THE fervid blaze of NOON now scorches wide
The scanty herbage of the desert plain;
The streams that murmur’d from the mountain’s side,
Absorb’d by thirsty sands, are lost again.
The timid DEER their woody coverts leave,
Pant in the glow, with oft-averted eye,
False hopes awhile their wonted search deceive,
They seek the STREAM, but find the CHANNEL dry.
Nor the dry channel do they find alone,
To mock the misery of their parched way:
Roused by their drooping melancholy moan,
The crouching TYGER marks them for his prey.
Fly swift, ye hapless wanderers, swiftly fly,
As the wing’d arrow from the TARTAR’s bow;
Swift as the lightning flashes, or ye die,
The mangled victims of a cruel foe.
Ev’n thus, O ACHMED! in the Persian land,
Where streams of JUSTICE flow’d from heavenly springs,
Thro’ royal channels; now the thirsty sand
Of AVARICE drinks, while RAPINE waves her wings.
There, tyger-like, lo! power-perverted lies,
Low-crouching, arm’d with fury and deceit,
SUSPICION guides his ever-watchful eyes,
And DANGER lurks around his thorny seat.
Truth, Honor, Virtue! swift with ACHMED fly,
Swift as the light’ning flashes, or ye die.