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Those who transgress her law,—she only knows llow justly to proportion to the fault The punishment it merits.

And seems itself a city. Gloomy troops
Of centinels, in stern and silent ranks,
Encompass it around: the dweller there
Cannot be free and happy; hearest thou not
The curses of the fatherless, the groans
Of those who have no friend? He passes on :
The King, the wearer of a gilded chain
That binds bis soul to abjectness, the fool
Whom courtiers nickname monarch, whilst a slave
Even to the basest appetites-that man
Heeds not the sbriek of penury; he smiles
At the deep curses which the destitute
Mutter in secret, and a sullen joy
Pervades lois bloodless heart when thousands groan
But for those morsels which his wantonness
Wastes in unjoyous revelry, to save
All that they love from famine : when he hears
The tale of horror, to some ready-made face
Of hypocritical assent he turns,
Smothering the glow of shame, that, spite of him,
Flashes his bloated chcek.

Is it strange That this poor wretch should pride bim in his woe? Take pleasure in his abjectness, and hug The scorpion that consumes him? Is it strange That, placed on a conspicuous throne of thorns, Grasping an iron sceptre, and immured Within a splendid prison, whose stern bounds Shut him from all that's good or dear on earth, His soul asserts not its humanity? That man's mild nature rises not in war Against a king's employ? No-' is not strange. Hle, like the vulgar, thinks, feels, acts and lives Just as his father did; the unconquer'd powers Of precedent and custom interpose Between a king and virtue. Stranger yet, To those who know not nature, nor deduce The future from the present, it may seem, That not one slave, who suffers from the crimes Of this unnatural being; not one wretch, Whose children famish, and whose nuptial bed Is earth's inpitying bosom, rears an arm To dash him from his throne!

Now to the meal Of silence, grandeur, and excess, he drags His palld unwilling appetite. If gold, Gleaming around, and numerous viands culla From every clime, could force the loathing sense To overcome satiety, --if wealth The spring it draws from poisons not,-or vice, Unfeeling, stubborn vice, converteth not Its food to deadliest venom; then that king Is happy; and the peasant who fulfills His unforced task, when he returns at even, And by the blazing faggot meets again Her welcome for whom all his toil is sped, Tastes not a sweeter meal.

Those gilded flies That, basking in the sunshine of a court, Fatten on ils corruption !-what are they?

– The drones of the community; they feed On the mechanic's labour: the starved hind For them compels the stubborn glebe to yield Its unshared harvests; and yon squalid form, Leaner than fleshless misery, that wastes A supless life in the unwholesome mine, Drags out in labour a protracted death, To glut their grandeur; many faint with toil, That few may know the cares and woe of sloth.

Behold him now Stretch'd on the gorgeous couch; his fever'd brain Reels dizzily awhile: but alı! too soon The slumber of intemperance subsides, And conscience, that undying serpent, calls Her venomous brood to their nocturnal task. Listen! he speaks! oh! mark that frenzied eyeOh! mark that adly visage.

KING.

No cessation ! Oh! must this last for ever! Awful death, I wish, yet fear to clasp thee!—Not one moment Of dreamless sleep! O dear and blessed peace! Why dost thou shroud thy vestal purity In penury and dungeons ? wherefore lurkest With danger, death, and solitude; yet shunn'st The palace I have built thee! Sacred peace! Oh visit me but once, but pitying shed One drop of balm upon my withier'd soul. Vain man! that palace is the virtuous heart, And peace defiletlı not her snowy robes In such a shed as thine. Hark! yet he mutters; His slumbers are but varied agonies, They prey like scorpions on the springs of life. There needeth not the hell that bigots frame To punish those who err: earth in itself Contains at once the evil and the cure; And all-sufficing nature can chastise

