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Amid the mountains, like a hunted beast,
· He hid himself, and hunger, toil, and cold,
Month after month endured; it was a feast
Whene'er he found those globes of deep red gold
Which in the woods the strawberry-tree doth bear,
Suspended in their emerald atmosphere.
And in the roofless huts of vast morasses,
Deserted by the fever-stricken serf,
All overgrown with reeds and long rank grasses,
And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven turf,
And where the huge and speckled aloe made,
Rooted in stones, a broad and pointed shade,
He housed himself. There is a point of strand
Near Vada's tower and town; and on one side
The treacherous marsh divides it from the land,
Shadowed by pine and ilex forests wide :
And on the other creeps eternally,
Through muddy weeds, the shallow sullen sea.
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life; though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread, --behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it-he sought,
For bis lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it noto
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 Castiereagh-
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven bloodhounds 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 white cloak he drew.
Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Lord E- , an ermine 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 shadow of the night,
Like S*** next, Hypocrisy,
On a crocodile came by.
And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.
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 through England, proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.
O'er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed 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 tremendous 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 Law, 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.
For he knew the palaces
Of our kings were nightly his;
His the sceptre, crown, and globe,
And the gold-inwoven robe.
So he sent his slaves before
To seize upon the Bank and Tower,
And was proceeding with intent
To meet his pensioned parliament,
When one fled past, a maniac maid,
And her name was Hope, she said :
But she looked more like Despair;
And she cried out in the air :
“My father, Time is weak and grey
With waiting for a better day;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Trembling with his palsied hands !
“He has had child after child,
And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me-
Misery! oh, Misery!”
Then she lay down in the street,
Right before the horses' feet,
Expecting, with a patient eye,
Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.
When between her and her foes
A mist, a light, an image rose,
Small at first, and weak and frail
Like the vapour of the vale :
Till as clouds grow on the blast,
Like tower-crowned giants striding fust,
And glare with lightnings as they fly,
And speak in thunder to the sky,
It grew-a shape arrayed in mail
Brighter than the viper's scale,
And upborne on wings whose grain
Was like the light of sunny rain.
On its helm, seen far away,
A planet, like the morning's, lay ;
And those plumes it light rained through,
Like a shower of crimson dew.
With step as soft as wind it passed
O'er the heads of men-so fast
That they knew the presence there,
And looked—and all was empty air.
As flowers beneath May's footsteps waken,
As stars from night's loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where'er that step did fall.
And the prostrate multitude
Looked--and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien :
And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
Lay dead earth upon the earth;
The Horse of Death, tameless as wind,
Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
To dust the murderers thronged behind.
A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense, awakening and yet tender,
Was heard and felt-and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose;
As if their own indignant earth,
Which gave the sons of England birth,
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother's throe,
Had turned every drop of blood,
By which her face had been bedewed,
To an accent unwithstood,
As if her heart had cried aloud
“Men of England, Heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty mother,
Hopes of her, and one another !