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Of open wrong, or tyrannous deceit,
There comes a swift redresser,
To punish your oppressor,
And lay him prostrate-helpless at your feet.
O champion strong!
Righter of wrong,
Justice-equality to thee belong,—
Where conquest crowns his quarrel,
And the victor, wreath'd with laurel,
While trembling nations bow beneath his rod,
On his guarded throne reposes,
In living apotheosis,
The Lord's anointed, and earth's demigod,
What form of fear
Croaks in his ear,
“ The victor's car is but a funeral bier.” —
Who--spite of guards and yeomen,
Steel phalanx and cross-bowmen,
Leaps at a bound the shudd'ring castle's moat,
The tyrant's crown down dashes,
His brandish'd sceptre smashes,
With rattling fingers grasps him by the throat,
His breath out-wrings,
And his corpse down flings To the dark pit where grave-worms feed on kings?
When the murderer 's undetected,
When the robber 's unsuspected,
When nothing living daunts him,
And no fear of justice haunts him,
Who wakes his conscience-stricken agony?
Who makes him start
With his withering dart,
And wrings the secret from his bursting heart :-
To those who pine in sorrow,
Whose wretchedness can borrow
No moment's ease from any human act,
To the widow comfort-spurning,
To the slave for freedom yearning,
To the diseased with cureless anguish rack’d,
Who brings release
And whispers peace,
And points to realms where pain and sorrow cease ?-
THE POET AMONG THE TREES.
Oak is the noblest tree that grows,
Its leaves are Freedom's type and herald,
If we may put our faith in those
Of Literary-Fund Fitzgerald.
Willow 's a sentimental wood,
And many sonneteers, to quicken 'em,
A relic keep of that which stood
Before Pope's Tusculum at Twickenham.
The Birch-tree, with its pendent curves,
Exciting many a sad reflection,
Not only present praise deserves,
But our posterior recollection,
The Banyan, though unknown to us,
Is sacred to the Eastern Magi;
Some like the taste of Tityrus,
“Recubans sub tegmine fagi."
Some like the Juniper-in gin;
Some fancy that its berries droop, as
Knowing a poison lurks within,
More rank than that distill’d from th' Upas.
But he who wants a useful word,
To tag a line or point a moral, Will find there's none to be preferr'd
To that inspiring tree-the Laurel.
The hero-butchers of the sword,
In Rome and Greece, and many a far land,
Like Bravos, murder'd for reward,
The settled price-a laurel-garland.