1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Thelwall

Anonymous, "Epistle from Citizen Thelwall to Citizen Norfolk" Evening Mail (12 February 1798).



Great NORFOLK hail! Health and respect I send
To thee, whom now I joy to call my friend.
Great NORFOLK hail! Accept thy THELWALL'S lays,
Attun'd to sing bright innovation's praise.
All hail, great NORFOLK, in fair Freedom's name,
Those whom Equality shall raise to fame!
In thee I view the People's glory shine;
HARDY, TOOKE, JONES, and THELWALL all are thine.
To thee inferior in the noble plan,
We dar'd not boldly speak the Rights of Man.
But thou hast open'd now a proud career,
To give us vigour, and dispel our fear.
O say! what wonders must we not perform,
Upheld by thee, and radical Reform?
So Gallic freemen, form'd a pious band,
And back'd by ORLEANS, sav'd their native land;
Timid at first they lurk'd in mean retreats,
But ORLEANS fir'd them on to daring feats:
His festive board with Revolution rung,
And Patriot Chiefs of future blessings sung.
Glee, toast, mirth, sentiment, and jest combin'd,
To light the flame of freedom in the mind;
And that in him no coldness they might see,
He gave their Sov'reign health — the People's Majesty.