Sonnet II, To Tyranny

O hell-born Tyranny! How blest the land
Whose watchful Citizens with dauntless breast
Oppose thy first approach! With aspect bland
Thou wont, alas! too oft, to lull to rest
The sterner virtues that should guard the throne
Of Liberty. Deck'd with the gaudy zone
Of Pomp, and usher'd with lascivious arts
Of glossing Luxury, thy fraudful smile
Ensnares the dazzled senses, till our hearts
Sink, palsied, in degenerate lethargy.
Then bursts the swoln destruction forth; and while
Down the rough tide of Power Oppression drives
The shipwreck'd multitude, no hope survives,
But from the whelming storm of Anarchy.

John Thelwall (1764-1834)

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2013 Selected Poetry
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