Song For The Times.
Title:Song For The Times.
Publication:The Bradford Observer
Date:April 25th 1861
This kind of partisan political comment in verse became relatively infrequent in the subsequent years of the Cotton Famine as a temporary political consensus was reached but this poem, published just at the beginning of the outbreak of the American Civil War, celebrates the British landscape and industry, particularly the textile industries of the north with a particularly anti-Tory message. It supports the free trade policies of John Bright MP (1811-89), but also notes his abolitionist work, suggesting sympathy with the Union on the part of the writer. The invocation of Cromwell and Milton and John Pym and John Hampden as major figures of the English Civil War make this a particularly radical text in its implicit threat. – SR