"Not Loose Yet"
War, Animal Behaviour, Politics
Portraying Russia as a bear, describes how the bear was wounded by Britain 'fifteen years since' (a reference to the Crimean War) but now, 'Bruin's wounds have healed, / His fangs and claws have grown again; / The fur, once from red gashes peeled, / Has grown o'er scars that still remain', and he feels 'hankerings for the Turkey brood'. This refers to the Russian government's imminent breach of the Treaty of Paris (1856), which prohibited its occupation of the Black Sea region. Describes how the attempts of the bear to break free are thwarted by the sleepy 'British Lion', 'A poor, old, toothless, fangless brute' who insists that 'Turkey's his friend' and 'doesn't fight to save his friends'. The British lion is wakened by the bear's attempt to escape, but is complacent, pointing to the chain around its neck. The chain symbolises the old 'accounts' that bruin still has to 'square' with the 'Eagles of Austria, Italy', and 'Dame Turkey', and the poem concludes with the British lion's assurances that the bear is not yet loose.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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