The rascals, perhaps, may betake them to robbing,
The dogs to be sure have got nothing to eat—
So if we can hang them for breaking a bobbin,
'T will save all the Government's money and meat:
Men are more easily made than machinery—
Stockings fetch better prices than lives—
Gibbets on Sherwood will heighten the scenery,
Shewing how Commerce, how Liberty thrives!
Justice is now in pursuit of the wretches,
Grenadiers, Volunteers, Bow-street Police,
Twenty-two Regiments, a score of Jack Ketches,
Three of the Quorum and two of the Peace;
Some Lords, to be sure, would have summoned the Judges,
To take their opinion, but that they ne'er shall,
For Liverpool such a concession begrudges,
So now they're condemned by no Judges at all.
Some folks for certain have thought it was shocking,
When Famine appeals and when Poverty groans,
That Life should be valued at less than a stocking,
And breaking of frames lead to breaking of bones.
If it should prove so, I trust, by this token,
(And who will refuse to partake in the hope?)
That the frames of the fools may be first to be broken,
Who, when asked for a remedy, sent down a rope.
[First published, Morning Chronicle, Monday, March 2, 1812.]
[See a Political Ode by Lord Byron, hitherto unknown as his production. London, John Pearson, 46, Pall Mall, 1880, 8°. See, too, Mr. Pearson's prefatory Note, pp. 5, etc.]