Friday, April 27, 2007

The Ancient Druids

The ancient Druids offer’d to their gods
A human sacrifice; and criminals
On their stone altars bled beneath the knife
The priestly arm upraised, rudely to plunge
Into an erring brother’s living heart,
Or else, in osier cages first confined,
Expired in flames lit by some priestly hand:
And we, whose scaffolds oft have reek’d with gore
Of earth’s best benefactors; we, whose cells
Have prison’d up the patriot and divine;
And who still strangle with the hangman’s rope
To teach the sanctity of human life;
And ever study how to cheat in trade
Or kill in war with most proficiency,
Self-righteous hypocrites who but deceive
Ourselves and one another; we despise
The Druid for his paganism, meanwhile
We worship Gold as though it were a god,
And call ourselves good Christians

Peter Proletarius


Littlestone said...

Thanks to fitzcoraldo on The Modern Antiquarian for this one. fitzcoraldo adds, Proletarius was one of the pen names of the 19th century printer, publisher, author, poet, historian and radical, George Markham Tweddell.

Tweddell also wrote;

“Scoff not at antiquarian research,
As useless in results; for it throws light
Upon the darkness of the past to aid
Humanity along its devious way”

Littlestone said...

Trevor adds -

Peter Proletarius was in fact the one of the nom de plumes of George Markham Tweddell - a 19th C Printer / publisher / author / People's Historian / socialist / Freemason and much more and hailed from Stokesley in North Yorkshire.

I've been working with Paul Tweddell to bring the Tweddell family's archives into the public domain in various ways and in light of the interesting comments on his poem, I thought your members might be interested in some of these resources.

George Markham Tweddell's fascinating story can now be found on this website

and there is a list on the site of the family archives now located in the County archives in Middlesbrough.

We have also brought together all of his many poems (scattered throughout numourous publications (including the Chartist paper - The Northern Star) as well as many unpublished poems along with a discussion paper on the poems and bio of Tweddell. The E book is now available Free for download on this site