Percy Bysshe Shelley inspires a Modern Poem

Boris Johnson clapping the Carers - (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Boris Johnson clapping the Carers – (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“England in 2022”

A sad, mad, drunk, despised, and lying leader    
Ministers, the dregs of their crazed cabal, who show
Through self-conceited scorn devotion to that fibbing bottom feeder;
MPs who neither care nor care to know,
But leechlike to their cowering country bleed her
Till they drop, blind in blood and filthy lucre, without a blow.
A people frozen and fracked in untilled Brexit fields;
Police, whose racism and misogyny each day
Makes a two-edged sword to she who cruelly wields
Vain and vicious laws which drown those with no say;
The media run by millionaires with truth to power sealed ;
A Parliament, failed franchise unrepealed –
All autocratic tombs from which at last the truth may
Burst, illumining our autonomous day.

with thanks to Percy Bysshe Shelley


Original  poem:

King George III by Johann Zoffany – Source PICRYL Public Domain

“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 leechlike to their fainting country cling
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow.
A people starved and stabbed in th’untilled field;
An army, whom 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.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


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