The Mask of Anarchy [Excerpt]

Percy Bysshe Shelley

 
         LXXIX
"Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,
         LXXX
"And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armèd steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed.
         LXXXI
"Let the laws of your own land,
Good or ill, between ye stand
Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
Arbiters of the dispute,
         LXXXII
"The old laws of England—they
Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
Children of a wiser day;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echo—Liberty!
         LXXXIII
"On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Rest the blood that must ensue,
And it will not rest on you.
         LXXXIV
"And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew,—
What they like, that let them do.
         LXXXV
"With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.
         LXXXVI
"Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.
         LXXXVII
"Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand—
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance on the street.
         LXXXVIII
"And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in wars
Will turn to those who would be free,
Ashamed of such base company.
         LXXXIX
"And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.
         XC
"And these words shall then become
Like Oppression's thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again—again—again—
         XCI
"Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number—
Shake your chains to earth like dew
WHich in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many—they are few."
 

Poems by This Author

Adonais, 49-52, [Go thou to Rome] by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Go thou to Rome,--at once the Paradise
An Exhortation by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Chameleons feed on light and air:
England in 1819 by Percy Bysshe Shelley
An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king
Lines: 'When the Lamp is Shattered' by Percy Bysshe Shelley
When the lamp is shattered
Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
Mutability by Percy Bysshe Shelley
We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon
Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
On the Medusa of Leonardo Da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery by Percy Bysshe Shelley
It lieth, gazing on the midnight sky
Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land
Stanzas Written in Dejection, Near Naples by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The sun is warm, the sky is clear
The Call of the Open by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Which yet joined not scent to hue
To a Skylark by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Hail to thee, blithe Spirit
To Night by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Swiftly walk o'er the western wave
To the Moon [fragment] by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Art thou pale for weariness


Further Reading

Poems About War
Henry V, Act III, Scene I [One more unto the breach, dear friends]
by William Shakespeare
The Iliad, Book I, Lines 1-15
by Homer
War Music [Down on your knees, Achilles]
by Christopher Logue
A Wedding at Cana, Lebanon, 2007
by Tom Sleigh
April 27, 1937
by Timothy Steele
At Bay
by Carl Phillips
Bagram, Afghanistan, 2002
by Marvin Bell
Before the Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
Death Fugue
by Paul Celan
Dulce et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen
Eighth Air Force
by Randall Jarrell
For the Fallen
by Laurence Binyon
For the Union Dead
by Robert Lowell
Forms of Range and Loathing
by Ruth Ellen Kocher
Grass
by Carl Sandburg
I Have a Rendezvous with Death
by Alan Seeger
I Hear an Army
by James Joyce
i sing of Olaf glad and big
by E. E. Cummings
Memorial Day for the War Dead
by Yehuda Amichai
Mosul
by David Hernandez
My Father on His Shield
by Walt McDonald
Peace
by Henry Vaughan
Peace
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Phantom Noise
by Brian Turner
Poems about War
Romance
by Charles Reznikoff
Ships That Pass in the Night
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Spoken From the Hedgerows
by Jorie Graham
The Battle Hymn of the Republic
by Julia Ward Howe
The Coming of War: Actæon
by Ezra Pound
The Czar's Last Christmas Letter: A Barn in the Urals
by Norman Dubie
The Fall of Rome
by W. H. Auden
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The War After the War
by Debora Greger
The War Works Hard
by Dunya Mikhail
The Wound-Dresser
by Walt Whitman
Untitled [1950 June 27]
by Don Mee Choi
Veterans of Foreign Wars
by Edward Hirsch
War and Hell, XVI [I am a great inventor]
by Ernest Crosby
War Is Kind [excerpt]
by Stephen Crane
War Rug
by Henri Cole
Web Prayer for Milosz
by David Wojahn