As when some peasant, in a bushy brake, Has with unwary footing press’d a snake; He starts aside, astonish’d, when he spies His rising crest, blue neck, and rolling eyes; So from our arms surpris’d Androgeos flies.
Thus, when a flood of fire by wind is borne, Crackling it rolls, and mows the standing corn; Or deluges, descending on the plains, Sweep o’er the yellow year, destroy the pains Of lab’ring oxen and the peasant’s gains; Unroot the forest oaks, and bear away Flocks, folds, and trees, and undistinguish’d prey: The shepherd climbs the cliff, and sees from far The wasteful ravage of the wat’ry war.
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Most people in the Middle Ages were peasants.
In 1932 a peasant revolt in Su County China stopped collection of the poppy tax.