Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
The Mask of Anarchy

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

(English poet of nature and human liberty, 1792–1822, whose whole life was a cry for beauty and freedom. He died in obloquy and neglect, and today is known as “the Poets’ Poet”)
MEN of England, Heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty mother,
Hopes of her, and one another!
Rise, like lions after slumber,        5
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew,
Which in sleep had fall’n on you.
Ye are many, they are few.
What is Freedom! Ye can tell        10
That which Slavery is too well,
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.
’Tis to work, and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day        15
In your limbs as in a cell
For the tyrants’ use to dwell:
So that ye for them are made,
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade;
With or without your own will, bent        20
To their defence and nourishment.
’Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak:—
They are dying whilst I speak.        25
’Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye.
’Tis to be a slave in soul,        30
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.

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