To a Government

Yes , we are mighty: yet such things have been,
As the imperceptible exit of proud Power,
When in a Nation whoso watched hath seen
Lax guardship of her dower.

Lords of Unthrift, it is of little use
To caulk and solder tiny leaks to-day,
If, in vast torrent, through your open sluice,
Treasure be drained away.

War, with her secret burrow in ocean's breast,
And hellish ambush in the heavenly air —
War found you wise: and is fell Peace the test
Your wisdom least can bear?

Look, — the sweet truant, beloved Prosperity,
To happier lands returning, shuns these shores,
Where, daily engulfed as in some hungry sea,
Million on million pours.

Lock, lock the floodgates. Lag not now; for when
The leaders halt and hover, Fate makes haste!
And loftiest, noblest wasters may be then
Cast rudely forth as waste.
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