The following poem, celebrating the life and deeds of Napoleon, was first written by Victor Hugo in the 1830s. It was later translated for the Monthly Magazine, probably by G.W.M. Reynolds, who had previously translated several of Hugo’s works.
The following poem was written by the radical poet Charles Cole and printed in A Poetical Address to his Grace the Duke of Wellington (1835).
‘Love of Country’, was written anonymously and printed in Reynolds’s Miscellany. It does not celebrate any one country in particular.
Selfish, haughty and arrogant…and can merit nothing but the severest censure. All his actions, when closely scrutinized, fill us with the most unequivocal contempt.
Georg Herwegh’s ‘A Song of Hatred’ expresses contempt for the German ruling class and was translated by the Fenian activist James Clarence Mangan in 1849.
Charles Cole was one of the finest radical poets of the early nineteenth century. ‘Degradation of Toil’ was first printed in Cole’s collection of poetry in 1835.
I rose cautiously from the bed…One look, and the blood chilled in my veins, and I could feel the hair rising upon my head!
‘My Heart is in the Battlefield’ was first written in November 1839 and has been newly-transcribed for Reynolds’s News! Subscribe now for more 19th century short texts!
The greatest and most fatal error in the annals of the world was suffering the growth and formation of an Aristocracy; it is the direst plague with which this earth is cursed, filling it with eternal bitterness.
The following poem, titled ‘Divinities of France’, was written by Victor Hugo in the 1830s and was later translated by George W.M. Reynolds (under the pseudonym of Parisianus) and published in the Monthly Magazine.
This poem ‘The Genius of France’ was written by Victor Hugo and translated by G.W.M. Reynolds and published in the Monthly Magazine. It has been transcribed by Stephen Basdeo in 2021.
G.W.M. Reynolds launched a personal crusade against army brutality, speaking out against it in both his fiction and his journalism.
The following song was written in 1839 after the government’s rejection of the first Chartist petition. The tone of the poem is clear: the working classes need to fight on!
Victor Hugo’s poem about Napoleon’s death was originally published in G.W.M. Reynolds Monthly Magazine in 1838.
In the 1850s the United Kingdom became home to a number of European refugees who fled political persecution. Welcome to the Refugees celebrates the arrival of persecuted people on British shores.
The Capitalist was a socialist poem written in 1850 and printed in George Julian Harney’s Red Republican magazine. It tells of the coming day of vengeance by the working classes against the ruling class.
A Song for Democracy was written by H. Vincent and originally appeared in Williams’s National Songs in 1839. Reprinted here for the first time in nearly 200 years.
The following poem was written anonymously and published in Hugh Williams’s National Songs and Poetical Pieces (1839). Its sympathies are with the struggle for democracy and the emerging Chartist movement.
The following poem appeared in the Chartist song book titled National Songs and Poetical Pieces (1839). It celebrates the fight for liberty and the vote in all four corners of the British Isles — from a time when there was no tension between the expression of a healthy patriotism and support for progressive causes.
The World is like a Troubled Sea was written anonymously and originally appeared in the Pocket Magazine.
The following poem, ‘In a Young Lady’s Heart’, was written by Pierce Egan the Younger in 1843 and published in The Era.
His memory, unrelieved by one noble trait, one magnanimous action, or one pure sentiment, comes down to us in chronicles, lay and secular, as one violent and tyrannical. A perfidious friend, an encroaching neighbour, a heartless and ungenerous relation.
This poem was written by a person known only as “W.D.” and published in the London Journal in 1860, which was then edited by Pierce Egan the Younger (1814–80). The poem might refer to the Gold Rushes of the mid-1800s, when explorers seeking to get rich quickly moved to the USA and Canada hoping to strike gold.
This poem “The Good Old Times” was written in 1849 and printed in Reynolds’s Miscellany; it mocks the idea that things were better in the past.