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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