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Inebriate with rage:_loud, and more loud Ere he can lisp his mother's sacred name,
ht reason's ray, and sanctifies the sword All is deep silence, like the fearful calm
Upraised to shed a brother's innocent blood.
Ah ! to the stranger-soul, when first it peeps
From its new tenement, and looks abroad Before the icy wind slow rolls away, [smoke
And desolate a tract is this wide world ! And the bright beams of frosty morning dance
How withered all the buds of natural good ! Along the spangling snow. There tracks of blood
No shade, no shelter from the sweeping storms
Of pitiless power! On its wretched frame,
Poisoned, perchance, by the disease and woe
By morals, law, and custom, the pure winds
Of heaven, that renovate the insect tribes,
May breathe not. The untainting light of day Waves o'er a warrior's tomb.
Ere it has life : yea, all the chains are forged
I see thee shrink, Long ere its being : all liberty and love
Cursed from its birth, even from its cradle doomed
Throughout this varied and eternal world
Soul is the only element, the block
The moveless pillar of a mountain's weight
Is sentient both in unity and part,
And the minutest atom comprehends
Of 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 soar unwearied, fearlessly to turn Earth’s lap with plenty, and life's smallest chord
The keenest pangs to peacefulness, and taste
The joys which mingled sense and spirit yield.
To grovel on the dunghill of his fears,
To shrink at every sound, to quench the flame
Of natural love in sensualism, to know
That hour as blest when on his worthless days
The frozen hand of death shall set its seal, Heaped ruin, vice, and slavery ; his soul
Yet fear the cure, though hating the disease. Blasted with withering curses ; placed afar
The one is man that shall hereafter be;
The other, man as vice has made him now,
War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight,
Nature Ino! The lawyer's jest, the lired assassin's trade,
Guards, garbed in blood-red livery, surround
Their palaces, participate the crimes
With whom thy master was :-or thou delight'st That force defends, and from a nation's rage In numbering o'er the myriads of thy slain, Secure the crown, which all the curses reach All misery weighing nothing in the scale That famine, frenzy, woe and penury breathe. Against thy short-lived fame : or thou dost load These are the hired bravoes who defend
With cowardice and crime the groaning land, The tyrant's throne—the bullies of his fear : A pomp-fed king. Look to thy wretched self! These are the sinks and channels of worst vice, Aye, art thou not the veriest slave that e'er The refuge of society, the dregs
Crawled on the loathing earth? Are not thy days Of all that is most vile: their cold hearts blend Days of unsatisfying listlessness? Deceit with sternness, ignorance with pride, Dost thou not cry, ere night's long rack is o'er, All that is mean and villanous, with rage
When will the morning come? Is not thy youth Which hopelessness of good, and self-contempt, A vain and feverish dream of sensualism? Alone might kindle ; they are decked in wealth, Thy manhood blighted with unripe disease ? Honour and power, then are sent abroad
Are not thy views of unregretted death To do their work. The pestilence that stalks Drear, comfortless, and horrible? Thy mind, In gloomy triumph through some Eastern land Is it not morbid as thy nerveless frame, Is less destroying. They cajole with gold, Incapable of judgment, hope, or love ? And promises of fame, the thoughtless youth And dost thou wish the errors to survive Already crushed with servitude : he knows That bar thee from all sympathies of good, His wretchedness too late, and cherishes
After the miserable interest Repentance for his ruin, when his doom
Thou hold’st in their protraction? When the grave Is sealed in gold and blood !
Has swallowed up thy memory and thyself, Those too the tyrant serve, who skilled to snare Dost thou desire the bane that poisons earth The feet of justice in the toils of law,
To twine its roots around thy coffined clay, Stand, ready to oppress the weaker still ;
Spring from thy bones, and blossom on thy tomb,
Go to the grave, and issue from the womb,
Surviving still the imperishable change Have crept by flattery to the seats of power, That renovates the world ; even as the leaves Support the system whence their honours flow Which the keen frost-wind of the waning year They have three words; well tyrants know their use, Has scattered on the forest soil, and heaped Well
pay them for the loan, with usury (Heaven. For many seasons there, though long they choke, Torn from a bleeding world !—God, Hell and Loading with loathsome rottenness the land, A vengeful, pitiless, and almighty fiend,
All germs of promise. Yet when the tall trees Whose mercy is a nick-name for the rage
From which they fell, shorn of their lovely shapes, Of tameless tigers hungering for blood.
Lie level with the earth to moulder there, Hell, a red gulf of everlasting fire,
They fertilize the land they long deformed, Where poisonous and undying worms prolong Till from the breathing lawn a forest springs Eternal misery to those hapless slaves
Of youth, integrity, and loveliness, Whose life has been a penance for its crimes. Like that which gave it life, to spring and die. And Heaven, a meed for those who dare belie Thus suicidal selfishness, that blights Thcir human nature, quake, believe, and cringe The fairest feelings of the opening heart, Before the mockeries of earthly power.
