Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Germ text.
WMR's sonnet is the last work in the final number of The Germ. In his Introduction to the 1901 facsimile he
explains that he wrote the sonnet
“when the great cause of the Hungarian insurrection against Austrian
tyranny was, like revolutionary
movements elsewhere, precipitating towards its fall. My original
title for the sonnet was, ‘For the
General Oppression of the Better by the Worse Cause, Autumn
1849.’ When the verse had to be
published in The Germ, a magazine which did not aim at taking any
side in politics, it was thought
that this title was inappropriate, and the other was substituted. At
a much later date the sonnet was
reprinted with yet another and more significant title, ‘Democracy
Downtrodden’” (page 27).
Printed in The
Germ no. 4, page 192. The sonnet was reprinted in T. Hall Caine, Sonnets
of Three Centuries (1882) and William Sharp,
Sonnets of This Century (1886). WMR
republished it in his
anthology of Democratic Sonnets (1907).