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Where is the fame
Which the vain-glorious mighty of the earth
Seek to eternize? Oh! the faintest sound
From time's light foot-fall, the minutest wave
That swells the flood of ages, whelms in nothing
The unsubstantial bubble. Ay! to-day
Stern is the tyrant's mandate, red the gaze
That flashes desolation, strong the arm
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 bis meal.

The virtuous man
Who, great in his humility, as kings
Are little in their grandeur; he who leads
Invincibly 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 strove
To bind the impassive spirit;

-when he falls,
His mild eye beams benevolence 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 [frost
Hath quench'd that eye, and death's relentless
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.
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.

When Nero, High over flaming Rome, with savage joy Lower'd like a fiend, drank with enraptured ear The shricks 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, hurld not the tyrant down, Crush'd not the arm, red with her dearest blood, Had not submissive abjectness destroy'd Nature's suggestions?

Look on yonder earth : The golden harvests spring; the unfailing sun Sheds light and life; the fruits, the flowers, the Arise in due succession; all things speak (trees, 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 snakes that gnaw his heart; he raiseth up
The tyrant, whose delight is in his wo,
Whose sport is in his agony. Yon sun,
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 baby hood, and mar,
In self-important childishness, that peace
Which men alone appreciate ?

Spirit of Nature ! no!
The pure diffusion of thy essence throbs
Alike in every human heart.

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.

Spirit of Nature! thou, Life of interminable multitudes;

Soul of those mighty spheres
Whose changeless paths through Heaven's deep
Soul of that smallest being, [silence lie;

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;
And the unbounded frame, which thou pervadest,

Will be without a flaw,
Marring its perfect symmetry.

IV. How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh Which vernal zephyrs breathe in evening's ear, Were discord to the speaking quietude That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon Studded with stars unutterably bright, [vault, Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur Seems like a canopy which love has spread (rolls, To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle hills, 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.


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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 unbettered wo, Steals o'er the unruffled deep; the clouds of eve Whose grandeur his debasement. Let the axe Reflect unmoved the lingering beam of day; Strike at the root, the poison tree will fall; And vesper's image on the western main

And where its venomed exhalations spread Is beautifully still. To-morrow comes:

Ruin, and death, and wo, 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,

Hath Nature's soul, With all his winds and lightnings, tracks his prey; That formed this world so beautiful, that spread The torn deep yawns,--the vessel finds a grave Earth's

's lap with plenty, and life's smallest chord, Beneath its jagged gulf.

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 quenched The lovely silence of the unfathomed main, In darkness, and the pure and spangling snow

And filled the meanest worm that crawls in dust Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers With spirit, thought, and love; on Man alone round.

Partial in causeless malice, wantonly Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals Heap'd ruin, vice, and slavery; his soul In countless echoes through the mountains ring,

Blasted with withering curses; placed afar Startling pale midnight on her starry throne!

The meteor happiness, that shuns his grasp, Now swells the intermingling din; the jar

But serving on the frightful gulf to glare, Frequent and frightful of the bursting bomb;

Rent wide beneath his footsteps? The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout,

Nature!-no! The ceaseless clangour, and the rush of men Kings, priests, and statesmen blast the human Inebriate with rage:-loud, and more loud

flower, The discord grows; till pale death shuts the scene, Even in its tender bud; their influence darts And o'er the conqueror and the conquer'd draws Like subtle poison through the bloodless veins His cold and bloody shroud.—Of all the men Of desolate society. The child, Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there Ere he can lisp his mother's sacred name, In proud and vigorous health; of all the hearts Swells with the unnatural pride of crime, and lifts That beat with anxious life at sun-set there; His baby-sword even in a hero's mood. How few survive, how few are beating now! This infant arm becomes the bloodiest scourge All is deep silence, like the fearful calm

Of devastated earth; whilst specious names That slumbers in the storm's portentous pause; Learnt in soft childhood's unsuspecting hour, Save when the frantic wail of widowed love Serve as the sophisms with which manhood dims Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan Bright reason's ray, and sanctifies the sword With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay Upraised to shed a brother's innocent blood. Wrapt round its struggling powers.

