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.
Had this fierce untameable man, who, led only by the instinct of plunder and blood, any right claim to have his position recognised by millions of people as a king by right divine?
Socialism “is one of those primordial indestructible ideas, which the hand of God has engraved in human consciences, and which are perpetuated from age to age, and whose development forms an unbroken tradition through the world’s ages.”
A poem titled Forgive and Forget first published in 1850 in Home Circle | Subscribe Now
Pierce Egan the Younger was a novelist and journalist who lived between 1814 and 1880. The author of several popular novels, he occasionally wrote poetry, such as the one below which originally appeared in the Home Circle about an emigrant who misses home.
The following poem was written in 1857 by F.W. Alexander and printed in Reynolds’s Miscellany. Little is known about the poet; they were in all likelihood not a professional poet but had a day job and simply contributed a few lines to Reynolds’s Miscellany, which often published contributions from readers.
There is no country on the face of the earth where despotisms prevails with more horrible atrocity than in Canada. We can well conceive the sort of sympathies entertained by the Melbourne and Russell government, when they permitted that splendid colony to be devastated by inhuman fiends, whose names shall be consigned to eternal infamy, as samples of the cannibal spirit of aristocratic domination. May our beneficent CREATOR grant that the British People may yet prove the liberators of the brave, bleeding, and prostrate Canadians!
A Victorian-era tale of woe and adversity for a brother and sister abandoned by their parents.
An anonymously written song from 1839 urging the Victorian working classes on to revolution: Awake! the torpor of this dream, / This icy weight on Feeling’s stream— / This dull yielding to your foes / Invites and justifies their blows!.