Whence, thinkest thou, kings and parasites arose ?
Whence that unnatural line of drones, who heap
Toil and unvanquishable penury
On those who build their palaces, and bring
Their daily bread !---From vice, black loathsome vice,
From rapine, madness, treachery, and wrong;
From all that genders misery, and makes
Of earth this thorny wilderness; from lust,
Revenge, and murder.-And when reason's voice,
Loud as the voice of nature, shall have waked
The nations; and mankind perceive that vice
Is discord, war, and misery; that virtue
Is
peace,

and happiness and harmony;
When man's malurer nature shall disdain
The playthings of its childhood ;- kingly glare
Will lose its power to dazzle; its authority
Will silently pass by; the gorgeous throne
Shall stand unnoticed in the regal hall,
Fast falling to decay; whilst falsehood's trade
Shall be as hateful and unprofitable
As that of truth is now.

Where is the fame Which the vain-glorious mighty of the earth Seek to eternize? Oh! the faintest sound From time's light footfall, the minutest wave

Yon sun,

That swells the flood of ages, whelms in nothing
The unsubstantial bubble. Aye! to-day
Stern is the tyrant's mandate, red the gaze
That tlashes desolation, strong the armi
That scatters multitudes. To-morrow comes !
That mandate is a thunder-peal that died
In ages past; that gaze, a transient flash
On which the midnight closed, and on that arm
The worm has made his meal.

The snakes that gnaw his heart; he raiseth up
The tyrant, whose delight is in his woe,
Whose sport is in his

agony.
Lights it the great alone? Yon silver beams,
Sleep they less sweetly on the cottage thatch,
Than on the dome of kings? Is mother earth
A step-dame to her numerous sons, who earn
Her unshared gifts with unremitting toil;
A mother only to those puling babes
Who, nursed in ease and luxury, make men
The playthings of their babyhood, and mar,
In seif-important childishness, that peace
Which men alone appreciate?

The virtuous man, Who, great in his humility, as kings Are little in their grandeur; he who leads lovincibly a life of resolute good, And stands amid the silent dungeon-depths More free and fearless than the trembling judge, Who, clothed in venal power, vainly strore To bind the impassive spirit; -when he falls, His mild eye beams benevolent no more : Wither'd the hand outstretch'd but to relieve; Sunk reason's simple eloquence, that rollid But to appal the guilty. Yes! the grave Hath quench'd that eye, and death's relentless frost Wither'd that arm: but the unfading fame Which virtue hangs upon its votary's tomb; The deathless

memory of that man, whom kings Call to their mind and tremble; the remembrance With which the happy spirit contemplates Its well-spent pilgrimage on earth, Shall never pass away.

Spirit of Nature ! no, The

pure diffusion of thy essence throbs Alike in every human heari,

Thou, aye, erectest there
Thy throne of power unappealable:
Thou art the judge beneath whose nod
Man's brief and frail authority

Is powerless as the wind

That passeth idly by.
Thine the tribunal which surpasseth
The show of human justice,

As God surpasses man,

Nature rejects the monarch, not the man;
The subject, not the citizen: for kings
And subjects, mutual foes, for ever play
A losing game into each other's hands,
Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man
Of virtuous soul commands not nor obeys.
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame
A mechanized automaton.

Spirit of Nature! thou Life of interminable multitudes;

Soul of those mighty spheres
Whose changeless paths through Heaven's dcep

silence lie;
Soul of that smallest thing,

The dwelling of whose life
Is one faint April sun-gleam ;-

Man, like these passive things,
Thy will unconsciously fulfilleth:
Like theirs, his age of endless peace,
Which time is fast maturing,

Will swiftly, surely come;
Anıl the unbounded frame, which thou pervadest,

Will be without a flaw Marring its perfect symmetry.

IV.

When Nero, High over flaming Rome, with savaye joy Lower'd like a fiend, drank with enraptured ear The shrieks of agonizing death, beheld The frightful desolation spread, and felt A new created sense within his soul Thrill to the sight, and vibrate to the sound; Thinkest thou his grandeur had not overcome The force of human kindness ? and, when Rome, With one stern blow, hurl'd not the tyrant down, Crush'd not the arm redewith her dearest blood, Had not submissive abjectness destroy'd Nature's suggestions?

