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XXXVIII. Oh, more or less than man - - in high or low, Battling with nations, flying from the field; Now making monarchs' necks thy footstool, now More than thy meanest soldier taught to yield; An empire thou couldst crush, command, rebuild, But govern not thy pettiest passion, nor, However deeply in men's spirits skilld, Look through thine own, nor curb the lust of war Nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest star
XXXIX. Yet well thy soul hath brook'd the turning tide With that untaught innate philosophy, Which, be it wisdom, coldness, or deep pride, Is gall and wormwood to an enemy. When the whole host of hatred stood hard by, To watch and mock thee shrinking, thou hast
smiled With a sedate and all - enduring eye; When Fortune fled her spoil'd and favourite child, He stood unbowed beneath the ills upon him piled. XL. Sager than in thy fortunes; for in them Ambition steel'd thee on too far to show That just habitual scorn which could contemn Men and their thoughts; 'was wise to feel, not so To wear it ever on thy lip and brow, And spurn
the instruments thou wert to use Till they were turn'd unto thine overthrow: "Tis but a worthless world to win or lose; So hath it proved to thee, and all such lot who choose.
XLI. If, like a tower upon a headlong rock,' Thou badst been made to stand or fall alone, Such scorn of man had help'd to brave the shock; But men's thoughts were the steps which paved
thy throne, Their admiration thy best weapon shone; The part of Philipp's son was thine, not then (Unless aside thy purple had been thrown) Like stern Diogenes to mock at men; For sceptred cynics earth were far too wide a den. 9
XLIII. This makes the madmen who have made inen mad By their contagion; Conqerors and Kings, Founders of sects and systems, to whom add Sophists, Bards, Statesmen, all unquiet things Which stir too strongly the soul's secret springs, And are themselves the fools to those they fool; Enyied, yet how unenviable! what stings Are theirs! One breast laid open were a school Which would unteach mankind tlre Just to sing or
XLIV. Their breath is agitation, and their life A strom whereon they ride, to sink at last, And yet so nurs'd and bigotted to strise, That should their days, surviving perils past, Melt to calm twilight, they feel overcast With sorrow and supineness, and so die; Even as a flame unfed, which runs to waste With its own flickering, or a sword laid by Which cats into itsell, and rusts ingloriously.'
XLV. He who ascends to mountain-tops, shall find The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow; He who surpasses or subdues mankind, Must look down on the hate of those below. Though high above the sun of glory glow, And far beneath the earth and ocean spread, Round him are icy rocks, and loudly blow Contending tempests on his naked head, And thus reward the toils which to those summits led. XLVI. Away with these! true Wisdom's world will be Within its own creation, or in thine, Maternal Nature! for wlio teems like thee, Thus on the banks of thy majestic Rhine? There Harold gazes on a work divine, A blending of all beauties; streams and dells, Fruit, foliage, crag, wood, cornfield, mountain,
vine, And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells Irom gray but leafy walls, where Ruin greenlyd wells.
XLVII. And there they stand, as stands a lofty mind, Worn, but unstooping to the baser crowd, All tenantless, save to the crannying wind, Or holding dark communion with the cloud. There was a day when they were young and proud, Banners on high, and battles pass'd below; But they who fought are in a bloody shroud, And those which waved are shredless dust ere now, And the bleak battlements shall bear no future blow.