Let priest-led slaves cease to proclaim that man The gray morn

Inherits vice and misery, when force Dawns on the mournful scene; the sulphurous And falsehood hang even o'er the cradled babe, Before the icy wind slow rolls away, [smoke

Stifling with rudest grasp all natural good, And the bright beams of frosty morning dance Ah! to the stranger-soul, when first it peeps Along the spangling snow. There tracks of blood From its new tenement, and looks abroad Even to the forest's depth, and scattered arms, For happiness and sympathy, how stern And lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments And desolate a tract is this wide world! Death's self could change not, mark the dreadful How withered all the buds of natural good! Of the outsallying victors: far behind, [path No shade, no shelter from the sweeping storms Black ashes note where their proud city stood. Of pitiless power! On its wretched frame, Within yon forest is a gloomy glen

Poisoned, perchance, by the disease and wo
Each tree which guards its darkness from the day, | Heaped on the wretched parent, whence it sprung,
Waves o'er a warrior's tomb.

By morals, law, and custom, the pure winds
I see thee shrink,

Of heaven, that renovate the insect tribes, Surpassing spirit!-wert thou human else? May breathe not. The untainting light of day I see a shade of doubt and horror fleet

May visit not its longings. It is bound Across thy stainless features: yet fear not

Ere it has life: yea, all the chains are forged This is no unconnected misery,

Long ere its being : all liberty and love Nor stands uncaused, and irretrievable.

And peace is torn from its defencelessness; Man's evil nature, that apology

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Cursed from its birth, even from its cradle doomed Which kings who rule, and cowards who crouch,

To abjectness and bondage !
For their unnumbered crimes, sheds not the blood | Throughout this varied and eternal world



Soul is the only element, the block
That for uncounted ages has remained.
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;
'Tence will, and thought, and action, all the germs
Of pain or pleasure, sympathy or hate,
That variegate the eternal universe.
Stul is not more polluted than the beams
Oi heaven's pure orb, ere round their rapid lines
The taint of earth-born atmospheres arise.
Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds
Of high resolve; on fancy's boldest wing
To sear unwearied, fearlessly to turn
The heenest pangs to peacefulness, and taste
The jors which mingled sense and spirit yield.
Or he s'formed for abjectness and wo,
To growl on the dunghill of his fears,
To shrink at every sound, to quench the flame
Of natund love in sensualism, to know
That hou as 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, nan as vice has made him now.
War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight,
The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade,
And, to those byal murderers, whose mean thrones
Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore,
The bread they eat, the staff on which they lean.
Guards, garbed in blood-red livery, surround
Their palaces, participate the crimes
That force defenls, and from a nation's rage
Secure the crowr., which all the curses reach
That fainine, frenzy, wo and penury breathe.
These are the hired bravoes who defend
The tyrant's thron—the bullies of his fear :
These are the sink, and channels of worst vice,
The refuge of society, the dregs
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-contempt,
Alone might kindle; they are decked 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 crushed with servitude: he knows
His wretchedness too late, and cherishes
Repentance for his ruin, when his doom
Is sealed in gold and blood!
Those too the tyrant serve, who skilled 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.
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 flattery to the seats of power,
Support the system whence their honours flow-
They 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 nickname 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 hapless slaves Whose life has been a penance for its crimes. And heaven, a meed for those who dare belie Their human nature, quake, believe, and cringe Before the mockeries of earthly power. 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 behold! 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 heart; Evasive meanings, nothings of much sound, To lure the heedless victim to the toils Spread round the valley of its paradise. 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! Ay, art thou not the veriest slave that e'er Crawled on the loathing earth? 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 disease ? 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 sympathies of good, After the miserable interest Thou hold'st in their protraction? When the grave Has swallowed up thy memory and thyself, Dost thou desire the bane that poisons earth To twine its roots around thy coffined clay, Spring from thy bones, and blossom on thy tomb, That of its fruit thy babes may eat and die ?


Since tyrants, by the sale of human life, Turs do the generations of the earth

Heap luxuries to their sensualism, and fame Go to the grave, and issue from the womb,

To their wide-wasting and insatiate pride,

Success has sanctioned to a credulous world Surviving still the imperishable change That renovates the world; even as the leaves

The ruin, the disgrace, the wo of war. Which the keen frost-wind of the waning year

His hosts of blind and unresisting dupes Has scattered on the forest soil, and heaped

The despot numbers; from his cabinet For many seasons there, though long they choke

These puppets of his schemes he moves at will, Loading with loathsome rottenness the land,

Even as the slaves by force or famine driven

Beneath a vulgar master, to perform
All germs of promise. Yet when the tall trees

A task of cold and brutal drudgery ;-
From which they fell, shorn of their lovely shapes,
Lie level with the earth to moulder there,

Hardened to hope, insensible to fear,
They fertilize the land they long deformed,

Scarce living pulleys of a dead machine,

Mere wheels of work and articles of trade,
Till from the breathing lawn a forest springs
Of youth, integrity, and loveliness,

That grace the proud and noisy pomp of wealth! Like that which gave it life, to spring and die.

