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Thanks for that lesson-it will teach
To after-warriors more
And vainly preach'd 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 !
A Suppliant for his own !
Or dread of death alone ?
He who of old would rend the oak,
Dream'd not of the rebound;
Alone-how look'd he round?
Thou in the sternness of thy strength
And darker fate hast found ;
The Roman, 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 thank'd him for a throne !
In humblest guise have shown.
Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
Nor written thus in vain
Or deepen every stain :
To shame the world again-
Weigh'd in the balance, hero dust
Is vile as vulgar clay ;
To all that pass away :
To dazzle and dismay ;
And she, proud Austria's mournful flower,
Thy still imperial bride ;
Still clings she to thy side ?
Must she too bend, must she too share Thy late repentance, long despair,
Thou throneless Homicide ? If still she loves thee, hoard that gem, 'Tis worth thy vanish'd diadem !
Then haste thee to thy sullen Isle,
And gaze upon the sea ;
It ne'er was ruled by thee !
That Earth is now as free!
Thou Timour! in his captive's cage
What thoughts will there be thine,
But one—“The world was mine!”
Life will not long confine
Or, like the thief of fire from heaven,
Wilt thou withstand the shock ? And share with him, the unforgiven,
His vulture and his rock! Foredoom'd by God—by man accurst, And that last act, though not thy worst,
The very Fiend's arch mock; He in his fall preserved his pride, And, if a mortal, had as proudly died !
There was a day—there was an hour,
While earth was Gaul's-Gaul thine-
Unsated to resign
And gilded thy decline
But thou forsooth must be a king,
And don the purple vest,—
Remembrance from thy breast.
The star—the string—the crest? Vain froward child of empire ! say, Are all thy playthings snatch'd away?
Where may the wearied eye repose
When gazing on the Great;
Nor despicable state ?
Whom envy dared not hate,