WHAT are the dazzling objects of thine aim,
AMBITION! scourge of empires, and of all
Who dare repel, or fortify thy claim:
Both doom’d by thee, infuriate fiend, to fall.
Thou offspring of a cruel, proud, self-love,
Untameable Hyæna! ne’er wilt cease
The bane of joy, of freedom, life, to rove,
And ev’n of thine own safety, rest, and peace.
By turns the false friend, flatterer, or the foe,
Of all that’s noble, generous, or brave:
Viewing in each above thee or below,
The hated rival, or the destined slave.
To thee what’s honor, justice, public-good,
Or aught that leads to virtuous self-esteem?
Mad pestilence of HELL! go, swim in blood,
Go, realize the maniac’s sleepless dream.
Like SAUGHERY,* go, supplant thy fortune’s friend!
MONTAZER* like, thy sire remorseless slay!
Like ABBAS,* from thy son his eye-balls rend;
And then, insatiate, tear his life away!
In VIRTUE’s semblance sit on VICE’s throne;
With mimic JUSTICE, do deliberate WRONG:
Thro’ ravaged realms, and cities overthrown,
Go, chaunt, accursed of Heaven, the Murd’rer’s song.
Go! wander in some calm and moony night,
Along the vale where CHEHEL-MINAR* lies:
There, listening, as some DEMON yells affright,
Turn unappall’d, and view with wild surprize,
The long-fall’n domes to all their pride restored,—
Such as they rose in PERSIA’s golden days!
Ere lust of conquest led thy bands abhorr’d,
O’er burning deserts, or thro’ boist’rous seas.
So fame relates.—The midnight wandering man,
Whose feet approach these walls with dauntless tread!
Beholds the visionary pomp—’till wan
Around him, stalk tall shadows of the DEAD.
If the low groan of HORROR chill his heart,
If overwhelming FEAR assume its sway,
From their firm base the superstructures start,
And like faint misty vapours fleet away.
Legions of horrid SPECTRES round him throng,
And during all the residue of night,
Thro’ labyrinths of ruin chase along
The poor wretch trembling in his mazy flight.
Thro’ vaulted passages and spacious halls,
Whose star-crown’d columns seem to prop the sky,
While massy fragments of the marble walls,
On every side in rude confusion lie.
Howls the fierce wolf, the night-bird loudly screams,
Thro’ the wide portals moans a hollow blast,
The MOON in sable clouds conceals her beams,
Awaken’d echoes shriek!—HE stands aghast!
But lo! the first faint gleams of MORN arise.
Low speak the walls the MYSTIC WORDS they bear.
The deep foundations shake.—Each spectre flies
To his enchanted place, and fixes there!
Transform’d to STONE, no mortal force can rend
Their giant bulk away, ’till that dread hour,
When long-impending VENGEANCE shall descend,
And AYRAN’s fall unbind the MAGIC power.
Those hideous forms thus ranged in mute array,
Were VIZIERS, who employed a MONARCH’s name,
To aid their own base aims, oppress, betray;
Rapacious, cruel, and devoid of shame.
Or MAJES,* who approach’d with faithless hearts
The altars of their GOD—thus expiate
Their pride, hypocrisy, and impious arts,
That sanctioned private guilt, or public hate.
O may the MASTER of the powerful spell,
If e’er AMBITION, thou my soul inflame,
Doom me with these in magic bonds to dwell,
Turn me to STONE, and there inscribe my name.