The Morning Chronicle (October 21, 1815)
Tho' from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much honour.—
And tho' he were unsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a sin) yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely."
——— ——— ——— "He whose nod
Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway."
Gone is the mighty soldier's power,
And dimm'd the sunshine of his earlier hour:
'Midst sighs and tears again the lily blows,
Where late 'midst thunder sounds his Eagles rose:
The children of his pride—his hate—
Foes, friends—(e'en he had friends till late)
Have fled and left him desolate.
His blunted sword is free from harm,
His voice—that voice which once own'd such a charm,
And bore the veteran's soul along,
Hath lost its magic pow'rs—for now
Bare and unlaurell'd is his brow.
And, oh! that high imperial name
Which millions follow'd once to fame,
Is gone, and shrunk into a song—
—Yet shall it live in story—
And heroes of a future age,
Shall mark the Historian's deathless page,
Where (stripp'd of all its obloquy):
And in bright characters recorded high
'Midst kings and warriors of the olden time,
And pure, save Conquest's ne'er forgiven crime,
Shall shine, 'midst many a meaner thing—
But now—of all that heartless crowd
Which cringing flatter'd, or submissive bow'd,
one remains for thee,
Nor wife—nor child—nor friend—nor home
Yet mourn not thou the parasite,
Who fled, and flourish'd in thy sight—
Who now the poor pale lily rears,
And wets with "ministerial tears."
He—when thou sat'st on Gaul's revolving throne—
When half a world was all thine own;
When glitter'd each rich and varied gem,
Bright in thy regal diadem,
Bent lowly at his monarch's nod,
And hail'd him hero—Demigod.
Oh! if Otranto's helmet
Obey the avenging angel's will,
Now let it bend its plumes of jet
To crush a traitor's coronet.—
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
—Yet must some inward spirit dwell,
Which prompts high thought, and counsels well,
And doth from anger warn,
And bids thee wreak thy bitter scorn,
On those who on thy bounty fed,
Then heap'd their reptile curses on thy head;
Who sprung to life beneath thy morning sun,
And turn'd, and stung thee when the day was done.
Who drove their master to an exile's cell,
And left him in adversity forlorn.
One hope—if in thine adverse hour,
Fame's feverish dream hath lost its power,
And that stupendous mind
Is by ambition's chain no more confin'd,
Then may some happier star arise
To gild thy fallen destinies;
And guide thee, till returning day
Shall chase the warrior's griefs away.
Temple, Sept. 23, 1815.