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XII

did urge

crew

XIII

And many,

To which the Future, like a snaky scourge,

“Of rushing feet? laughter? the shout, Or like some tyrant's eye which aye

the scream doth keep

Of triumph not to be contained ? Its withering beam upon its slaves,

See ! hark !

They come, they come ! give way!” Their steps :— they heard the roar of

Alas, ye deem
Hell's sulphureous surge.

Falsely—'tis but a crowd of maniacs

stark, х

Driven, like a troop of spectres, Each of that multitude, alone, and through the dark lost

From the choked well, whence a bright To sense of outward things, one

death-fire sprung, hope yet knew;

A lurid earth-star which dropped As on a foam-girt crag some seaman many a spark tost

From its blue train, and, spreading Stares at the rising tide, or like the widely, clung

To their wild hair, like mist the topmost Whilst now the ship is splitting

pines among. through and through ; Each, if the tramp of a far steed was heard,

from the crowd collected Started from sick despair, or if

there, there flew

Joined that strange dance in fearful One murmur on the wind, or if some

sympathies ; word,

There was the silence of a long despair Which none can gather yet, the distant

When the last echo of those terrible crowd has stirred.

cries Came from a distant street, like

agonies

Stifled afar. — Before the Tyrant's Why became cheeks, wan with the throne kiss of death,

All night his aged senate sate, their Paler from hope? they had sustained

eyes despair.

In stony expectation fixed; when one Why watched those myriads with sus. Sudden before them stood, a Stranger pended breath,

and alone.
Sleepless a second night? They
are not here,

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The victims, and hour by hour, Dark priests and haughty warriors
a vision drear,

gazed on him Warm corpses fall upon the clay-cold With baffled wonder, for a hermit's dead;

vest And even in death their lips are Concealed his face; but, when he writhed with fear.

spake, his tone, The crowd is mute and moveless- Ere yet the matter did their thoughts overhead

arrest, Silent Arcturus shines—" Ha! hear'st Earnest, benignant, calm, as from a thou not the tread

breast

XI

XV

the past.

Void of all hate or terror--made them Ye find it not in luxury nor in gold, start ;

Nor in the fame, nor in the envied For, as with gentle accents he ad

sway, dressed

For which, o willing slaves to His speech to them, on each unwilling Custom old, heart

Severe taskmistress, ye your hearts Unusual awe did Sall--a spirit.quelling

have sold. dart.

Ye seek for peace, and, when ye die,

to dream

No evil dreams: all mortal things “ Ye Princes of the Earth, ye sit aghast

are cold Amid the ruin which yourselves have And senseless then ; ir aught survive, made,

I deem Yes, Desolation heard your trumpet's It must be love and joy, for they imblast,

mortal seem.
And sprang from sleep !-- dark
Terror has obeyed

XVIII
Your bidding. Oh that I, whom

« Fear not the future, weep not for ye have made Your foe, could set my dearest enemy free

Oh could I win your ears to dare From pain and fear! But evil casts

be now a shade

Glorious and great and calm ! that ye Which cannot pass so soon, and Hate

would cast

Into the dust those symbols of your must be The nurse and parent still of an ill pro

woe,

Purple and gold and steel ! that ye geny. XVI

Proclaiming to the nations whence ye " Ye turn to Heaven for aid in your distress;

That Want and Plague and Fear Alas! that ye, the mighty and the from slavery flow; wise,

And that mankind is free, and that Who, if ye dared, might not aspire

the shame to less

Of royalty and faith is lost in freedom's
Than ye conceive of power, should

same!
fear the lies
Which thou, and thou, didst frame

XIX
for mysteries

“If thus, 'tis well : if not, I come to To blind your slaves :consider your

say own thought,

That Laon-” while the Stranger An empty and a cruel sacrifice

spoke, among Ye now prepare for a vain idol wrought

The council sudden tumult and affray Out of the fears and hate which vain

Arose, for many of those warriors desires have brought.

young

Had on his eloquent accents fed XVII

and hung “ Ye seek for happiness-alas the Like bees on mountain - flowers: they day !

knew the truth,

would go

came

tion sprung;

XXIII

And from their thrones in vindica- Where, though with rudest rites,

Freedom and Truth The men of faith and law then without Are worshipped. From a glorious ruth

Mother's breast Drew forth their secret steel, and stabbed Who, since high Athens sell, among each ardent youth.

the rest

Sate like the Queen of Nations, but in XX

woe, They stabbed them in the back, and By inbred monsters outraged and sneered—a slave

oppressed, Who stood behind the throne those Turns to her chainless child for succour corpses drew

now, Each to its bloody, dark, and secret It draws the milk of Power in Wisdom's grave;

fullest flow.
And one more daring raised his

steel anew
To pierce the Stranger.

" What

“ That land is like an eagle whose hast thou to do

young gaze With me, poor wretch ?” Calm,

Feeds on the noontide beam, whose solemn, and severe,

golden plume That voice unstrung his sinews, and

Floats moveless on the storm, and in he threw

the blaze His dagger on the ground, and, pale Of sunrise gleams when Earth is with fear,

wrapped in gloom ; Sate silently, his voice then did the An epitaph of glory for the tomb Stranger rear.

