Note: Shelley was an atheist and prototypical social justice warrior, emerging in the wake of the French Revolution. However much has changed since Shelley’s days. The Enlightenment has done its work, in as much as the perpetual revolution of the left can ever be completed, and the world order has since become entirely inverted.
The working man, pulled this way and that by politics, is no better off because of it, and is now seeing the very soul of his nation taken from him. The capitalist oligarchy and the international socialists behind it are now the ones who disguise themselves as Bishop and Lord. It is money and the left who proclaim themselves God and King and Law. This is the new procession of masked villains that must be smashed.
Shelley’s verse has a dark, reactionary tone to it which is now more relevant than ever to us as rebels and exiles in our own lands under the gathering storm clouds of civil disorder, vigilantism and insurrection.
There is not enough art in the dissident right, and language and poetry stir men’s hearts to action far more than lengthy screeds, as useful as they may be. Michel Houellebecq’s Submission, now translated into English has become a literary lightning rod, a warning and a call to arms. We need more of this.
Shelley himself described poetry as ‘a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it,’ and that poets were ‘the unacknowledged legislators of the world.’
So, much abridged, I present to you:
The Mask of Anarchy, A Song to the Men of England:
As I lay asleep in Italy
There came a voice from over the Sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visons of Poesy.
I met Murder on the way-
He had a mask like Castlereagh-
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven blood-hounds followed him:
All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.
Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Lord Eldon, an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.
And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.
Clothed by the Bible, as by light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.
And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, and spied.
Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.
And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw-
‘I AM GOD, AND KING, AND LAW!’
‘And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
A volcano heard afar.
‘And these words shall then become
Like Opression’s thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain.
‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number-
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many-they are few.’