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Lord Byron


Belshazzar   from the banquet turn,

Nor in thy sensual fulness fall;

Behold !  while yet before thee burn

The graven words, the glowing wall,

Many a despot men miscall

Crown'd and anointed from on high;

But thou, the weakest, worst of all --

Is it not written, thou must die ?

Go !   dash the roses from thy brow --

Grey hairs but poorly wreathe with them;

Youth's garlands misbecome thee now,

More than thy very diadem,

Where thou hast tarnish'd every gem; --

Then throw the worthless bauble by,

Which, worn by thee, ev'n slaves condemn;

And learn like better men to die !

Oh   early in the balance weigh'd,

And ever light of word and worth,

And left thee but a mass of earth.

To see thee moves the scorner's mirth:

But tears in Hope's averted eye

Lament that even thou hadst birth --

Unfit to govern, live, or die.


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