Behold the host ! delighting to deprave,
Who track the steps of Glory to the grave,
Watch every fault that daring Genius owes
Half to the ardour which its birth bestows,
Distort the truth, accumulate the lie,
And pile the Pyramid of Calumny !
These are his portion—but if join'd to these
Gaunt Poverty should league with deep Disease,
If the high Spirit must forget to soar,
And stoop to strive with Misery at the door,
To soothe Indignity—and face to face
Meet sordid Rage--and wrestle with Disgrace,
To find in Hope but the renew'd caress,
The serpent-fold of further Faithlessness,-
If such may be the Ills which men assail,
What marvel if at last the mightiest fail ?
Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling given
Bear hearts electric-charged with fire from Heaven,
Black with the rude collision, inly torn,
By clouds surrounded, and on whirlwinds borne,
Driven o'er the lowering atmosphere that nurst
Thoughts which have turn’d to thunder - scorch-and
But far from us and from our mimic scene
Such things should be—if such have ever been ;
Ours be the gentler wish, the kinder task,
To give the tribute Glory need not ask,
To mourn the vanish'd beam- and add our mite
Of praise in payment of a long delight.
Ye Orators ! whom yet our councils yield,
Mourn for the veteran Hero of your field!