The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 7/An Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill
Oh well done Lord E——n! and better done R——r!
Britannia must prosper with councils like yours;
Hawkesbury, Harrowby, help you to guide her,
Whose remedy only must kill ere it cures:
Those villains; the Weavers, are all grown refractory,
Asking some succour for Charity's sake—
So hang them in clusters round each Manufactory,
That will at once put an end to mistake.
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.]
["Lord Byron to Editor of the Morning Chronicle.
"Sir,—I take the liberty of sending an alteration of the two last lines of stanza 2d., which I wish to run as follows:—
"'Gibbets on Sherwood will heighten the scenery,
Shewing how commerce, how liberty thrives.'
I wish you could insert it tomorrow for a particular reason; but I feel much obliged by your inserting it at all. Of course do not put my name to the thing—believe me,
and very obedient servant,
"8, St. James's Street,
Sunday, March 1, 1812."]
- [For Byron's maiden speech in the House of Lords, February 27, 1812, see Letters, 1898, ii. 424-430.]
- [Richard Ryder (1 766-1832), second son of the first Baron Harrowby, was Home Secretary, 1809-12.]
- Lord E., on Thursday night, said the riots at Nottingham arose from a "mistake."