Is destined to decay, whilst from the soil
Shall spring all virtue, all delight, all love, These tools the tyrant tempers to his work, And judgment cease to wage unnatural war Wields in his wrath, and as he wills, destroys, With passion's unsubduable array. Omnipotent in wickedness : the while
Twin-sister of religion, selfishness ! Youth springs,age moulders, manhood tamely does Rival in crime and falsehood, aping all His bidding, bribed by short-lived joys to lend The wanton horrors of her bloody play ; Force to the weakness of his trembling arm. Yet frozen, unimpassioned, spiritless,
Shunning the light, and owning not its name :
Its unattractive lineaments, that scare
Unblushing, hardened, sensual, and vile ; Empty and vain as his own coreless heart ; Dead to all love but of its abjectness, Evasive meanings, nothings of much sound, With heart impassive by more noble powers To lure the heedless victim to the toils
Than unshared pleasure, sordid gain, or fame ; Spread round the valley of its paradise.
Despising its own miserable being,
Which still it longs, yet fears, to disenthrall. Look to thyself, priest, conqueror, or prince ! Whether thy trade is falsehood, and thy lusts Hence commerce springs, the venal interchange Deep wallow in the earnings of the poor,
Of all that human art or nature yield ;
Which wealth should purchase not, but want And bare fulfilment of the common laws
Of earthly peace, when near his dwelling's door But poverty and wealth with equal hand
The frightful waves are driven,—when his son Scatter their withering curses, and unfold
Is murdered by the tyrant, or religion The doors of premature and violent death, Drives his wife raving mad. But the poor man, To pining famine and full-fed disease,
Whose life is misery, and fear, and care; To all that shares the lot of human life, [chain Whom the morn wakens but to fruitless toil; Which poisoned body and soul, scarce drags the Who ever hears his famished offspring's scream, That lengthens as it goes and clanks behind. Whom their pale mother's uncomplaining gaze
For ever meets, and the proud rich man's eye Commerce has set the mark of selfishness, Flashing command, and the heart-breaking scene The signet of its all-enslaving power,
Of thousands like himself ; he little heeds Upon a shining ore, and called it gold :
The rhetoric of tyranny, his hate Before whose image bow the vulgar great, Is quenchless as his wrongs, he laughs to scorn The vainly rich, the miserable proud,
The vain and bitter mockery of words, The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, Feeling the horror of the tyrant's deeds, And with blind feelings reverence the power
And unrestrained but by the arm of power,
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
Nature, impartial in munificence,
Matter, with all its transitory shapes, His hosts of blind and unresisting dupes
Lies subjected and plastic at his feet, The despot numbers ; from his cabinet
That, weak from bondage, tremble as they tread. These puppets of his schemes he moves at will, How many a rustic Milton has passed by, Even as the slaves by force or famine driven Stifling the speechless longings of his heart, Beneath a vulgar master, to perform
In unremitting drudgery and care ! A task of cold and brutal drudgery ;
How many a vulgar Cato has compelled Hardened to hope, insensible to fear,
His energies, no longer tameless then,
To mould a pin, or fabricate a nail !
Were only specks of tinsel, fixed in heaven
To light the midnights of his native town!
Yet every heart contains perfection's germ : Is bartered for the poison of his soul;
The wisest of the sages of the earth,
Science and truth, and virtue's dreadless tone, Withering all passion but of slavish fear,
Were but a weak and inexperienced boy, Extinguishing all free and generous love
Proud, sensual, unimpassioned, unimbued Of enterprise and daring, even the pulse
With pure desire and universal love, That fancy kindles in the beating heart
Compared to that high being, of cloudless brain, To mingle with sensation, it destroys,
Untainted passion, elevated will, Leaves nothing but the sordid lust of self,
Which death (who even would linger long in awe The grovelling hope of interest and gold,
Within his noble presence, and beneath Unqualified, unmingled, unredeemed
His changeless eye-beam), might alone subdue. Even by hypocrisy.
Him, every slave now dragging through the filth
Of some corrupted city his sad life,
Pining with famine, swoln with luxury,
With narrow schemings and unworthy cares, The bitter poison of a nation's woe,
Or madly rushing through all violent crime, Can turn the worship of the servile mob
To move the deep stagnation of his soul,-
Might imitate and equal.
But mean lust
Has bound its chains so tight about the earth, With desolated dwellings smoking round.