How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigli,
Which vernal zephyrs breathe in evening's car,
Were discord to the speaking quietude
That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon vault,
Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon's upclouded grandeur rolls,
Seems like a canopy which love had spread
To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle bills,
Robed in a garment of untrodden snow;
Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend,
So stainless, that their white and glittering spires
Tinge not the moon's pure beam; yon castled steep,
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower
So idly, that rapt fancy deemeth it
A metaphor of peace;-all form a scene
Where musing solitude might love to lift
Her soul above this sphere of earthliness;
Where silence undisturb’d might watch alone,
So cold, so bright, so still.

Look on yonder earth: The golden harvests spring; the unfailing sun Sheds light and life; the fruits, the flowers, the trees, Arise in due succession ; all things speak Peace, harmony, and love. The universe, In nature's silent eloquence, declares That all fulfil the works of love and joy,All but the outcast man. He fabricates The sword which stabs his peace; he cherisheth

The orb of day,

Which desolates the discord-wasted land. In southern climes, o'er ocean's waveless field

From kings, and priests, and statesmen, war arose, Sinks sweetly smiling : not the faintest breath

Whose safety is man's deep unbetter'd woe, Stcals o'er the unruftled deep; the clouds of eve Whose grandeur his debasement.

Let the axe Retlect unmoved the lingering beam of day;

Strike at the root, the poison-iree will fall; And Vesper's image on the western main

And where its venom'd exhalations spread Is beautifully still. To-morrow comes :

Ruin, and death, and woe, where millions lay Cloud upon cloud, in dark and deepening mass, Quenching the serpent's famine, and their bones Roll o'er the blacken'd waters; the deep roar

Bleaching unburied in the putrid blast, Of distant thunder mutters awfully;

A garden shall arise, in loveliness
Tempest unfolds its pinion o'er the gloom

Surpassing fabled Eden.
That shrouds the boiling surge; the pitiless fiend,
With all his winds and lightnings, tracks his prey;

Hath Nature's soul,
The torn deep yawns,-the vessel finds a grave

That form'd this world so beautiful, that spread Beneath ils jagged gulf.

Earth's lap with plenty, and life's smallest chord

Strung to unchanging unison, that gave
Ah! whence yon glare

The happy birds their dwelling in the grove,
That fires the arch of heaven ?- That dark red smoke

That yielded to the wanderers of the deep Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quench'd

The lovely silence of the unfathom'd main, In darkness, and the pure and spangling snow

And fill'd the meanest worm that crawls in dust Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers round!

With spirit, thought, and love; On Man alone, Hark to that roar, whose swift and deaf ning peals

Partial in causeless malice, wantonly In countless echoes through the mountains ring,

Heap'd ruin, vice, and slavery; his soul Startling pale midnight on her starry throne!

Blasted with withering curses; placed afar Now swells the intermingling din ; the jar

The meteor-happiness, that shuns his grasp, Frequent and frightful of the bursting bomb;

But serving on the frightful gulf to glare, The falling beam, the shriek, the groan,

the shout,

Rent wide beneath his footsteps ?
The ceaseless clangor, and the rush of men
Inebriate with rage:-loud, and more loud

Nature!--no! The discord

Grows; till pale death shuts the scene, And o'er the conqueror and the conquer'd draws

Kings, priests, and statesmen, blast the human lower

Even in its tender bud; their influence darts
His cold and bloody shroud.–Of all the men
Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there,

Like subtle poison through the bloodless veins
In proud and vigorous health; of all the hearts

Of desolate society. The child, That beat with apxious life at sun-sel there;

Erc he can lisp his mother's sacred name, How few survive, how few are beating now!

