To the Right Hon. James Lowther M.P., of Wilton Castle.
And seem to me far, far behind our age;
Yet I respect the man who dares to wage
The war of words, in county and in town,
For his convictions; and I would not frown 5
At earnest like thine, in these sham days
When each slimy politician loudly brays,
To catch men’s votes, for measures he’d put down,
Only he knows that they at last have grown
In favour with the people. But think not 10
Our struggle ’gainst the Bread-tax is forgot;
Or that the mental seeds which then were sown
Ne’er fructified. We never will permit
Our mouths again to wear the cruel Bread-tax bit.
Yet much I wish that talents like to thine, 15
And thy bold energy, were all inspired
With earnest love of Progress; that thou wert fired
With that reforming spirit which will shine
In after ages brighter than before.
“We must advance the multitude,”* or we 20
Will lead the world to arrant arnachy.
We ne’er can backward turn to days of yore.
Then let us march with measured footsteps on,
Where knowledge sheds its light upon our way;
And let not passion ever make us stray 25
From righteous paths; but let all parties learn
To cease their factious squabbles, and to be
True pioneers of rational liberty.
George Markham Tweddell
*HERODOTUS, “the Father of History,” born at Halicarnassus, in Caria,
about 484 B.C., or 2372 years ago.
From CLEVELAND SONNETS—Second series
Tractates No. 35 (1888)
Wilton Castle with ICI Wilton in the background today.