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Soon the dust drinks that bitter dew ;-then meet
The vulture, and the wild-dog, and the snake,
The wolf, and the hyæna grey, and eat
The dead in horrid truce : their throngs did make
Behind the steed a chasm like waves in a ship's wake.
For, from the utmost realms of earth, came pouring
The banded slaves whom every despot sent
At that thron'd traitor's summons; like the roaring
of fire, whose foods the wild deer circumvent
In the scorched pastures of the South ; so bent
The armies of the leagued kings around
Their files of steel and flame ;-the continent
Trembled, as with a zone of ruin bound;
Beneath their feet the sea shook with their navies' sound

From every nation of the earth they came,
The multitude of moving heartless things,
Whom slaves call men ; obediently they came,
Like sheep whom from the fold the shepherd brings
To the stall, red with blood; their many kings
Led them, thus erring, from their native home ;
Tartar and Frank, and millions whom the wings
of Indian breezes lull, and many a band
The Arctic Anarch sent, and Idumea's sand,

Fertile in prodigies and lies ;-—so their
Strange natures made a brotherhood of ill.
The desert savage ceased to grasp in fear
His Asian shield and bow, when, at the will
Of Europe's subtler son, the bolt would kill
Some shepherd sitting on a rock secure ;
But smiles of wondering joy his face would fill,
And savage sympathy : those slaves impure,
Each one the other thus from ill to ill did lure.

For traitorously did that foul Tyrant robe
His countenance in lies ;-even at the hour
When he was snatched from death, then o'er the globe,
With secret signs from many a mountain tower.
With smoke by day and fire by night, the power

of kings and priests, those dark conspirators
He called :- they knew his cause their own, and swore
Like wulves and serpents to their mutual wars
Strange truce, with many a rite which Earth and

Heaven abhors.

Myriads had come-millions were on their way;
The Tyrant past, surrounded by the steel
of bired assassins, thro' the public way,
Choked with his country's dead :-his footsteps réel
On the fresh blood-he smiles. Aye, now I feel
I am a King in truth !" he said, and took
His royal seat, and bade the torturing wheel
Be brought, and fire, and pincers, and the hook,
And scorpions, that his soul on its revenge might look

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“ But first go slay the rebels.-Why return
The victor bands ?" he said : “millions yet live,
of whom the weakest with one word might turn
The scales of victory yet ;-let none survive
But those within the walls-each fifth shall give
The expiation for his brethren here.-
Go forth, and waste and kill!"-"O king, forgive
My speech," a soldier answered ;-" but we fear
The spirits of the night, and morn is drawing near ;
“ For we were slaying still without remorse,
And now that dreadful chief beneath my hand
Defenceless lay, when, on a hell-black horse,
An Angel bright as day, waving a brand
Which flashed among the stars, pass'd"-"Dost thou

stand Parleying with me, thou wretch ?" the king replied ; "Slaves, bind him to the wheel; and of this band Whoso will drag that woman to his side That scared him thus, may burn his dearest foe beside

" And gold and glory shall be his.-Go forth !" They rushed into the plain-Loud was the roar of their career : the horsemen shook the earth; The wheeled artillery's speed the pavement tore;

The infantry, file after file, did pour
Their clouds on the utmost hills. Five days they slew
Among the wasted fields: the sixth saw gore
Stream thro' the city; on the seventh, the dew
Ofslaughter became stiff, and there was peace anew.
Peace in the desert fie!ds and villages,
Between the glutted beasts and mangled dead !
Peace in the silent streets! save when the cries
Of victims, to their fiery judgment led,
Made pale their voiceless lips who seemed to dread
Even in their dearest kindred lest some tongue
Be faithless to the fear yet unbetrayed ;
Peace in the Tyrant's palace, where the throng
Waste the triumphal hours in festival and song!
Day after day the burning sun rolled on
Over the death-polluted land;-it came
Out of the East like fire, and fiercely shone
A lamp of Autumn, ripening with its flame
The few lone ears of corn--the sky became
Stagnant with heat, so that each cloud and blast
Languish'd and died; the thirsting air did claim
All moisture, and a rotting vapour past
From the unburied dead, invisible and fast.

