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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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For the Tomahawk. A Dramatic Fragment.
"An Ignorant Cockney"
The Tomahawk (November 26, 1795)

Some desp'rate villains now infest this town,
Whose subtle speech, coz'ning unwary list'ners
With clap-trap gloz'd of FREEDOM won, or DEATH;
Doth fill the ears of barbers, coblers, snips,
HIBERNIAN PONIES, butchers, bricklayers, too,
Old washer-women, slaves to tippling cups,
And 'prentice boys, with strange affairs of state!—
They bawl Reform! see weighty grievances!
Calamities of war! our country ruin'd!
And without redress! Truly what mean the knaves,
Distorting the FAIR FEATURES of our GOVERNMENT!
But to o'erturn the WELL-FORM'D CONSTITUTION,
And bring themselves IN POW'R Then, property, wealth,
Must be giv'n up; plac'd to account of state;
Our Country's good demands it: vain, futile cry!
'Tis the enriching of these locusts vile,
And, if ye mutter, GUILLOTINE'S the word!

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Original publication date


Published @ RC

September 2004