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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 !
Thanks for that lesson-it will teach
To after-warriors more
And vainly preached before.
That led them to adore
The triumph, and the vanity,
The rapture of the strife'-
To thee the breath of life;
Wherewith renown was rife-
The Desolator desolate !
The Victor overthrown !
The Arbiter of others' fate
A Suppliant for his own!
Or dread of death alone ?
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:
The Roman, 3 when his burning heart
Was slaked with blood of Rome, Threw down the dagger--dared depart,
In savage grandeur, home.
Yet left him such a doom!
The Spaniard, when the lust of sway
Had lost its quickening spell,
An empire for a cell;
His dotage trifled well :
But thou—from thy reluctant hand
The thunderbolt is wrung-
To which thy weakness clung;
To see thine own unstrung;
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!
Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
Nor written thus in vain
Thy triumphs tell of fame no more,
Or deepen every stain.
To shame the world again-