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The title of this poem means, "An eye for an eye" This was the law of the Old Testament (Exodus 21:23-25). The poem is about two kings; a good ruler and a bad one. The bad king's name is King Mob. This king over takes the good one, named King Order. King Mob kills King Order and takes over the kingdom. Then one day a Famine comes through the kingdom killing King Mob, and thus the Lex Talionis is fulfilled. In the poem Fenerty capitalizes Famine. He does this in the same respect he uses the work Mob and Order metaphorically. This suggests that the Famine was an entity of good exorcising the bad; this Famine, in comparison to Order, did onto Mob what Mob did onto Order.

It's difficult to say when the poem was written. The poem is being used allegorically to describe events that could have happened at any time (since this analogy carries a common theme). The poem is political in nature and has nothing to do with any biblical story. It might have been a response to the wide unrest of the 1840s, especially 1848 when huge riots broke out in France, Germany, and Austria in particular.

Also, it looks like a reactionary poem based on the fear of a poor peoples’ revolution in England similar to the one which had happened in France in the late 1700’s. The French revolution led to the reign of Napoleon and the wars in Europe which followed were in a sense wars over forms of government, aristocracy vs. republic. That affected all of Europe – Spain became one of the first battlefields of that conflict once England joined the fight on the continent. And naturally, all of that had ripples in the new world as well.

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