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"TIS done-but yesterday a King!
And arm'd with Kings to strive-
So abject-yet alive!
And can he thus survive?
Ill-minded man! why scourge thy kind
Who bow'd so low the knee? By gazing on thyself grown blind,
Thou taught'st the rest to see.
With might unquestion'd--power to saveThine only gift hath been the grave
To those that worshipp'd thee; Nor till thy fall could mortals guess Ambition's less than littleness !
Thanks for that lesson—it will teach
To after-warriors more
And vainly preach'd before.
That led them to adore
The triumph, and the vanity,
The rapture of the strife-(1)
To thee the breath of life;
Wherewith renown was rife-
The Desolator desolate !
The Victor overthrown! The Arbiter of others' fate
A Suppliant for his own!
Or dread of death alone?
He (2) who of old would rend the oak,
Dream'd not of the rebound; Chain'd by the trunk he vainly broke
Alone-how look'd he round ?
And darker fate hast found :
The Roman, (3) when his burning heart
Was slaked with blood of Rome, Threw down the dagger-dared depart,
In savage grandeur, home.-
He dared depart in utter scorn
Yet left him such a doom!
The Spaniard, (4) when the lust of sway
Had lost its quickening spell,
An empire for a cell;
His dotage trifled well :
But thou~from thy reluctant hand
The thunderbolt is wrung-
To which thy weakness clung;
To see thine ow un ng;