Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Another Chartist Song for the Millions

Song for the Millions (ii)

Beware! ye white slaves of old England, beware!
Your dastard oppressors are fiendish and base;
Their spies are abroad, to betray and ensnare -
To bring you to ruin, to death and disgrace.
They are thirsting for blood, and impatient to spoil
The prospects of freedom which all now enjoy;
They have soldiers to crush you who live by your toil,
Then beware of the infamous traitor and spy!

Be firm and unite, but be cautious in words,
On your prudence depends the success of your cause:
Remember policemen have bludgeons and swords,
And unjust protection from despotic laws.
The press is corrupt, and knaves they can find
Who will perjure their souls, and swear truth is a lie,
Then, producers of wealth, be not wilfully blind,
But beware of the infamous traitor and spy!

'Tis true that your sufferings are grievous and great,
And death, from starvation, you constantly fear;
While a proud, pampered priesthood would teach you to wait
For that comfort in heaven they rob you of here.
'Tis true ye are goaded by insult and wrong,
But justice will come; be united and wise;
The weak shall not ever be slaves to the strong;
Then beware of the tyrants, their traitors, and spies!

Celestial freedom! the birthright of all,
Inert in our bosoms, inhaled by our breath;
Thy spirit abhors both oppression and thrall,
We still live in hope for thee even to death.
Oh! let thy bright presence enliven our land;
The free-born will despots and dungeons despise;
They will purge the fair earth from slavery's brand,
And exterminate tyrants, and traitors, and spies!

Benjamin Stott, Manchester.
The Northern Star, July 2, 1842.
Quoted in An Anthology of Chartist Literature.

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