September 14, 2009

To The Men of England

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--Description: 19th C, Shelley P., Humanity, Patriotism--
Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low?
Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear?

Wherefore feed and clothe and save,
From the cradle to the grave,
Those ungrateful drones who would
Drain your sweat -- nay, drink your blood?

Wherefore, Bees of England, forge
Many a weapon, chain, and scourge,
That these stingless drones may spoil
The forced produce of your toil?

Have ye leisure, comfort, calm,
Shelter, food, love's gentle balm?
Or what is it ye buy so dear
With your pain and with your fear?

The seed ye sow another reaps;
The wealth ye find another keeps;
The robes ye weave another wears;
The arms ye forge another bears.

Sow seed, -- but let no tyrant reap;
Find wealth, -- let no imposter heap;
Weave robes, -- let not the idle wear;
Forge arms, in your defence to bear.

Shrink to your cellars, holes, and cells;
In halls ye deck another dwells.
Why shake the chains ye wrought? Ye see
The steel ye tempered glance on ye.

With plough and spade and hoe and loom,
Trace your grave, and build your tomb,
And weave your winding-sheet, till fair
England be your sepulchre!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

--Did You Know: 4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded among the finest lyric poets in the English language. He is most famous for such classic anthology verse works as Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, and The Masque of Anarchy, which are among the most popular and critically acclaimed poems in the English language. His major works, however, are long visionary poems which included Prometheus Unbound, Alastor, Adonaïs, The Revolt of Islam, and the unfinished The Triumph of Life. The Cenci (1819) and Prometheus Unbound (1820) were dramatic plays in five and four acts respectively. He also wrote the Gothic novels Zastrozzi (1810) and St. Irvyne (1811) and the short works The Assassins (1814) and The Coliseum (1817).
Shelley's unconventional life and uncompromising idealism, combined with his strong disapproving voice, made him an authoritative and much-denigrated figure during his life and afterward. He became an idol of the next two or three or even four generations of poets, including the important Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets Robert Browning, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, as well as Lord Byron, Henry David Thoreau, William Butler Yeats, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, and poets in other languages such as Jan Kasprowicz, Jibanananda Das and Subramanya Bharathy. He was admired by Karl Marx, Henry Stephens Salt, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and Isadora Duncan. Henry David Thoreau's civil disobedience and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's passive resistance were influenced and inspired by Shelley's nonviolence in protest and political action. It is known that Gandhi would often quote Shelley's Mask of Anarchy. Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron. The novelist Mary Shelley was his second wife.

--Word of the Day: acquiesce \ak-wee-ES\, (intransitive verb):
To accept or consent passively or without objection-usually used with 'in' or 'to'.
At the same time, sellers might acquiesce to mafia involvement in their business as a way of ensuring payment for goods: if the buyer defaults, the mafioso will collect.
-Louis S. Warren, The Hunter's Game

--Quote of the Day: The proper means of increasing the love we bear our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one.
-William Shenstone

--Spanish Word of the Day: antipático, (adjective):
unfriendly, unpleasant
(eg) Es el tipo más antipático que conozco.
(transl) He’s the most unpleasant guy I know.

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