First Want, then Plague, came on the beasts ; their food
Failed, and they drew the breath of its decay.
Millions on millions, whom the scent of blood
Had lured, or who, from regions far away,
Had tracked the hosts in festival array
From their dark deserts, gaunt and wasting now,
Stalked like fell shades among their perish'd prey.
In their green eyes a strange disease did glow;
They sank in hideous spasm, or pains severe and slow.
The fish were poisoned in the streams; the birds
In the green woods perished; the insect race
Was withered up; the scattered flocks and herds,
Who had survived the wild beasts' hungry chace,
Died moaning, each upon the other's face

in helpless agony gazing; round the City
All night the lean hyænas their sad case
Like starving infants wailed--a woeful ditty!
And many a mother wept, pierced with unnatural pity.
Amid the aërial minarets on high,
The Æthiopian vultures fluttering fell
From their long line of brethren in the sky,
Startling the concourse of mankind.-Too wel
These signs the coming mischief did foretell :-
Strange panic first, a deep and sickening dread
Within each heart, like ice, did sink and dwell,
A voiceless thought of evil, which did spread
With the quick glance of eyes like withering lightning


Day after day, when the year wanes, the frosts
Strip its green crown of leaves, till all is bare;
So on those strange and congregated hosts
Came Famine, a swift shadow, and the air
Groaned with the burthen of a new despair ;
Famine, than whom Misrule no deadlier daughter
Feeds from her thousand breasts, tho' sleeping there
With lidless eyes lie Faith, and Plague, and Slaughter,
A ghastly brood, conceived of Lethe's sullen water.
There was no food; the corn was trampled down,
The flocks and herds had perished; on the shore
The dead and putrid fish were ever thrown:
The deeps were foodless, and the winds no more
Creaked with the weight of birds, but, as before
Those winged things sprang forth, were void of shade:
The vines and orchards, Autumn's golden store,
Were burned,-so that the meanest food was weighed
With gold, and Avarice died before the god it made.
There was no corn--in the wide market-place
All loathliest things, even human flesh, was sold,
They weighed it in small scales—and many aface
Was fixed in eager horror then ; his gold
The miser brought; the tender maid, grown bold

Thro' hunger, bared her scorned charms in vain ;
The mother brought her eldest born, controuled
By instinct blind as love, but turned again
And bade,her infant suck, and died in silent pain.
Then fell blue Plague upon the race of man,
" Oh, for the sheathed steel, so late which gave
Oblivion to the dead, when the streets ran
With brothers' blood! Oh, that the earthquakes grave
Would gape, or Ocean lift its stiffing wave!"
Vain cries-throughout the streets, thousands pursued
Each by his fiery torture howl and rave,
Or sit, in frenzy's unimagined mood,
Upon fresh heaps of dead-a ghastly multitude.
It was not hunger now, but thirst. Each well
Was choked with rotting corpses, and became
A cauldron of green mist made visible
At sunrise. Thither still the myriads came,
Seeking to quench the agony of the flame,
Which raged like poison thro' their bursting veins ;
Naked they were from torture, without shame,
Spotted with nameless scars and lurid blains,
Childhood, and youth, and age, writhing in savage pains

It was not thirst hut madness! Many saw
Their own lean image every where: it went
A ghastlier self beside them, till the awe
of that dread sight to self-destruction sent
Those shrieking victims; some, ere life was spent.
Sought, with a horrid sympathy, to shed,
Contagion on the sound ; and others rent,
Their matted hair, and cried aloud,“ We tread
On fire! Th' avenging Power his hell on earth has


Sometimes the living by the dead were hid,
Near the great fountain in the public Square,
Where corpses made a crumbling pyramid
Under the sun, was heard one stified prayer
For life, in the hot silence of the air:

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