페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

II.

Ill-minded man! why scourge thy kind

Who bowed so low the knee?

By gazing on thyself grown blind,
Thou taught'st the rest to see.

With might unquestioned,-power to save

Thine only gift hath been the grave

To those that worshipped thee; Nor, till thy fall, could mortals guess Ambition's less than littleness!

III.

Thanks for that lesson-it will teach

To after-warriors more

Than high Philosophy can preach,

And vainly preached before.

That spell upon the minds of men

Breaks never to unite again,

That led them to adore

Those Pagod things of sabre-sway,

With fronts of brass, and feet of clay.

IV.

The triumph, and the vanity,

The rapture of the strife'—

The earthquake shout of Victory,
To thee the breath of life;

The sword, the sceptre, and that sway

Which man seemed made but to obey,

Wherewith renown was rife

All quelled!-Dark Spirit! what must be The madness of thy memory!

V.

The Desolator desolate !

The Victor overthrown!

The Arbiter of others' fate

A Suppliant for his own!

Is it some yet imperial hope

That with such change can calmly cope?

Or dread of death alone?

To die a prince-or live a slave

Thy choice is most ignobly brave!

VI.

He' who of old would rend the oak,
Dreamed not of the rebound;

Chained by the trunk he vainly broke,
Alone-how looked he round?-

Thou, in the sternness of thy strength, An equal deed hast done at length, And darker fate hast found:

He fell, the forest-prowlers' prey;

But thou must eat thy heart away!

VII.

The Roman, 3 when his burning heart Was slaked with blood of Rome, Threw down the dagger-dared depart, In savage grandeur, home.

He dared depart, in utter scorn

Of men that such a yoke had borne,

Yet left him such a doom!

His only glory was that hour

Of self-upheld abandoned power.

VIII.

The Spaniard, when the lust of sway

Had lost its quickening spell,

Cast crowns for rosaries away,
An empire for a cell;

A strict accountant of his beads,

A subtle disputant on creeds,
His dotage trifled well:

Yet better had he neither known

A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne.

IX.

But thou-from thy reluctant hand

The thunderbolt is wrung

Too late thou leav'st the high command To which thy weakness clung;

All Evil Spirit as thou art,

It is enough to grieve the heart,

To see thine own unstrung;

To think that God's fair world hath been

The footstool of a thing so mean;

X.

And Earth hath spilt her blood for him,

Who thus can hoard his own!

And Monarchs bowed the trembling limb,
And thanked him for a throne!

Fair Freedom! we may hold thee dear,
When thus thy mightiest foes their fear
In humblest guise have shown.
Oh! ne'er may tyrant leave behind
A brighter name to lure mankind!

XI.

Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
Nor written thus in vain-

Thy triumphs tell of fame no more,
Or deepen every stain.

If thou hadst died as honour dies,

Some new Napoleon might arise,
To shame the world again—
But who would soar the solar height,
To set in such a starless night?

« 이전계속 »