A Welcome to Louis Philippe

We do not cheer thee, faithless king,
Nor shout before thee now;
We have no reverence for a thing
So false of heart as thou:
We form no crowds to welcome thee,
And yet we cannot hate—
Though parricide of liberty—
An old man desolate.

When, in such sudden dark eclipse,
We see thine overthrow;
The hisses die upon our lips,
We turn and let thee go.
Poor, weak, denuded royalty,
So abject, so forlorn,
The greatness of thy misery
Shall shield thee from our scorn.

We saw thee yesterday elate
In majesty and pride,
Thy flowing wealth, thy gorgeous state,
Thy power half deified.
Based on the faults of humankind
We saw thy meshes lurk,
And constant Fortune's favoring wind
Still waft thee tools to work.

We saw thee building, building up
Thy pomps before our eyes,
And ever in thy flowing cup
The sparkling bubbles rise:—
Alliance, worship, all were thine,
And, spectacle unmeet,
Ev'n genius, drunk with bribery's wine,
Lay grovelling at thy feet.

When earnest men affirm'd the right,
And ask'd the judging Heaven,
If ever, since the birth of light,
Had fraud and falsehood thriven?
Our fingers pointed with mistrust
To thee as our reply—
A living mockery of the just,
That gave their truth the lie.

All this thou wert but yester-morn—
Thy fall is Freedom's birth;
To-day thou art a mark for scorn,
A vagrant on the earth.
A truth pervading all the lands
Inspired the people's heart—
It throbb'd, it beat, it nerved their hands—
It made thee what thou art.

Lo, like a coward, self-accused,
We saw thee skulk and fly,
And hug a life that none refused,
For want of strength to die.
To 'scape th' imaginary chase
That made thy soul afraid,
We saw thy shifts, thy shaven face,
Thy piteous masquerade.

We blush'd, we groan'd, to see thee seek
Mean safety in disguise,
And, like a knavish bankrupt, sneak
From sight of honest eyes.
Forlorn old man, our hate expires
At spectacle like this—
Our pity kindles all its fires—
We have not heart to hiss.

Live on—thou hast not lived in vain.
A mighty truth uprears
Its radiant forehead o'er thy reign,
And lights the coming years:
Though specious Tyranny be strong,
Humanity is true,
And Empire based upon a wrong
Is rotten through and through.

Though falsehoods into system wrought,
Condensed into a plan,
May stand awhile, their power is nought—
There is a God in man.
His revolutions speak in ours,
And make His justice plain—
Old man forlorn, live out thine hours,
Thou hast not lived in vain.
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