Imatges de pàgina

Around, around, in ceaseless circles wheeling With clang of wings and scream, the Eagle sailed Incessantly-sometimes on high concealing

Its lessening orbs, sometimes as if it failed, Drooped thro' the air; and still it shrieked and wailed,

And casting back its eager head, with beak
And talon unremittingly assailed

The wreathed Serpent, who did ever seek
Upon his enemy's heart a mortal wound to wreak.

What life what power was kindled and arose
Within the sphere of that appalling fray !
For, from the encounter of those wondrous foes,
A vapour like the sea's suspended spray

Hung gathered

in the void air, far away, Floated the shattered plumes; bright scales did


Where'er the Eagle's talons made their way,

Like sparks into the darkness;—as they sweep, Blood stains the snowy foam of the tumultuous deep.

Swift chances in that combat-many a check,
And many a change, a dark and wild turmoil;
Sometimes the Snake around his enemy's neck
Locked in stiff rings his adamantine coil,
Until the Eagle, faint with pain and toil,
Remitted his strong flight, and near the sea
Languidly fluttered, hopeless so to foil
His adversary, who then reared on high
His red and burning crest, radiant with victory.

Then on the white edge of the bursting surge, Where they had sank together, would the Snake Relax his suffocating grasp, and scourge

The wind with his wild writhings; for to break That chain of torment, the vast bird would shake The strength of his unconquerable wings

As in despair, and with his sinewy neck

Dissolve in sudden shock those linkèd rings, Then soar as swift as smoke from a volcano springs.

Wile baffled wile, and strength encountered strength, Thus long, but unprevailing :—the event Of that portentous fight appeared at length: Until the lamp of day was almost spent It had endured, when lifeless, stark, and rent, Hung high that mighty Serpent, and at last Fell to the sea, while o'er the continent, With clang of wings and scream the Eagle past, Heavily borne away on the exhausted blast.

Such is this conflict-when mankind doth strive With its oppressors in a strife of blood,

Or when free thoughts, like lightnings are alive; And in each bosom of the multitude

Justice and truth, with custom's hydra brood Wage silent war;-when priests and kings dissemble

In smiles or frowns their fierce disquietude,

When round pure hearts, a host of hopes assemble, The Snake and Eagle meet-the world's foundations tremble!

Revolt of Islam, canto i. 1817.



As I lay asleep in Italy

There came a voice from over the Sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

I met Murder on the way—
He had a mask like Castlereagh—
Very smooth he looked, yet grim ;
Seven blood-hounds followed him :

All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,

For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Lord E., an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,

Thinking every tear a gem,

Had their brains knocked out by them.

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,

All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers or spies.

Last came Anarchy: he rode

On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone ;
On his brow this mark I saw-
"I AM GOD, And King, and Law!”

With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he past,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.

And a mighty troop around,

With their trampling shook the ground,

Waving each a bloody sword,

For the service of their Lord.

And with glorious triumph, they

Rode thro' England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication

Of the wine of desolation.

O'er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Past the Pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down;
Till they came to London town.

And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers, who did sing
"Thou art God, and Law, and King.

"We have waited, weak and lone For thy coming, Mighty One!

Our purses are empty, our swords are cold, Give us glory, and blood, and gold."

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,

To the earth their pale brows bowed;
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering" Thou art Law and God.”—

Then all cried with one accord,
"Thou art King, and God, and Lord;

Anarchy, to thee we bow,

Be thy name made holy now!"

And Anarchy, the Skeleton,

Bowed and grinned to every one,

As well as if his education

Had cost ten millions to the nation.


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