No Assassination.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Laissons le glaive à Rome.")

[Bk. III. xvi., October, 1852.]

Pray Rome put up her poniard!
And Sparta sheathe the sword;
Be none too prompt to punish,
And cast indignant word!
Bear back your spectral Brutus
From robber Bonaparte;
Time rarely will refute us
Who doom the hateful heart.

Ye shall be o'ercontented,
My banished mates from home,
But be no rashness vented
Ere time for joy shall come.
No crime can outspeed Justice,
Who, resting, seems delayed -
Full faith accord the angel
Who points the patient blade.

The traitor still may nestle
In balmy bed of state,
But mark the Warder, watching
His guardsman at his gate.
He wears the crown, a monarch -
Of knaves and stony hearts;
But though they're blessed by Senates,
None can escape the darts!

Though shored by spear and crozier,
All know the arrant cheat,
And shun the square of pavement
Uncertain at his feet!
Yea, spare the wretch, each brooding
And secret-leaguers' chief,
And make no pistol-target
Of stars upon the thief.

The knell of God strikes seldom
But in the aptest hour;
And when the life is sweetest,
The worm will feel His power!

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