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The Spaniard, (') when the lust of sway
Had lost its quickening spell,
Cast crowns for rosaries away,
An empire for a cell;
A strict accountant of his beads,
A subtle disputant on creeds,
His dotage trifled well :
Yet better had he neither known
A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne.
from thy reluctant hand
The thunderbolt is wrung
Too late thou leav'st the high command
To which thy weakness clung;
All Evil Spirit as thou art,
It is enough to grieve the heart
To see thine own unstrung;
To think that God's fair world hath been The footstool of a thing so mean;
And Earth hath spilt her blood for him,
Who thus can hoard his own!
And Monarchs bow'd the trembling limb,
And thank'd him for a throne !
Fair Freedom! we may hold thee dear,
When thus thy mightiest foes their fear
In humblest guise have shown.
Oh! ne'er may tyrant leave behind
A brighter name to lure mankind!
Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
Nor written thus in vain-
Thy triumphs tell of fame no more,
Or deepen every stain:
If thou hadst died as honour dies,
Some new Napoleon might arise,
To shame the world again-
But who would soar the solar height,
To set in such a starless night?
(1) Charles V.
Weigh'd in the balance, hero dust
Is vile as vulgar clay;
Thy scales, Mortality! are just
To all that pass away:
But yet methought the living great
Some higher sparks should animate,
To dazzle and dismay :
Nor deem'd Contempt could thus make mirth
Of these, the Conquerors of the earth.
And she, proud Austria's mournful flower,
Thy still imperial bride;
How bears her breast the torturing hour?
Still clings she to thy side?
Must she too bend, must she too share
Thy late repentance, long despair,
Thou throneless Homicide?
If still she loves thee, hoard that gem, 'T is worth thy vanish'd diadem!
Then haste thee to thy sullen Isle,
And gaze upon the sea;
That element may meet thy smile,
It ne'er was ruled by thee!
Or trace with thine all idle hand
In loitering mood upon the sand
That Earth is now as free!
That Corinth's pedagogue hath now
Transferr'd his by-word to thy brow
Thou Timour! in his captive's cage (1)
What thought will there be thine,
While brooding in thy prison'd rage?
"The world was mine!"
Unless, like he of Babylon,
All sense is with thy sceptre gone,
Life will not long confine
That spirit pour'd so widely forth -
So long obey'd—so little worth!
(2) The cage of Bajazet, by order of Tamerlane.
Or, like the thief of fire from heaven, (')
Wilt thou withstand the shock?
And share with him, the unforgiven,
His vulture and his rock!
Foredoom'd by God-by man accurst,
And that last act, though not thy worst,
The very Fiend's arch mock ; (2)
He in his fall preserved his pride.
And, if a mortal, had as proudly diea!
"The very fiend's arch mockTo lip a wanton and suppose her chaste."
DEATH OF THE RIGHT HON. R. B. SHERIDAN.
SPOKEN AT DRURY-LANE THEATRE.