This is another post of my collection of National Anthems which began with the Australian: Australia Day: Girted, Skirted, and Alerted (27 Jan. 2021) and Rewriting and Resinging Australia Day (30 Jan. 2021).
God save the Guillotine
Till England’s King and Queen
Her power shall prove:
Till each appointed knob
Affords a clipping job
Let no vile halter rob
France, let thy trumpet sound –
Tell all the world around
How Capet fell;
And when great George’s poll
Shall in the basket roll,
Let mercy then control
When all the sceptre’d crew
Have paid their Homage, due
Let Freedom’s flag advance
Till all the world, like France
O’er tyrants’ graves shall dance
And PEACE begin.
I came across him in Jonathan Israel’s books on “the radical Enlightenment”. His main political works include the following:
- A Letter to the National Convention of France on the Defects in the Constitution of 1791 (London, 1792).
- Advice to the Privileged Orders in the several States of Europe, resulting from the Necessity and Propriety of a General Revolution in the Principle of Government. Part I (1792) and Part II (1793)
- A Letter Addressed to the People of Piedmont, on the Advantages of the French Revolution, and the Necessity of Adopting Its Principles in Italy (1792)
- Two Letters to the Citizens of the United States, and One to General Washington (1799)
As well as a considerable amount of what is regarded as bad political poetry.
His collected works were republished in 1970: Works of Joel Barlow. In Two Volumes. Facsimile Reproductions with an Introduction by William K. Bottorff and Arthur L. Ford (Gainesville, Fla.,: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1970).
There a fairly recent biography which I have not been able to read by Richard Buel Jr., Joel Barlow: American Citizen in a Revolutionary World (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).