Friday, 2 March 2012

2nd March 1812: Poem by Lord Byron. “An Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill.” London and Nottingham


Oh! well done Lord El—n! and better done R—er!
Britannia must prosper with Counsels like yours;
Hawkesbury, Harrowby, helps 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,
’Twill save all the Government’s money and meat.

Men are more easily made than Machinery,
Stockings will fetch higher 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 summon’d 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 —— of the fools, may be first to be broken,
Who when ask’d for a remedy, sent down a rope.

* Lord L——— on Thursday night said, the Riots at Nottingham arose from a Mistake

This poem was published anonymously in the Morning Chronicle of 2nd March 1812, and also the Nottingham Review of 6th March 1812.

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