the crisis

When we see Despots prosper in their weakness,
When we see Falshood triumph in its folly,
When we see Evil, Tyranny, Corruption
Grin, grow and fatten—

When Virtue toileth thro’ a world of sorrow,
When Freedom dwelleth in the deepest dungeon,
When Truth in chains and infamy bewaileth
O’er a world’s ruin—

When Monarchs laugh upon their thrones securely,
Mocking the woes which are to them a treasure,
Hear the deep curse, and quench the Mother’s hunger
In her child’s murder—

Then may we hope the consummating hour
Dreadfully, sweetly, swiftly is arriving
When light from Darkness, peace from desolation
Bursts unresisted.

Then mid the gloom of doubt and fear and anguish
The votaries of virtue may raise their eyes to Heaven
And confident watch till the renovating day star
Gild the horizon.

Percy Bysshe Shelley