That all within it but the virtuous man The man of ease, who, by his warm fire-side, Is venal: gold or fame will surely reach To deeds of charitable intercourse
The price prefixed by selfishness, to all
But him of resolute and unchanging will ;
How vainly seek Whom, nor the plaudits of a servile crowd, The selfish for that happiness denied Nor the vile joys of tainting luxury,
To aught but virtue! Blind and hardened, they Can bribe to yield his elevated soul
Who hope for peace amid the storms of care, To tyranny or falsehood, though they wield Who covet power they know not how to use, With blood-red hand the sceptre of the world. And sigh for pleasure they refuse to give :
Madly they frustrate still their own designs; All things are sold: the very light of heaven
And, where they hope that quiet to enjoy Is venal; earth's unsparing gifts of love,
Which virtue pictures, bitterness of soul, The smallest and most despicable things
Pining regrets, and vain repentances, That lurk in the abysses of the deep,
Disease, disgust, and lassitude, pervade
Their valueless and miserable lives.
But hoary-headed selfishness has felt
A brighter morn awaits the human day, Are bought and sold as in a public mart
When every transfer of earth's natural gifts Of undisguising selfishness, that sets
Shall be a commerce of good words and works; On each its price, the stamp-mark of her reign. When poverty and wealth, the thirst of fame, Even love is sold; the solace of all woe
The fear of infamy, disease and woe, Is turned to deadliest agony, old age
War with its million horrors, and fierce hell, Shivers in selfish beauty's loathing arms,
Shall live but in the memory of time, And youth's corrupted impulses prepare
Who, like a penitent libertine shall start, A life of horror from the blighting bane
Look back, and shudder at his younger years. Of commerce: whilst the pestilence that springs From unenjoying sensualism, has filled All human life with hydra-headed woes.
VI. Falsehood demands but gold to pay the pangs
All touch, all eye, all ear, Of outraged conscience ; for the slavish priest
The Spirit felt the Fairy's burning speech. Sets no great value on his hireling faith:
O'er the thin texture of its frame, A little passing pomp, some servile souls,
The varying periods painted, changing glows; Whom cowardice itself might safely chain,
As on a summer even, Or the spare mite of avarice could bribe
When soul-enfolding music floats around, To deck the triumph of their languid zeal,
The stainless mirror of the lake Can make him minister to tyranny.
Re-images the eastern gloom,
With sunset's burnished gold.
Then thus the Spirit spoke :
It is a wild and miserable world!
Thorny, and full of care,
Which every fiend can make his prey at will. For the vile gratitude of heartless kings,
O Fairy! in the lapse of years, And for a cold world's good word,—viler still !
Is there no hope in store ?
Will yon vast suns roll on There is a nobler glory which survives
Interminably, still illuming Until our being fades, and, solacing
The night of so many wretched souls, All human care, accompanies its change ;
And see no hope for them?
Will not the universal Spirit e'er
The Fairy calmly smiled
Suffused the Spirit's lineaments.
That sees the chains which bind it to its doom. Unalterable will, quenchless desire
Yes! crime and misery are in yonder earth, Of universal happiness, the heart
Falsehood, mistake, and lust; That beats with it in unison, the brain,
But the eternal world Whose ever-wakeful wisdom toils to change
Contains at once the evil and the cure. Reason's rich stores for its eternal weal.
Some eminent in virtue shall start up,
Even in perversest time: This commerce of sincerest virtue needs
The truths of their pure lips, that never die, No mediative signs of selfishness,
Shall bind the scorpion falsehood with a wreath No jealous intercourse of wretched gain,
Of ever-living flame,
How sweet a scene will earth become!
Of purest spirits, a pure dwelling-place,
Symphonious with the planetary spheres ;
Of fate, whom he created in his sport,
Earth heard the name ; earth trembled, as the smoke
Of his revenge ascended up to heaven,
Blotting the constellations, and the cries
Of millions butcher'd in sweet confidence
And unsuspecting peace, even when the bonds
Of safety were confirmed by wordy oaths
Sworn in his dreadful name, rung through the land ;
Whilst innocent babes writhed on thy stubborn
Felt cold in her torn entrails !
Thy wickedness had pictured, might afford
Thy funeral scene, and the shrill horrent shrieks
Of parents dying on the pile that burn'd
Of the encircling flames, the exulting cries
Of thine apostles, loud commingling there, Who peoplest earth with demons, hell with men,
Might sate thy hungry ear And heaven with slaves !
Even on the bed of death !
Thou taintest all thou look’st upon!—the stars, But now contempt is mocking thy grey hairs;
Unhonoured and unpitied, but by those
Whose pride is passing by like thine, and sheds,
Of which yon earth is one, is wide diffused
That fades not when the lamp of earthly life,
Awhile there slumbers, more than when the babe
Cheers in the day, breathes in the balmy groves,
Rolls round the eternal universe, and shakes
The place each spring of its machine shall fill ;
So that, when waves on waves tumultuous heap
Heaven's lightnings scorch the uprooted ocean
Lone sitting on the bare and shuddering rock, The merciful, and the avenging God !
All seems unlinked contingency and chance :
No atom of this turbulence fulfils