The harmony and happiness of man Thus suicidal selfishness, that blights

Yield to the wealth of nations; that which lifts The fairest feelings of the opening heart,

His nature to the heaven of its pride, Is destined to decay, whilst from the soil

Is bartered for the poison of his soul; Shall spring all virtue, all delight, all love,

The weight that drags to earth his towering hopes, And judgment cease to wage unnatural war With passion's unsubduable array.

Blighting all prospect but of selfish gain,

Withering all passion but of slavish fear,
Twin-sister of religion, selfishness!

Extinguishing all free and generous love
Rival in crime and falsehood, aping all
The wanton horrors of her bloody play;

Of enterprise and daring, even the pule
Yet frozen, unimpassioned, spiritless,

That fancy kindles in the beating heart

To mingle with sensation, it destroys, Shunning the light, and owning not its name :

Leaves nothing but the sordid lust of self, Compelled, by its deformity, to screen

The grovelling hope of interest and gold, With flimsy veil of justice and of right,

Unqualified, unmingled, unredeemed
Its unattractive line nts, that scare

Even by hypocrisy.
All, save the brood of ignorance: at once
The cause and the effect of tyranny;

And statesmen boast
Unblushing, hardened, sensual, and vile;

Of wealth! The wordy eloquence that lives Dead to all love but of its abjectness,

After the ruin of their hearts, can gild
With heart impassive by more noble powers The bitter poison of a nation's wo,
Than unshared pleasure, sordid gain, or fame; Can turn the worship of the servile mob
Despising its own miserable being,

To their corrupt and glaring ido!, Fame,
Which still it longs, yet fears, to disenthrall. From Virtue, trampled by its iron tread,
Hence commerce springs, the venal interchange

Although its dazzling pedestal be raised Of all that human art or nature yield;

Amid the horrors of a limb-strewn field, Which wealth should purchase not, but want

With desolated dwellings smoking round. And natural kindness hasten to supply [demand, To deeds of charitable intercourse

The man of ease, who, by his warm fireside, From the full fountain of its boundless love,

And bare fulfilment of the common laws
For ever stifled, drained, and tainted now.
Commerce ! beneath whose poison-breathing shade

Of decency and prejudice, confines

The struggling nature of his human heart,
No solitary virtue dares to spring;
But poverty and wealth with equal hand

Is duped by their cold sophistry; he sheds
Scatter their withering curses, and unfold

A passing tear perchance upon the wreck The doors of premature and violent death,

Of earthly peace, when near his dwelling's door

The frightful waves are driven,—when his son To pining famine and full-fed disease,

Is murdered by the tyrani, or religion To all that shares the lot of human life, [chain

Drives his wife raving mad. But the poor man, Which poisoned body and soul, scarce drags the

Whose life is misery, and fear, and care ; That lengthens as it goes and clanks behind.

Whom the morn wakens but to fruitless toil; Commerce has set the mark of selfishness, Who ever hears his famished offspring's scream, The signet of its all-enslaving power,

Whom their pale mother's uncomplaining gaze Upon a shining ore, and called it gold:

For ever meets, and the proud rich man's eye Before whose image bow the vulgar great, Flashing command, and the heart breaking scene The vainly rich, the miserable proud,

Of thousands like himself; he little heeds The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, The rhetoric of tyranny, his hate And with blind feelings reverence the power Is quenchless as his wrongs, he laughs to scorn That grinds them to the dust of misery.

The vain and bitter mockery of words, But in the temple of their hireling hearts

Feeling the horror of the tyrant's deeds, Gold is a living god, and rules in scorn

And unrestrained but by the arm of power, All earthly things but virtue.

That knows and dreads his enmity.

