The Massacre of Peterloo, Manchester, 16th August 1819

The Peterloo Massacre - Manchester 16th August 1819

'The Wild Floweret' - A book of poems by Samuel Collins
Bard of Hale Moss
1802 - 1878

Handloom silk weaver;
Veteran of Peterloo;
and Chartist


In days of yore, while yet my youthful breast
Glow'd with a fierce and patriotic flame,
Griev'd for my country's sorrows unredrest,
Regardless of the hated Sidmouth's name'
Still pressing on, allured by the beam
Of Freedom's brightest star; the bravest, best,
The fearless Hunt's imperishable fame
Can ne'er be shrouded in oblivion's vest;
He dar'd the tyrant, and expos'd his crimes,
We oheer'd him onward 'mid those dangerous times.

He paid the debt of nature. Then uprose
A mighty leader, fraught with airy dream ;
The bluff Hibernian's insane views oppose
The march of intellect; whom must we blame,
The visionary author of the 'Scheme,' *
Or his bllind followers? upon whom it throws
The stain of imbecility and shame,
And gives a pretext to the people's foes
To say that they are ignorant and dull,
And proves a serious drawback to John Bull.

I've witness'd, too, the mighty freaks of France,
The desolation civil discord brings;
With what "sang froid," by destiny or chance,
She, can dispose of Emperors, or Kings,
Or Presidents, as children their playthings;
Such revolutions do not much advance
Their claim to liberty - the goddess flings
Them back again (as the Scots say) at ance;
Their bonds are tighten'd by each new made lord,
And France lies quiv'ring 'neath the gleaming sword.
Thus have I seen John Bull impos'd on so
By his great leader's wild, insane advice;
I've seen France rise, revolt, and overthrow
A government republic, its own choice.

Experience sometimes makes a man more wise
Who sympathises with a country's woe -
A nation should pause long ere it arise
To strike the ruthless, rash, and random blow.
A madden'd people know not well to choose;
Sometimes a double despotism ensues.

* Feargus O'Oonnor.

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