The winds sweep by him on his mountain throne,
Hurling the clouds together at his feet,
Till Earth is hidden, lost, and swallow'd up
As in the flood of waters,--and he sits
Eyeing the boundless firmament above,
Proud and unruffled, till his heart exclaims,--
"I am a god, Heaven is my home,--the Earth
Serveth me but for footstool."
The strong winds
Sweep on, and wide his pinions spreadeth he,--
"Bear me afar!" and on the mighty storm
He rides triumphant, spurning the dim Earth--
Whither, O whither goest thou? What star
Shall raise its mountains for thee? What far orb
Echo the fierceness of thy battle-cry?
What dost thou when the thunder is unloosed?
"I sit amongst the crags, and feel the Earth
Tremble beneath me, whilst my heart is firm.
I gaze upon the lightning, and my lid
Quivers not. Is their aught 'neath which my gaze
Quaileth, or waxeth faint--I read the sun
Undazzled where the stars grow dim and pale.
"Men gather them to battle--host meets host--
And I am borne aloft to marshal them,--
I, the great King of Battles, that go forth
Conquering and to conquer. So do men
Worship me. Oh! the mighty crash ascends,--
The shoutings, and the glory, and the woe,
One great full chaunt of homage to mine ears,--
And there I wait the while the sacrifice
Is slain before me; then down with a swoop
I get me from my skyey throne, and dye
Deep in the ruddy stream my talons grey--
Hurrah! hurrah! blood red's the flag for me!"
The time will come, proud one, when thou shalt die!
"Die! Death I cast from me as these loose plumes
That moult out from my pinions--let them go
To Earth, and Death go with them, both I leave
To mortals. What have I to do with Time?
Let him pat forth his speed--these wings of mine
Shall match him stroke for stroke, until we reach
The limits of his empire, and I shake him off
Like dust upon the threshold of the world."