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Scotland and the Scots, 1707-2007

Christian Auer

VII. Politics, radicalism and national identity

42. New Song for the Chartists, 1839

Texte intégral

1The following poem was published in the Scottish Patriot of October 19th 1839 (also see introduction to text 41).

2The Scottish Patriot, 19 October 1839.

“With hearts resolved and hands prepared.”

Our Charter, our Charter! hurrah for our Charter!
    From city and village, this now is the cry;
Let cowards for slavery their liberty barter,
    Like Britons we’re free, or like Britons we die!
The cause we defend has the sanction of heaven,
    Our weapons are reason, truth, justice, and right,
To these is the power of omnipotence given,
    And vainly against them our enemies fight.
We know that our Charter corruption calls folly,
    Oppression stiles treason and cunning-absurd;
We wreck not, Convinced that its spirit is holy,
    While “peace, law, and order,” we take as watch-word.
Our birthright the spoiler has long from us wrested.
    And dastards have tremblingly crouched to the deed,
But though by the craven and traitor assisted
    The tyrant must fall and the people succeed.
Our Charter! our Charter! for freedom’s blest Charter,
    By our ancestors bought with the best of their blood;
Who would not like them be a patriot-martyr,
    Enrolling his name with the brave and the good!
Yes, yes, there are millions for liberty burning,
    Sons worthy of heroes that died for the cause,
Who have, every danger and flattery spurning,
    Resolved to obtain “equal rights—equal laws.”
Hail! hail to our Charter, see factions are trembling
    As their guile and their cruelty draw to an end;
One bootlessly rages, another dissembling,
    Would the hand-of a Judas in terror extend!
But feeble their wrath, and as open their knavery,
    Our day of redemption is nearly at hand;
When, instead of convulsion, starvation, and slavery,
    Peace, plenty and freedom, shall cover our land.


© Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2013

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