The iron rod of penury still compels
Her wretched slave to bow the knee to wealth,
And poison, with unprofitable toil,
A life too void of solace to confirm
The very chains that bind him to his doom.
Nature, impartial in munificence,
Has gifted man with all-subduing will:
Matter, with all its transitory shapes,
Lies subjected and plastic at his feet,
That, weak from bondage, tremble as they tread.
How many a rustic Milton has passed by,
Stifling the speechless longings of his heart,
In unremitting drudgery and care !
How many a vulgar Cato has compelled
His energies, no longer tameless then,
To mould a pin, or fabricate a nail !
How many a Newton, to whose passive ken
Those mighty spheres that gem infinity
Were only specks of tinsel, fixed in heaven
To light the midnights of his native town!
Yet every heart contains perfection's germ:
The wisest of the sages of the earth,
That ever from the stores of reason drew
Science and truth, and virtue's dreadless tone,
Were but a weak and inexperienced boy,
Proud, sensual, unimpassioned, unimbued
With pure desire and universal love,
Compared to that high being, of cloudless brain,
Untainted passion, elevated will,
Which death (who even would linger long in awe
Within his noble presence, and beneath
His changeless eye-beam,) might alone subdue.
Him, every slave now dragging through the filth
Of some corrupted city his sad life,
Pining with famine, swoln with luxury,
Blunting the kcenness of his spiritual sense
With narrow schemings and unworthy cares,
Or madly rushing through all violent crime,
To move the deep stagnation of his soul,
Might imitate and equal.

But mean lust
Has bound its chains so tight about the earth,
That all within it but the virtuous man
Is venal: gold or fame will surely reach
The price prefixed by selfishness, to all
But him of resolute and unchanging will;
Whom, nor the plaudits of a servile crowd,
Nor the vile joys of tainting luxury,
Can bribe to yield his elevated soul
To tyranny or falsehood, though they wield
With blood-red hand the sceptre of the world.
All things are sold: the very light of heaven
Is venal; earth's unsparing gifts of love,
The smallest and most despicable things
That lurk in the abysses of the deep,
All objects of our life, even life itself,
And the poor pittance which the laws allow
Of liberty, the fellowship of man,
Those duties which his heart of human love
Should urge him to perform instinctively,
Are bought and sold as in a public mart
Of undisguising selfishness, that sets
On each its price, the stamp-mark of her reign.
Even love is sold; the solace of all wo

Is turned to deadliest agony, old age,
Shivers in selfish beauty's loathing arms,
And youth's corrupted impulses prepare
A life of horror from the blighting bane
Of commerce : whilst the pestilence that springs
From unenjoying sensualism, has filled
All human life with hydra-headed woes.
Falsehood demands but gold to


Of outraged conscience ; for the slavish priest
Sets no great value on his hireling faith :
A little passing pomp, some servile souls,
Whom cowardice itself might safely chain,
Or the spare mite of avarice could bribe
To deck the triumph of their languid zeal,
Can make him minister to tyranny.
More daring crime requires a loftier meed:
Without a shudder the slave-soldier lends
His arm to murderous deeds, and steels his heart,
When the dread eloquence of dying men,
Low mingling on the lonely field of fame,
Assails that nature whose applause he selle
For the gross blessings of the patriot mob,
For the vile gratitude of heartless kings,
And for a cold world's good word, -viler still !
There is a nobler glory which survives
Until our being fades, and, solacing
All human care, accompanies its change;
Deserts not virtue in the dungeon's gloom,
And, in the precincts of the palace, guides
Its footsteps through that labyrinth of crime;
Imbues his lineaments with dauntlessness,
Even when, from power's avenging hand, he takes
Its sweetest, last and noblest title-death;

- The consciousness of good, which neither gold, Nor sordid fame, nor hope of heavenly bliss, Can purchase ; but a life of resolute good, Unalterable will, quenchless desire Of universal happiness, the heart That beats with it in unison, the brain, Whose ever-wakeful wisdom toils to change Reason's rich stores for its eternal weal. This commerce of sincerest virtue needs No mediative signs of selfishness, No jealous intercourse of wretched gain, No balancings of prudence, cold and long; In just and equal measure all is weighed, One scale contains the sum of human weal, And one, the good man's heart.

How vainly seek The selfish for that happiness denied To aught but virtue! Blind and hardened, they Who hope for peace amid the storms of care, Who covet power they know not how to use, And sigh for pleasure they refuse to give :Madly they frustrate still their own designs; And, where they hoped that quiet to enjoy Which virtue pictures, bitterness of soul, Pining regrets, and vain repentances, Disease, disgust, and lassitude, pervade Their valueless and miserable lives. But hoary-headed selfishness has felt Its death-blow, and is tottering to the grave: A brighter morn awaits the human day,

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