Percy Bysse Shelley, England In 1819
An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King;
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring;
Rulers who neither see nor feel nor know,
But leechlike to their fainting country cling
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow.—
The moral decadence and nihilism, like a fetid mud today coursing through the veins of the doomed trans-Atlantic system, should be properly identified, not as the identity of this or that nation—such as the United States, or even England—but, rather, as the dead hand pressed upon the brain and mind of the system of nations.