Child Harold - The Summer Canto: High Beech (A darker extract)

My life hath been one love—no blot it out
My life hath been one chain of contradictions

Madhouses Prisons wh---re shops—never doubt

But that my life hath had some strong convictions
That such was wrong—religion makes restrictions
I would have followed—but life turned a bubble

& clumb the jiant stile of maledictions

They took me from my wife & to save trouble

I wed again & made the error double

Yet abscence claims them both & keeps them too
& locks me in a shop in spite of law

Among a low lived set & dirty crew

Here let the Muse oblivions curtain draw

& let man think—for God hath often saw

Things here too dirty for the light of day

For in a madhouse there exists no law—

Now stagnant grows my too refined clay
I envy birds their wings to flue away

Adam Foulds "The Quickening Maze" -- Shortlisted for the 'Man Booker' prize in 2009, is a wonderful exploration, in fiction, of this period.  In some ways illustrating over a 259-page novel these two verses.

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