The Ultramontane Against England. To His Fétiche
Religious Authority, Progress, Cosmology, Astronomy, Railways, Steam-power, Telegraphy, Nationalism
Written from the perspective of a Roman Catholic, the poet ponders the time when 'England's power and greatness shall to nothingness be brought' and when the 'pious night return, / Which to illuminate we should our holy tapers burn!'. Expresses nostalgia for the day when 'all that any one was taught proceeded from our lips', and asks, 'Why should not modern science—that to witchcraft is akin— / Decline and die like classic lore, alike the birth of sin?'. Anticipates that this will result in the revival of the ancient belief in a geocentric cosmos and in heaven being 'above the vault of blue, 'o'erhanging wide, / With none but those who worship thee upon the other side'. Notes that 'No longer, then, iron horse will fly with wings of steam, / Presumption's lightning wire will then have vanished like a dream; / True miracles will succeed'. Concludes by lamenting that these events will never 'come to pass while England's hale and strong'.
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