Caged Rats

by Ebenezer Elliott –  a portion of one of his poems called “Caged Rats”:

“Ye coop us up, and tax our bread,

And wonder why we pine:

But ye are fat, and round, and red,

And fill’d with tax-bought wine.

Thus, twelve rats starve while three rats thrive,

(Like you on mine and me,)

When fifteen rats are caged alive,

With food for nine and three.”

“Make haste, slow rogues! prohibit trade,

Prohibit honest gain;

Turn all the good that God hath made

To fear, and hate, and pain;

Till beggars all, assassins all,

All cannibals we be,

And death shall have no funeral,

From shipless sea to sea.”

The Corn Law Rhymes made Elliott famous around the world. The British historian Asa Briggs called Elliott “the poet of economic revolution” — which Elliott himself described as the “greatest, the most beneficial, the only crimeless Revolution, which man has yet seen.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My Tickets is currently in testing mode. No financial transactions will be processed.