Saturday, May 12, 2012

Make Haste to be Undone

Caged Rats
by Ebenezer Elliott

Ye coop us up, and tax our bread,
And wonder why we pine;
But ye are fat, and round, and red,
And fill'd with tax-bought wine.
Thus, twelve rats starve while three
rats thrive,
(Like you on mine and me,)
When fifteen rats are caged alive,
With food for nine and three.

Haste! havoc's torch begins to glow,
The ending is begun;
Make haste; destruction thinks ye slow;
Make haste to be undone!
Why are ye call'd 'my lord,' and 'quire,'
While fed by mine and me,
And wringing food, and clothes and fire
From bread-tax'd misery?
Make haste, slow rogues! prohibit trade,
Prohibit honest gain;
Turn all the good that God hath made
To fear, and hate, and pain;
Till beggars all, assassins all,
All cannibals we be,
And death shall have no funeral
From shipless sea to sea.

And another Elliott, because you just can't get more striking than talented and genuine poetic rage.

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