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April 01st 2008 print

Hal Colebatch

The Age of Revolution

Bliss to be alive: to drink deep
Of the headiest of those mixed and long fermented wines:
Voltaire, Rousseau, Blake, Tom Paine’s Rights of Man,
The whole drum-roll: Danton, Marat, Mirabeau,
The Bastille falls, soon all the thrones
Of Europe tremble. Ideas explode like bombs.
In a thousand salons across the Continent
Ideas wheel in armies. Germany is in ferment,
Even Spain stirs. In England an order
Seven hundred years old looks to itself.
Whispers reach Poland and Russia.
And in Glasgow Adam Smith
Secures James Watt a post and changes the world.

Hal Colebatch