The Mask of Anarchy

Here is a very abridged version of the famous ballad poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, written on the occasion of the Peterloo Massacre, Manchester 1819.

Stand ye calm and resolute,

Like a forest close and mute,

With folded arms and looks which are

Weapons of unvanquished war.


And if then the tyrants dare,

Let them ride among you there;

Slash, and stab, and maim and hew;

What they like, that let them do.


With folded arms and steady eyes,

And little fear, and less surprise,

Look upon them as they slay,

Till their rage has died away:


Then they will return with shame,

To the place from which they came,

And the blood thus shed will speak

In hot blushes on their cheek:


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!

Read the full ballad here: 

Image of blue lion by Jills from Pixabay

Image of old photos, letters and pen by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Image of yellow lion by Jills from Pixabay

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