State of the Times


As old trade and Commerce were conversing on the present times,
Up stept [sic] a Reformer and said that he was sure, [Note 038.1]
That unless the times are alter'd the things would be quite serious,
For something must be done, to assist the numerous poor;
MechanicsĀ¹ are out of work all o'er the British nation,
The country is now become a scene of deadly woe,
Go where you will distress it prevails in every station,
The grand conversation in Old England arose.

There's Manchester, and Birmingham, and Macclesfield commercial towns,
For the last twenty years, have so nobly braved the storm, [Note 038.2]
But things are come to such a pass, and trade is quite at a stand
The thing that is wanted is parliamentary reform
Mechanics of London now are all complaining,
Each day each hour, more worse and worse it grows,
Inventions and machinery destroys all manly labour,
This grand conversation in Old England arose.

The Farmer he sighs, his aching heart is big with grief,
And to destroy his hopes, they did invent a [illegible]
And to ruin his trade, his horse, and agriculture,
They started machines that now go by steam; [Note 038.3]
The labourer who joyfully toiled to speed the plough,
And rose with the lark to earn his daily bread,
Now size for the days of his youth & prosperity
And now breaking stones he droops down his head

The Nobility & Gentry who ride about in splendour,
They feel not the distress of the numerous poor,
Quite willing to work there's many a Gallant Englishman,
Who sups the cup of sorrow, and begs from door to door.
My heaven soon reform the days of persecution,
When man on fellow man no mercy bestows,
And may the hand of Providence enlarge its distribution
This grand conversation in Old England arose


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