1861. – God Bless The Year.
Title:1861. – God Bless The Year.
Publication:The Bradford Observer
Date:January 3rd 1861
The work by the prolific Victorian poet Henry Dowson is poignant in that it is published at the beginning of the year which brought the American Civil War and the Cotton Famine (whose effects extended into West Yorkshire, where this was published), and yet it prayers for peace and prosperity were clearly not answered. There is a strongly religious tone to the poem and themes which were to become increasingly prevalent over the coming years are poverty and charity. Of course, war became a major theme too, but this poem pins its hope on European peace, unaware that American war would shortly have a deep effect on European economies and livelihoods. – SR