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The Tyrant passed, surrounded
by the steel

Of hired assassins, through the public

Choked with his country's dead ;---
his footsteps reel

On the fresh blood-he smiles.
"Ay, now I feel

I am a king in truth!" he said, and

His royal seat, and bade the tor-
turing wheel

Be brought, and fire, and pincers,
and the hook,

And scorpions, that his soul on its revenge might look.


"But first go slay the rebels-why


The victor bands?" he said.
"Millions yet live,

Of whom the weakest with one word

But those within the walls- each
fifth shall give

The expiation for his brethren, here.
Go forth, and waste and kill.”.
"O king, forgive

My speech," a soldier answered; "but we fear

The spirits of the night, and morn is drawing near;


"For we were slaying still without


And now that dreadful chief beneath my hand Defenceless lay, when on a hell

black horse

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saw gore

Stream through the city; on the seventh the dew

might turn

The scales of victory yet; let none Of slaughter became stiff, and there survive

was peace anew:

Which flashed among the stars, passed."" Dost thou stand Parleying with me, thou wretch?" the king replied.


"And gold and glory shall be his.Go forth!"

They rushed into the plain. Loud was the roar

Of their career: the horsemen shook the earth;

The wheeled artillery's speed the pavement tore;

The infantry, file after file, did

Their clouds on the utmost hills.
Five days they slew

Among the wasted fields; the sixth


Peace in the desert fields and villages, Between the glutted beasts and mangled dead!

Peace in the silent streets! save when the cries

Of victims, to their fiery judgment led,

Made pale their voiceless lips who seemed to dread,

Even in their dearest kindred, lest some tongue

Be faithless to the fear yet unbetrayed:

Peace in the Tyrant's palace, where
the throng

An Angel bright as day, waving a Waste the triumphal hours in festival
and song!


Day after day the burning sun rolled


Over the death-polluted land—it


Out of the east like fire, and fiercely shone

A lamp of autumn, ripening with

its flame

The few lone ears of corn;-the And many a mother wept, pierced with
sky became
unnatural pity.

Stagnate with heat, so that each

cloud and blast

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In helpless agony gazing; round the

All night the lean hyænas their sad


Like starving infants wailed—a woeful ditty!


From their dark deserts, gaunt and

wasting now,

Stalked like fell shades among their
perished prey;

In their green eyes a strange disease
did glow,

They sank in hideous spasm, or pains severe and slow.


The fish were poisoned in the streams; the birds


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In the green woods perished; the
insect race

Was withered up; the scattered flocks
and herds

Who had survived the wild beasts'
hungry chase

Died moaning, each upon the A ghastly brood conceived of Lethe's
other's face

sullen water.

Famine, than whom Misrule no deadlier daughter

Feeds from her thousand breasts, though sleeping there

With lidless eyes lie Faith and Plague and Slaughter,

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The house-dog of the throne; but
many a mile

Comes Plague, a wingèd wolf, who
loathes alway

The garbage and the scum that strangers make her prey.

Was loosened, and a new and ghastlier night

In dreams of frenzy lapped his eyes; he fell


So, near the throne, amid the gorgeous

Sheathed in resplendent arms, or
loosely dight

To luxury, ere the mockery yet had

That lingered on his lips, the
warrior's might

Headlong, or with stiff eyeballs sate upright

Among the guests, or raving mad did



Famine had spared the palace of the

He rioted in festival the while,
He and his guards and priests; but
Plague did fling
One shadow upon all.

The many-tongued and endless
armies wind

Famine can

In sad procession: each among the train

On him who brings it food, and To his own Idol lifts his supplications pass, with guile


Of thankful falsehood, like a courtier


Strange truths, a dying seer of dark oppression's hell.


The Princes and the Priests were pale with terror;

That monstrous faith wherewith they ruled mankind

Fell, like a shaft loosed by the bowman's error,

On their own hearts: they sought, and they could find

No refuge 'twas the blind who led the blind.

So through the desolate streets to the high fane


"O God!" they cried, "we know our secret pride

Has scorned thee, and thy worship, and thy name;

Secure in human power, we have defied

Thy fearful night; we bend in fear

and shame

Before thy presence; with the dust
we claim
Kindred; be merciful, O King of

Most justly have we suffered for thy fame

Made dim, but be at length our sins forgiven,

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The light of other minds;-troubled they passed

Thus they with trembling limbs and pallid lips

Worshipped their own hearts' image, dim and vast, Scared by the shade wherewith they would eclipse

From the great Temple ;-fiercely still and fast

The arrows of the plague among them fell,

And they on one another gazed aghast,

And through the hosts contention wild befell,

each of his own god the wondrous works did tell.

Where thou wert worshipped with their blood, and laid Those hearts in dust which would thy searchless works have weighed?


"Well didst thou loosen on this impious City

Thine angels of revenge: recall

"Our God alone is God!"—And slaughter now

them now; Thy worshippers, abased, here kneel

Would have gone forth, when from beneath a cowl

for pity,

And bind their souls by an im- A voice came forth which pierced like
mortal vow:
ice through every soul.

We swear by thee! and to our oath

do thou

Give sanction from thine hell of fiends
and flame,

That we will kill with fire and
torments slow

The last of those who mocked thy
holy name,

And scorned the sacred laws thy prophets did proclaim."


And Oromaze, Joshua, and Mahomet,
Moses and Buddh, Zerdusht and
Brahm and Foh,

A tumult of strange names, which

never met

Before as watchwords of a single woe,

Arose; each raging votary 'gan to throw

Aloft his armèd hands, and each did howl


'Twas an Iberian priest from whom
it came,

A zealous man who led the legioned

With words which faith and pride had
steeped in flame,

To quell the unbelievers; a dire guest

Even to his friends was he, for in his breast

Did hate and guile lie watchful, intertwined,

Twin serpents in one deep and winding nest;

He loathed all faith beside his own,

and pined

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