To be the father of the fatherless,
To stretch the hand from the throne's height, and raise
His offspring, who expired in other days
To make thy Sire's sway by a kingdom less, - [ih]
This is to be a monarch, and repress
Envy into unutterable praise.
Dismiss thy guard, and trust thee to such traits,
For who would lift a hand, except to bless?[ii]
Were it not easy, Sir, and is't not sweet
To make thyself belovéd? and to be
Omnipotent by Mercy's means? for thus
Thy Sovereignty would grow but more complete,
A despot thou, and yet thy people free,[ij]
And by the heart - not hand - enslaving us.
Bologna, August 12, 1819.
[First published, Letters and Journals, ii. 234, 235.]