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Erewhile went forth from Agra or Lahore,
Rajahs and Omrahs in his train, intent
To drive their prey inclosed within a ring
Wide as a province, but, the signal given,
Before the point of the life-threatening spear
Narrowing itself by moments, they, rash men,
Had seen the anticipated quarry turned
Into avengers, from whose wrath they fled
In terror. Disappointment and dismay
Remained for all whose fancies had run wild
With evil expectations; confidence
And perfect triumph for the better cause.

The State, as if to stamp the final seal On her security, and to the world Show what she was, a high and fearless soul, Exulting in defiance, or heart-stung By sharp resentment, or belike to taunt With spiteful gratitude the baffled League, That had stirred up her slackening faculties To a new transition, when the King was crushed, Spared not the empty throne, and in proud haste Assumed the body and venerable name

Of a Republic. Lamentable crimes,

'Tis true, had gone before this hour, dire work Of massacre, in which the senseless sword

Was prayed to as a judge; but these were past, Earth free from them for ever, as was thought, Ephemeral monsters, to be seen but once! Things that could only show themselves and die.

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Cheered with this hope, to Paris I returned,
And ranged, with ardor heretofore unfelt,
The spacious city, and in progress passed
The prison where the unhappy Monarch lay,
Associate with his children and his wife
In bondage; and the palace, lately stormed.
With roar of cannon by a furious host.
I crossed the square (an empty area then !)
Of the Carrousel, where so late had lain
The dead, upon the dying heaped, and gazed
On this and other spots, as doth a man
Upon a volume whose contents he knows
Are memorable, but from him locked up,
Being written in a tongue he cannot read,
So that he questions the mute leaves with pain,
And half upbraids their silence. But that night
I felt most deeply in what world I was,

What ground I trod on, and what air I breathed.
High was my room and lonely, near the roof
Of a large mansion or hotel, a lodge

That would have pleased me in more quiet times;
Nor was it wholly without pleasure then.
With unextinguished taper I kept watch,
Reading at intervals; the fear gone by
Pressed on me almost like a fear to come.
I thought of those September massacres,
Divided from me by one little month,

Saw them, and touched: the rest was conjured up
From tragic fictions or true history,
Remembrances and dim admonishments.

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The horse is taught his manage, and no star
Of wildest course but treads back his own steps;
For the spent hurricane the air provides

As fierce a successor; the tide retreats

But to return out of its hiding-place

In the great deep; all things have second birth ;
The earthquake is not satisfied at once;
And in this way I wrought upon myself,
Until I seemed to hear a voice that cried,
To the whole city, "Sleep no more." The trance
Fled with the voice to which it had given birth;
But vainly comments of a calmer mind
Promised soft peace and sweet forgetfulness.
The place, all hushed and silent as it was,
Appeared unfit for the repose of night,
Defenceless as a wood where tigers pam.

With early morning towards the Palace-walk Of Orleans eagerly I turned; as yet

The streets were still; not so those long Arcades ;
There, 'mid a peal of ill-matched sounds and cries,
That greeted me on entering, I could hear
Shrill voices from the hawkers in the throng,
Bawling, "Denunciation of the Crimes
Of Maximilian Robespierre"; the hand,
Prompt as the voice, held forth a printed speech,
The same that had been recently pronounced,
When Robespierre, not ignorant for what mark
Some words of indirect reproof had been
Intended, rose in hardihood, and dared

The man who had an ill surmise of him
To bring his charge in openness; whereat,
When a dead pause ensued, and no one stirred,
In silence of all present, from his seat
Louvet walked single through the avenue,
And took his station in the Tribune, saying,
"I, Robespierre, accuse thee!" Well is known
The inglorious issue of that charge, and how
He who had launched the startling thunderbolt,
The one bold man whose voice the attack had

Was left without a follower to discharge
His perilous duty, and retire lamenting
That Heaven's best aid is wasted upon men
Who to themselves are false.

But these are things
Of which I speak only as they were storm
Or sunshine to my individual mind,

No further. Let me then relate that now
In some sort seeing with my proper eyes
That Liberty, and Life, and Death would soon
To the remotest corners of the land

Lie in the arbitrement of those who ruled
The capital City; what was struggled for,
And by what combatants victory must be won;
The indecision on their part whose aim
Seemed best, and the straightforward path of those
Who in attack or in defence were strong
Through their impiety - my inmost soul
Was agitated; yea, I could almost



Have prayed that throughout earth upon all men, By patient exercise of reason made

Worthy of liberty, all spirits filled

With zeal expanding in Truth's holy light,

The gift of tongues might fall, and power arrive From the four quarters of the winds to do

For France, what without help she could not do, A work of honor; think not that to this

I added, work of safety: from all doubt

Or trepidation for the end of things
Far was I, far as angels are from guilt.

Yet did I grieve, nor only grieved, but thought Of opposition and of remedies:

An insignificant stranger and obscure,

And one, moreover, little graced with power
Of eloquence even in my native speech,
And all unfit for tumult or intrigue,

Yet would I at this time with willing heart
Have undertaken for a cause so great
Service however dangerous. I revolved,
How much the destiny of Man had still
Hung upon single persons; that there was,
Transcendent to all local patrimony,
One nature, as there is one sun in heaven;
That objects, even as they are great, thereby
Do come within the reach of humblest eyes;
That Man is only weak through his mistrust
And want of hope where evidence divine
Proclaims to him that hope should be most sure

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