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And 'twas as wild and still within the square, This square of luxury! The morn arose, An iron harvest bristled through the air, Bayonet and pike in countless, close-rocked rows, Silent as death, the crowd, the grim repose Before the earthquake ;-none from roof or wall Might look; no hand the casement might unclose. And in their centre, frowning o'er them all, Their idol the sole God before whose name they fall,
The Guillotine!—when hell proposed the feast, Where guilty France was drunk, but not with wine, Till madness sat upon her visioned breast, This was the press that crushed her bloody vine. To this grim altar came the shuddering line, Whose worship was,-beneath its knife to lie; The haggard traitors to the throne and shrine, By traitors crushed, that in their turn must die; Till massacre engulphed the wreck of liberty.
The Guillotine!-It stood in that pale day
Was caught a light, from moving helmets flung,
A banner tossing in the tempest's sway,
A wain that through the throng slow toiled its weary way.
'Tis done, the monarch on the scaffold stands;
France was anathema. Her cup before
Before the harlot knelt the nation's prime,
And sons dragged fathers, fathers sons to die, 'Till judgment girt the bow on its eternal thigh.
For JOHN THORNTON of Clapham, Esq. who died at Bath, November 7. 1791.
Know, solemn visitant of the remains
Of Thornton, what high respect is due
Say not, ye busy! that your cares exclude
Success sooths vanity; but he remains
Not by the poet's verse, or sculptor's art,
When time shall cease to run, and every bust
Upon yon dial-stone
Behold the shade of time,
For ever circling on and on,
Than if the thunders of the spheres
A robe of dark-sepulchral green,
Day is the time for toil;
Night balms the weary breast; Stars have their vigils, seas awhile
Will sink to peaceful rest;
But round and round the shadow creeps Of that which slumbers not-nor sleeps!
Effacing all that's fair—
Hushing the voice of mirth
Into the silence of despair
Around the lonesome hearth,— And training ivy garlands green O'er the once gay and social scene.
In beauty fading fast,
Its silent trace appears,
And-where, a phantom of the past
Dim in the mist of years,
Gleams Tadmor o'er oblivion's waves, Like wrecks above their ocean graves.