When wilt thou save the people

When wilt thou save the people. Ebenezer Elliott* (1781-1849). This poem was probably written in 1847 or early 1848. It was first published in Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, June 1848, with the title ‘The people’s anthem’, by which it is often known. This early version had a number of differences from the text which has passed into general use and which appeared posthumously in Elliott’s More Verse and Prose (1850), where it is described as ‘written for music, at the request of W.T. Wood, Esq.’. Among other changes, the later version has a new second verse, the angriest of the poem, beginning ‘Shall crime bring crime for ever’ and omits the final verse of the original, which expresses the hope...

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