There reigns a prince, whose hand the sceptre claims

——There reigns a prince, whose hand the sceptre claims,
Thro' a long lineage of imperial names;
Where the brave roll of following Incas trace
The distant father of their realm and race,
Immortal Capac. He in youthful pride,
With fair Oella, his illustrious bride,
In virtuous guile, proclaim'd their birth begun,
From the pure splendors of their God, the sun;
With power and dignity a throne to found,
Fix the mild sway and spread their arts around;
Crush the dire Gods that human victims claim,
And point all worship to a nobler name;
With cheerful rites, the due devotions pay
To the bright beam, that gives the changing day.
——On this fair plan, the children of the skies
Bade, in the wild, a growing empire rise;
Beneath their hand, and sacred to their fame,
Rose yon fair walls, that meet the solar flame.
Succeeding sovereigns spread their bounds afar,
By arts of peace and temper'd force of war;
Till these surrounding realms the sceptre own,
And grateful millions hail the genial sun.

——In those blank periods, where no man can trace
The gleams of thought that first illumed his race,
His errors, twined with science, took their birth
And forged their fetters for this child of earth.
And when, as oft, he dared expand his view
And work with nature on the line she drew,
Some monster, gender'd in his fears, unmann'd
His opening soul and marr'd the works he plann'd.
Fear, the first passion of his helpless state,
Redoubles all the woes that round him wait,
Blocks nature's path and sends him wandering wide,
Without a guardian and without a guide.
——Beat by the storm, refresht by gentle rain,
By sunbeams cheer'd or foundered in the main,
He bows to every force he can't control,
Endows them all with intellect and soul,
With passions various, turbulent and strong,
Rewarding virtue and avenging wrong,
Gives heaven and earth to their supernal doom
And swells their sway beyond the closing tomb.
Hence rose his gods, that mystic monstrous lore
Of blood-stain'd altars of priestly power,
Hence blind credulity on all dark things,
False morals hence and hence the yoke of kings.
——Accustom'd thus to bow the suppliant head
And reverence powers that shake his heart with dread,
His pliant faith extends with easy ken
From heavenly hosts to heaven-anointed men;
The sword, the tripod join their mutual aids
To film his eyes with more impervious shades,
Create a sceptred idol and enshrine
The robber chief in attributes divine,
Arm the new phantom with the nation's rod
And hail the dreadful delegate of God.

The mask of priesthood and the mace of kings,
Lie trampled in the dust; for here at last
Fraud, folly, error all their emblems cast.
Each envoy here unloads his wearied hand
Of some old idol from his native land;
One flings a pagod on the mingled heap,
One lays a crescent, one a cross to sleep;
Swords, sceptres, mitres, crowns and globes and stars.
Codes of false fame and stimulants to wars
Sink in the settling mass; since guile began,
These are the agents of the woes of man.
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