
Plots for sale in Kukatpally

Anonymous said...

Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I
find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope
to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

my website Funny Cat Clips

Anonymous said...

This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!
! Finally I've found something that helped me. Kudos!

Also visit my web blog; I want to Hack an email

Anonymous said...

Excellent way of telling, and fastidious piece of
writing to obtain information regarding my presentation focus,
which i am going to deliver in school.

Feel free to surf to my web site: hacking software

Anonymous said...

Undeniably consider that which you said. Your favourite reason appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to keep in mind of.
I say to you, I certainly get annoyed at the same
time as other folks think about concerns that they plainly don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as well as defined out the whole thing with no need side effect , other people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

Here is my site minecraft for free on browser

Anonymous said...

Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you're just extremely fantastic. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can't wait to read far more from you.
This is actually a terrific web site.

Also visit my weblog; internet marketing for online business

Anonymous said...

Thanks very interesting blog!

Visit my web blog; i need to get money

Anonymous said...

Remarkable! Its genuinely remarkable post, I
have got much clear idea regarding from this article.

Here is my homepage ... password hacking

Anonymous said...

I've learn a few good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you place to create the sort of excellent informative web site.

My website; minecraft 1.0

Anonymous said...

I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content.
This great article has truly peaked my interest.

I will bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once per week.
I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

my homepage Funny Movies

Anonymous said...

This post will help the internet viewers for building up new blog or even a blog
from start to end.

Also visit my blog post: password finder

Anonymous said...

Hi Dear, are you really visiting this web site daily, if so
after that you will definitely take nice experience.

Feel free to surf to my homepage where to find cotton candy sugar

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why but this web site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later on
and see if the problem still exists.

Visit my web page; Free Playstation Network Cards

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on moh ps3. Regards

Feel free to visit my web site - download wall hack for cs 1.6

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.

Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz respond as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

Feel free to surf to my webpage ... Sharecash Survey

Anonymous said...

PSN Code Card 100$

my page - Free PSN Cards

Anonymous said...

Wow, this post is fastidious, my sister is analyzing these kinds of things, therefore I
am going to convey her.

My web site: Funny Videos

Anonymous said...

Usually I do not read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up
very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
Thanks, very nice post.

my web site: funny pokemon videos

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wanted to say, I loved this post. It was
funny. Keep on posting!

Also visit my site: Adfly Auto Clicker

Anonymous said...

We're a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

Feel free to visit my webpage ... sharecash downloader 2013

Anonymous said...

Your method of describing everything in this piece of writing is actually
good, all be able to effortlessly be aware of it, Thanks a lot.


My homepage ... counter Strike source Aimbot download 2012

Anonymous said...

Good day! I could have sworn I've visited this website before but after browsing through some of the articles I realized it's new to
me. Anyways, I'm definitely pleased I came across it and I'll be bookmarking it and checking
back frequently!

Also visit my webpage ... how to make a website and make money

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

Feel free to visit my weblog: Free Minecraft

Anonymous said...

Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this blog. It's simple,
yet effective. A lot of times it's very difficult to get that "perfect balance" between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you've done a excellent job with this.
Additionally, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Firefox.

Outstanding Blog!

my web page crack passwords

Anonymous said...

Nice answer back in return of this difficulty with
real arguments and describing the whole thing regarding that.


Look at my web site free minecraft accounts

Anonymous said...

I don't even know how I stopped up here, however I assumed this post was once great. I do not understand who you are however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger in the event you aren't already.
Cheers!

Also visit my web blog; cats pictures for kids

Anonymous said...

If you want a Premium Minecraft Account check out
this generator. With it you can generate a unique
Minecraft Premium Account which no one else has! You can Download the Free Premium
Minecraft Account Generator http://www.get-minecraft-free.
tk

always i used to read smaller articles or reviews that
as well clear their motive, and that is also happening
with this piece of writing which I am reading here.

Anonymous said...

This program is intended to recover lost passwords for RAR/WinRAR archives of versions 2.

xx and 3.xx. http://www.winrarpasswordcracker.

com The free professional solution for recovering lost passwords to RAR and WinRAR archives.


Touche. Solid arguments. Keep up the great effort.


my web blog; RAR Password Revovery

Daniel Clark said...

Really nice Service and best article in this blog. Seo and Web Design | Top Seo Services |

tin du lich said...

But an accuracy rate of less than CR7 back a bit compared to Di Maria (57% and 60%). That is though not the most goals scored, players are called "angels" still more fortunate comrades in the old m88
searches chance.

Regarding passing parameters M88 / tectonic goal, Di Maria impressed. He has some lines to constitute the most goals (22), created the most chances M88 (111) and the most successful volleyball (1756 pass). It can be said without the contribution of Di Maria, Ronaldo Real Madrid in general and in particular not necessarily have been a successful season so.

iklan gratis said...

This poem is very interesting.
pasang iklan gratis

cecillia said...

terimkasih infonya, sangat minimalist home design bagus sekali, mudah di mengerti home design and decorating ideas dan tetap selalu menjadi specifications car and motorcycle web yang bagus .. sukses yaaa :) price and specifications

Obat Herbal said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

unsgu said...

Terima kasih sudah mau berbagi dengan informasinya cara memperbesar penis terbaik tersebut, semoga dapat bermanfaat untuk kita semuanya yang telah menyimaknya

Post a Comment