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O DE

TO

NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE.

1.

"Tis done but yesterday a King!

And arm'd with Kings to strive--
And now thou art a nameless thing

So abject-yet alive!
Is this the man of thousand thrones,

Who strew'd our Earth with hostile bones,

And can he thus survive?

Since he, miscall'd the Morning Star,

Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.

2.

Ill-minded man! why scourge thy kind

Who bow'd so low the knee? By gazing on thyself grown blind,

Thou taught'st the rest to see. With might unquestion'd, - power to save-Thine only gift hath been the grave

To those that worshipp'd thee; Nor till thy fall could mortals

guess Ambition's less than littleness!

3.

Thanks for that lesson—it will teach

To after-warriors more
Than high Philosophy can preach,

And vainly preach'd 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.

The triumph, and the vanity,

The rapture of the strife (1)
The earthquake voice of Victory,

To thee the breath of life;
The sword, the sceptre, and that sway
Which man seem'd made but to obey,

Wherewith renown was rife-
All quell’d!—Dark Spirit! what must be
The madness of thy memory!

5.

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!

6.

He (2) who of old would rend the oak,

Dream'd not of the rebound;

Chain'd by the trunk he vainly broke

Alone-how look'd 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!

7.

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 abandon’d power.

8.

The Spaniard, (4) 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.

9.

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;

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