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Void of all hate or terror--made them start;
For, as with gentle accents he addressed
His speech to them, on each unwilling heart Unusual awe did fall- —a spirit-quelling dart.
"Ye Princes of the Earth, ye sit aghast
And sprang from sleep!-dark
Your bidding. Oh that I, whom
Your foe, could set my dearest enemy
From pain and fear! But evil casts
Which cannot pass so soon, and Hate
The nurse and parent still of an ill progeny.
"Ye turn to Heaven for aid in your distress;
Alas! that ye, the mighty and the wise,
Who, if ye dared, might not aspire
Than ye conceive of power, should fear the lies
Which thou, and thou, didst frame for mysteries
To blind your slaves:-consider your own thought,
An empty and a cruel sacrifice Ye now prepare for a vain idol wrought Out of the fears and hate which vain desires have brought.
"Ye seek for happiness-alas the day!
Ye find it not in luxury nor in gold, Nor in the fame, nor in the envied sway,
For which, O willing slaves to
Severe taskmistress, ye your hearts
Ye seek for peace, and, when ye die, to dream
No evil dreams: all mortal things are cold
And senseless then; if aught survive, I deem
must be love and joy, for they immortal seem.
"Fear not the future, weep not for the past.
Oh could I win your ears to dare be now
Glorious and great and calm! that ye would cast
Into the dust those symbols of your
Purple and gold and steel! that ye would go
Proclaiming to the nations whence ye
That Want and Plague and Fear
from slavery flow;
And from their thrones in vindica
The men of faith and law then without ruth
Drew forth their secret steel, and stabbed
each ardent youth.
They stabbed them in the back, and sneered a slave
Who stood behind the throne those corpses drew
Where, though with rudest rites,
Are worshipped. From a glorious
Who, since high Athens fell, among
Sate like the Queen of Nations, but in
By inbred monsters outraged and oppressed,
Turns to her chainless child for succour now,
Each to its bloody, dark, and secret It draws the milk of Power in Wisdom's
"That land is like an eagle whose
Feeds on the noontide beam, whose golden plume
Floats moveless on the storm, and in the blaze
Of sunrise gleams when Earth is wrapped in gloom;
An epitaph of glory for the tomb Of murdered Europe may thy fame be made,
Great People! As the sands shalt
Thy growth is swift as morn when night must fade;
And ye have chosen your lot-your The multitudinous Earth shall sleep be
The light of such a joy as makes the stare
Of hungry snakes like living emeralds glow
Shone in a hundred human eyes."Where, where
Is Laon? Haste! fly! drag him swiftly here!
Its pale eyes then; and lo! the long array
Of guards in golden arms, and priests beside,
Singing their bloody hymns, whose garbs betray
The blackness of the faith it seems
And see the Tyrant's gem-wrought chariot glide
Among the gloomy cowls and glittering spears
A Shape of light is sitting by his side, A child most beautiful. I' the midst appears
We grant thy boon." "I put no Laon-exempt alone from mortal hopes
trust in ye;
His head and feet are bare, his hands
Behind with heavy chains, yet none
Their scoffs on him, though myriads throng around;
There are no sneers upon his lip which speak
That scorn or hate has made him bold; his cheek
Resolve has not turned pale-his eyes
And calm, and, like the morn about to break,
Smile on mankind-his heart seems reconciled
To all things and itself, like a reposing child.
Tumult was in the soul of all beside, Ill joy, or doubt, or fear; but those who saw
Their tranquil victim pass felt wonder glide
Into their brain, and became calm with awe.
See, the slow pageant near the pile doth draw.