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.
This poem titled ‘The Last of the Queens and the Kings’ was originally written in the 1830s French by Armand Carrell and later translated into English and published in Red Republican in 1850. It has now been republished in Reynolds’s News and Miscellany.
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.
Let the king live, but let the government perish!” May we not profit by this bright example, or shall the pages of history continue unfolded to us in vain?
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.
Eliza Cook (24 December 1818 – 23 September 1889) was an English author and poet associated with the pro-democracy Chartist movement.
To Switzerland originally appeared in a Chartist songbook in 1839 and celebrates the beautiful country’s landscape and long tradition of political liberty.
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 radical song, written by Thomas Jenkins at the beginning of the Chartist movement, urging the Welsh to rise up and fight for democracy.
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!.
A poem originally written by Susannah Frances Reynolds and published in the Teetotaler. Transcribed by Stephen Basdeo and Jessica Elizabeth Thomas
This poem was originally written in 1850 and published in the Home Circle, a magazine edited by Pierce Egan the Younger (1814-80): Ye by whom once the clear blue sky / And zephyrs of returning spring / Were hailed with joy, but now no more / Responses from the spirit bring.
A poem written by Susannah Frances Reynolds in 1841 and transcribed by Jessica Elizabeth Thomas: Oft does th’ unconscious vessel fly / To distant coasts were billows high / In dread confusion roar; / And of the danger unaware.