Swells with the unnatural pride of crime, and lifts All is deep silence, like the fearful calm

His haby-sword even in a hero's mood. That slumbers in the storm's portentous pause;

This infant-arm becomes the bloodiest scourge

Of devastated carth; whilst specious names,
Save when the frantic wail of widow'd love
Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan

Learni in soft childhood's unsuspecting hour,
With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay

Serve as the sophisms with which manhood dims Wrapt round its struggling powers.

Bright reason's ray, and sanctifies the sword

Upraised to shed a brother's innocent blood.
The grey morn

Let priest-led slaves cease to proclaim that man Dawns on the mournful scene! the sulphurous smoke

Inherits vice and misery, when force

And falsehood hang even o'er the cradled babe,
Before the icy wind slow rolls away.
And the bright beams of frosty morning dance

Stilling with rudest grasp all natural good.
Along the spangling snow. There tracks of blood
Even to the forest's depth, and scatter'd arms,

Ah! to the stranger-soul, when first it peeps
And lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments

From its new tenement, and looks abroad Death's self could change not, mark the dreadful path For happiness and sympathy, how stern Of the outsallying victors: far behind,

And desolate a tract is this wide world! Black ashes note where their proud city stood.

How wither'd all the buds of natural good! Within yon forest is a gloomy glen

No shade, no shelter from the sweeping storms Each tree which guards its darkness from the day, Of pitiless power! On its wretched frame, Waves o'er a warrior's tomb.

Poison'd, perchance, by the disease and woe

Beap'd on the wretched parent whence it sprung
I see thee shrink, By morals, law, and custom,

the
pure

winds Surpassing Spirit!-wert thou human else?

Of heaven, that renovate the insect tribes, I see a shade of doubt and horror fleet

May breathe not. The untainting light of day Across thy stainless features : yet fear not;

Vay visit not its longings. It is bound This is no unconnected misery,

Ere it has life: yea, all the chains are forged Nor stands uncaused, and irretrievable.

Long ere its being : all liberty and love Man's evil nature, that apology

And peace is torn from its defencelessness; Which kings who rule, and cowards who crouch, set up Cursed from its birth, even from its cradle doom'd For their unnumber'd crimes, sheds not the blood To abjectness and bondage!

Throughout this varied and eternal world
Soul is the only element, the block
That for uncounted

ages

has remain d. The moveless pillar of a mountain's weight Is active, living spirit. Every grain Is sentient both in unity and part, And the minutest atom comprehends A world of loves and hatreds; these beget Evil and good: hence truth and falsehood spring; Hence will and thought and action, all the germs Of pain or pleasure, sympathy or bale, That variegate the eternal universe. Soul is not more polluted than the beams Of heaven's pure orb, ere round their rapid lines The taint of earth-born atmospheres arise.

Then

grave and hoary-headed hypocrites, Without a hope, a passion, or a love, Who, through a life of luxury and lies, Have crept by tlattery to the seats of power, Support the system wlience their honours flowThey have three words :-well tyrants know their use, Well pay them for the loan, with usury Torn from a bleeding world! – God, Hell, and Heaven. A vengeful, pitiless, and almighty fiend, Whose mercy is a nick-name for the rage Of tameless tigers hungering for blood. Hell, a red gulf of everlasting fire, Where poisonous and undying worms prolong Eternal misery to those bapless slaves Whose life bas been a penance for its crimes. And Heaven, a meed for those wlio dare belie Their human nature, quake, believe, and cringe Before the mockeries of earthly power.

Man is of soul and body, form'd for deeds
Of high resolve, on fancy's boldest wing
To soar unwearied, fearlessly to turn
The keenest pangs to peacefulness, and taste
The joys which mingled sense and spirit yield.
Or he is form'd for abjectness and woe,
To grovel on the dungbill of his fears,
To shrink at every sound, to quench the flame
Of natural love in sensualism, to know
That houras blest when on his worthless days
The frozen hand of death shall set its seal,
Yet fear the cure, though hating the disease.
The one is man that shall hereafter be;
The other, man as vice has made him now,

These tools the tyrant tempers to his work,
Wields in his wrath, and as he wills destroys,
Omnipotent in wickedness: the while
Youth springs, age moulders, manhood tamely does
His bidding, bribed by short-lived joys to lend
Force to the weakness of his trembling arm.

