As I lay asleep in Italy There came a voice from over the Sea, And with great power it forth led me To walk in the visions of Poesy. I met Murder on the way - He had a mask like Castlereagh - Very smooth he looked, yet grim; Seven blood-hounds followed him: All were fat; and well they might Be in admirable plight, For one by one, and two by two, He tossed the human hearts to chew Which from his wide cloak he drew. Next came Fraud, and he had on, Like Eldon, an ermined gown; His big tears, for he wept well, Turned to mill-stones as they fell. And the little children, who Round his feet played to and fro, Thinking every tear a gem, Had their brains knocked out by them. Clothed with the Bible, as with light, And the shadows of the night, Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy On a crocodile rode by.
And many more Destructions played In this ghastly masquerade, All disguised, even to the eyes, Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies. Last came Anarchy: he rode On a white horse, splashed with blood; He was pale even to the lips, Like Death in the Apocalypse. And he wore a kingly crown; And in his grasp a sceptre shone; On his brow this mark I saw - 'I AM GOD, AND KING, AND LAW!' ... '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. 'Every woman in the land Will point at them as they stand - They will hardly dare to greet Their acquaintance in the street. 'And the bold, true warriors Who have hugged Danger in wars Will turn to those who would be free, Ashamed of such base company. 'And that slaughter to the Nation Shall steam up like inspiration, Eloquent, oracular; A volcano heard afar. 'And these words shall then become Like Oppression's thundered doom Ringing through each heart and brain, Heard again - again - again - '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.'