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.
Victor Hugo’s “Songs of Twilight” (1835) | G. W. M. Reynolds
In the present age, everything, whether ideal or fact, whether connected with society in general, or with a single individual—everything is in a state of twilight. But of what species is that twilight? Oh! who shall solve so profound a mystery—the most sublime of all those that are agitated during times of doubt and uncertainty?
Degradation of Toil (1835) | Charles Cole
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.
Once as the Oak: A Pro-Democracy Poem (1835) | Charles Cole
Charles Cole was one of the finest radical poets of the early nineteenth century. ‘Once as the Oak’ was first printed in 1835 and has been transcribed by Stephen Basdeo.
We Are Winning Now! (1839) | Anonymous
The following pro-democracy song appeared in Hugh Williams’s National Songs and Poetical Pieces (1839). The identity of the author is now lost to history but their work has been newly transcribed.
My Heart is in the Battlefield | “W.”
‘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 Revolution of 1830 | Victor Hugo
This poem celebrating the 1830 Revolution in France was written by Victor Hugo and translated by George W.M. Reynolds (1814–79).
The Glorious Fourth of July | Anonymous
This poem from 1849 celebrates American Independence on the 4 July 1776. It was originally published in the Democratic Review
Hymn to France | Victor Hugo
This poem ‘Hymn’ was written by Victor Hugo and celebrates the heroes of the French Revolution of 1830. The poem was translated by G.W.M. Reynolds and published in the Monthly Magazine.
Divinities of France | Victor Hugo
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.
Genius of France | Victor Hugo
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.
Cheer up! Cheer up! Ye Chartist Boys! | Anonymous
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!
Death of Napoleon | Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo’s poem about Napoleon’s death was originally published in G.W.M. Reynolds Monthly Magazine in 1838.
The Capitalist | “R”
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 the Democracy (1839) | H. Vincent
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.
Is there yet spirit in England? (1839) | Anonymous
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.
Loud the Song of Triumph (1839): A Chartist Song | Anonymous
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 | Anonymous
The World is like a Troubled Sea was written anonymously and originally appeared in the Pocket Magazine.
A Young Lady’s Heart | Pierce Egan the Younger
The following poem, ‘In a Young Lady’s Heart’, was written by Pierce Egan the Younger in 1843 and published in The Era.
Last of the Queens and Kings | Armand Carrell
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.
Afar from Home: A Poem of the Gold Rush | W. D.
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.
Masaniello’s Call to the Neapolitans: A Chartist Song (1839) | Anonymous
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?
The “Good Old Times” (1849) | Anonymous
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.
The Dewdrop | Eliza Cook
Eliza Cook (24 December 1818 – 23 September 1889) was an English author and poet associated with the pro-democracy Chartist movement.