They rise, they fall; one generation comes
Yielding its harvest to destruction's scythe.
It fades, another blossoms : yet belold!
Red glows the tyrant's stamp-mark on its bloom,
Withering and cankering deep its passive prime.
He has invented lying words and modes,
Empty and vain as his own coreless lieart;
Evasive meanings, nothings of much sound,
To lure the heedless victim to the toils
Spread round the valley of its paradise.

War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade, And, to those royal murderers, whose mean tlırones Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore, The bread they eat, the staff on which they lean. Guards, garb'd in blood-red livery, surround Their palaces, participate the crimes That force defends, and from a nation's rage Secures the crown, which all the curses reach That famine, frenzy, woe and penury breathe. These are the hired bravoes who defend The tyrant's throne (3)—the bullies of his fear: These are the sinks and channels of worst vice, The refuse of society, the dreys Of all that is most vile: their cold hearts blend Deceit with sternness, ignorance with pride, All that is mean and villanous, with rage Which hopelessness of good, and self-contempi, Alone might kindle; they are deck'd in wealth, Honour and power, then are sent abroad To do their work. The pestilence that stalks In gloomy triumph through some eastern land Is less destroying. They cajole with gold, And promises of fame, the thoughtless youth Already crush'd with servitude: he knows His wretchedness too late, and cherishes Repentance for his ruin, when his doom Is seal'd in gold and blood ! These too the tyrant serve, who, skill'd to snare The feet of justice in the toils of law, Stand, ready to oppress the weaker still; And, right or wrong, will vindicate for gold, Sneering at public virtue, which beneath Their pitiless tread lies torn and trampled, where Honour sits smiling at the sale of truth.

Look to thyself, priest, conqueror, or prince!
Whether thy trade is falsehood, and thy lusts
Deep wallow in the earnings of the poor,
With whom thy master was :-or thou delight'st
In numbering o'er the myriads of thy slain,
All misery weighing nothing in the scale
Against thy short-lived fame : or thou dost load
With cowardice and crime the groaning land,
A pomp-fed king. Look to thy wretched self!
Aye, art thou not the veriest slave that e'er
Crawl'd on the loathing eartlı? Are not thy days
Days of unsatisfying listlessness ?
Dost thou not cry, ere night's long rack is o'er,
When will the morning come? Is not thy youth
A vain and feverish dream of sensualism?
Thy manhood blighted with unripe discase?
Are not thy views of unregretted death
Drear, comfortless, and horrible! Thy mind,
Is it not morbid as thy nerveless frame,
Incapable of judgment, hope, or love?
And dost thou wish the errors to survive
That bar thee from all sympathics of good,
After the miserable interest
Thou hold’st in their protraction? When the grave
Has swallow'd up thy memory and thyself,
Dost thou desire the bane that poisons carth
To (wine its roots around thy coffin'd clay,
Spring from thy bones, and blossom on thy tomb,
That of its fruit thy babes may eat and die?

Gold is a living god, and rules in scorn All earthly things but virtue.

V. Taus do the generations of the earth Go to the grave, and issue from the womb, (4) Surviving still the imperishable change That renovates the world, even as the leaves Which the keen frost-wind of the waning year Has scatter'd on the forest soil, (5) and heap'd For many seasons there, though long they choke, Loading with loathsome rottenness the land, All germs of promise. Yet when the tall trees From which they fell, shorn of their lovely shapes, Lie level with the earth to moulder there, They fertilize the land they long deform’d, Till from the breathing lawn a forest springs of youth, integrity, and loveliness, Like that which gave it life, lo spring and die. Thus suicidal selfishness, that blights The fairest feelings of the opening heart, Is destined to decay, whilst from the soil Shall spring all virtue, all delight, all love, And judgment cease to wage unnatural war With passion's unsubduable array.