Of murdered Europe may thy fame be

made,

Great People! As the sands shalt “ It doth avail not that I weep for ye

thou become ; Ye cannot change, since ye are old Thy growth is swist as morn when

night must sade ; And ye have chosen your lot your The multitudinous Earth shall sleep befame must be

neath thy shade.
A book of blood, whence in a
milder day

XXIV
Men shall learn truth, when ye are “Yes, in the desert, then, is built a
wrapped in clay :

home Now ye shall triumph. I am Laon's For Freedom ! Genius is made friend,

strong to rear And him to your revenge will i The monuments of man beneath the betray,

dome So yeconcede one easy boon. Attend ! Ofa new caven; myriads assemble For now I speak of things which ye can

there apprehend.

Whom the proud lords of man, in

rage or fear, XXII

Drive from their wasted homes: the “There is a People mighty in its youth, boon I

pray A land beyond the Oceans of the Is this--that Cythna shall be conWest,

voyed there,

XXI

and gray,

II

I am

your foe!”

III

Nay, start not at the name-America ! And then to you this night Laon will I

Its pale eyes then ; and lo! the long betray.

array Of guards in golden arms, and

priests beside, XXV

Singing their bloody hymns, whose “ With me do what you will.

garbs betray

The blackness of the faith it seems The light of such a joy as makes to hide ; the stare

And see the Tyrant's gem-wrought Of hungry snakes like living emeralds

chariot glide glow

Among the gloomy cowls and glitterShone in a hundred human eyes.--

ing spears“ Where, where

A Shape of light is sitting by his side, Is Laon? Haste! fly! drag him A child most beautiful. I’ the midst swiftly here !

appears We grant thy boon.". “I put no Laon-exempt alone from mortal hopes trust in ye ;

and fears, Swear by the Power ye dread.".

“We swear, we swear!” The Stranger threw his vest back

His head and feet are bare, his hands suddenly,

are bound And smiled in gentle pride, and said,

Behind with heavy chains, yet none "Lo! I am he!”

do wreak Their scoffs on him, though myriads

throng around;

There are no sneers upon his lip CANTO XII

which speak That scorn or hate has made him

bold ; his cheek

Resolve has not turned pale—his eyes Tie transport of a fierceand monstrous

are mild gladness

And calm, and, like the morn about Spread through the multitudinous

to break, streets, fast flying

Smile on mankind-his heart seems Upon the winds of fear ; from his

reconciled dull madness

To all things and itself, like a reposing
The starveling waked, and died in child.

joy ; the dying,
Among the corpses in stark agony
lying,

Tumult was in the soul of all beside, Just heard the happy tidings, and in Ill joy, or doubt, or sear; but those hope

who saw Closed their faint eyes ; from house Their tranquil victim pass felt wonder to house replying

glide With loud acclaim, the living shook Into their brain, and became calm Heaven's cope,

with awe. — And filled the startled Earth with echoes : See, the slow pageant near the pile morn did ope

doth draw.

I

IV

V

VIII

A thousand torches in the spacious Among those reptiles, stingless with square,

delay, Borne by the ready slaves of ruthless Even like a tyrant's wrath ? — The law,

signal-gun Await the signal round : the morning Roared hark, again! In that fair

dread pause he lay Is changed to a dim night by that un- As in a quiet dream the slaves natural glare.

obeyA thousand torches drop,—and hark!

the last And see, beneath a sun-bright canopy,

Bursts on that awful silence; far Upon a platform level with the pile,

away, The anxious Tyrant sit, enthroned on

Millions, with hearts that beat both high,

loud and fast, Girt by the chieftains of the host : Watch for the springing flame expectant all smile

and aghast. In expectation, but one child : the

while I, Laon, led by mutes, ascend my bier They fly—the torches fall--a cry of Of fire, and look around : each

fear distant isle

Has startled the triumphant !Is dark in the bright dawn ; towers

they recede! far and near

For, ere the cannon's roar has died, Pierce like reposing flames the tremulous atmosphere.

The tramp of hoofs like earth

quake, and a steed,

Dark and gigantic, with the There was such silence through the tempest's speed host as when

Bursts through their ranks : a woman An earthquake, trampling on some

sits thereon, populous town,

Fairer, it seems, than aught that Has crushed ten thousand with one

earth can breed, tread, and men

Calm, radiant, like the phantom of Expect the second ; all were mute

the dawn,

A spirit from the caves of daylight That fairest child, who, bold with wandering gone.

love, alone Stood up before the King, without avail Pleading for Laon's life-her stifled

All thought it was God's Angel come groan

to sweep Was heard --- she trembled like one

The lingering guilty to their fiery aspen pale

grave; Among the gloomy pines of a Norwegian

The Tyrant from his throne in dread vale.

did leap,Her innocence his child from fear

did save ; What were his thoughts, linked in the Scared by the faith they feigned, morning sun

each priestly slave

they hear

VI

but one,

IX

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