Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO A FRIEND IN LOVE DURING THE RIOTS, by WILLIAM PARSONS



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TO A FRIEND IN LOVE DURING THE RIOTS, by            
First Line: In times like these, when widows, orphans weep
Last Line: Glow at a smile and sicken at a frown!
Subject(s): Collective Behavior; Fire; Riots; Tyranny & Tyrants; Mobs; Crowds


IN times like these, when widows, orphans weep,
When Gallia's helpless sons in exile roam,
Wide spreads the civil flame with threatening sweep,
And every Briton trembles for his home;
While fury kindles in plebeian minds,
With frenzy stung to gnaw and rend their chain,
While tyrant power that chain still faster binds,
Slow to concede and stubborn to retain;
In times like these, when fierce contentions rise,
And dreadful Anarchy his standard rears,
Can love's soft tumults agitate the wise?
Away such trivial hopes, such trivial fears!
Mark how the blazing flames to heav'n aspire,
For bread and peace what throngs exclaim aloud,
How plundered dwellings feed the raging fire,
How armèd horsemen trample on the crowd!
Of ills severe what dire prognostics these!
And canst thou such tremendous hours employ
In flattering schemes of luxury and ease,
In airy visions of domestic joy?
Yet truth's cold maxims faintly we pursue,
And vainly I affect the sage's part,
For now, e'en now, might Beauty's power renew
In me the throbbings of a feeling heart!
Each state convulsed, and every monarch hurled
From his proud throne in dust unpitied down,
Yet would this bosom, heedless of the world,
Glow at a smile and sicken at a frown!





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