Since tyrants, by the sale of human life,
Heap luxuries to their sensualism, and fame
To their wide-wasting and insatiate pride,
Success has sanction'd to a credulous world
The ruin, the disgrace, the woe of war.
Ilis hosts of blind and unresisting dupes
The despot numbers; from his cabinet
These puppets of his schemes he moves at will,
Even as the slaves by force or famine driven,
Beneath a vulgar master, to perform
A task of cold and brutal drudgery;-
Harden'd to lope, insensible to fear,
Scarce living pulleys of a dead machine,
Mere wheels of work and articles of trade,

grace the proud and noisy pomp of wealth!

That

Twin-sister of religion, selfishness!
Rival in crime and falsehood, aping all
The wanton horrors of her bloody play;
Yet frozen, unimpassion'd, spiritless,
Shunning the light, and owning not its name:
Compell’d, hy its deformity, to screen
With flimsy veil of justice and of right,
Its unattractive lineaments, that scare
All, save the brood of ignorance : at once
The cause and the effect of tyranny;
Unblushing, harden'd, sensual, and vile;
Dead to all love but of its abjectness,
With heart impassive by more noble powers
Than unshared pleasure, sordid gain, or fame;
Despising its own miserable being,
Which still it longs, yet fears to disenthrall.

The harmony and happiness of man
Yields to the wealth of nations; that which lifts
His nature to the heaven of its pride,
Is barter'd for the poison of his soul;
The weight that drage to earth his towering hopes,
Blighting all prospect but of selfish gain,
Withering all passion but of slavish fear,
Extinguishing all free and generous love
Of enterprise and daring, even the pulse
That fancy kindles in the beating heart
To mingle with sensation, it destroys,-
Leaves nothing but the sordid lust of self,
The groveling hope of interest and gold,
Unqualified, unmingled, upredeemd
Even by hypocrisy.

Hence commerce springs, the venal interchange
Of all that human art or nature yield;
Which wealth should purchase not, but want demand,
And natural kindness basten to supply
From the full fountain of its boundless love,
For ever stifled, drain'd, and tainted now.
Commerce! beneath whose poison-breathing shade
No solitary virtue dares to spring,
But poverty and wealth with equal hand
Scatter their withering curses, and unfold
The doors of premature and violent death,
To pining famine and full-fed disease,
To all that shares the lot of human life,
Which poison'd body and soul, scarce drags the chain,
That lengthens as it goes and clanks behind.

And statesmen boast Of wealth : () The wordy eloquence that lives After the ruin of their hearts, can gild The bitter poison of a nation's woe, Can turn the worship of the servile mob To their corrupt and glaring idol fame, From virtue, trampled by its iron tread, Although its dazzling pedestal be raised Amid the liorrors of a limb-strewn field, With desolated dwellings smoking round. The man of case, who, by his warın fire-side, To deeds of charitable intercourse And bare fulfilment of the common laws Of decency and prejudice, confines The struggling nature of his human heart, Is duped by their cold sophistry; he sheds A passing tear perchance upon the wreck Of carthly peace, when near his dwelling's door The frightful waves are driven, - when his son Is murder'd by the tyrant, or religion Drives his wife raving mad. (8) But the poor man, Whose life is misery, and fear, and care; Whom the morn wakens but to fruitless toil; Who ever hears his famish'd offspring's scream, Whom their pale mother's uncomplaining gaze For ever meets, and the proud rich man's eye Flashing command, and the heart-breaking scene Of thousands like bimself;- he little heeds The rhetoric of tyranny; his hate Is quencbless as his wrongs; he laughs to scorn The vain and bitter mockcry of words,

Commerce has set the mark of selfishness,
The signet of its all-enslaving power,
Upon a shining ore, and call'd it gold:
Before whose image bow the vulgar great,
The vainly rich, the miserable proud,
The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, (6)
And with blind feelings reverence the power
That grinds them to the dust of misery.
But in the temple of their hireling hearts

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