Ode To Napoleon Buonaparte Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


'Expends Annibalem quot libras in duce summoA
Invenies JUVENAL Sat XB
Tis done but yesterday a KingC
And arm'd with Kings to striveD
And now thou art a nameless thingC
So abject yet aliveD
Is this the man of thousand thronesB
Who strew'd our earth with hostile bonesB
And can he thus surviveD
Since he miscall'd the Morning StarE
Nor man nor fiend bath fallen so farE
Ill minded man why scourge thy kindF
Who bow'd so low the kneeG
By gazing on thyself grown blindF
Thou taught'st the rest to seeG
With might unquestion'd power to saveH
Thine only gift hath been the graveH
To those that worshipp'd theeG
Nor till thy fall could mortals guessB
Ambition's less than littlenessB
Thanks for that lesson It will teachI
To after warriors moreJ
Than high Philosophy can preachI
And vainly preach 'd beforeJ
That spell upon the minds of menK
Breaks never to unite againK
That led them to adoreJ
Those Pagod things of sabre swayL
With fronts of brass and feet of clayL
The triumph and the vanityG
The rapture of the strifeH
The earthquake voice of VictoryG
To thee the breath of lifeH
The sword the sceptre and that swayL
Which man seem'd made but to obeyL
Wherewith renown was rifeH
All quell'd Dark Spirit what must beG
The madness of thy memoryG
The Desolator desolateM
The Victor overthrownN
The Arbiter of others' fateO
A Suppliant for his ownN
Is it some yet imperial hopeP
That with such change can calmly copeP
Or dread of death aloneN
To die a prince or live a slaveH
Thy choice is most ignobly braveH
He who of old would rend the oakQ
Dream'd not of the reboundR
Chain'd by the trunk he vainly brokeQ
Alone how look'd he roundR
Thou in the sternness of thy strengthS
An equal deed halt done at lengthS
And darker fate hast foundR
He fell the forest prowlers' preyL
But thou must eat thy heart awayL
The Roman when his burning heartT
Was slaked with blood of RomeA
Threw down the dagger dared departT
In savage grandeur homeA
He dared depart in utter scornU
Of men that such a yoke had borneU
Yet left him such a doomA
His only glory was that hourV
Of self upheld abandon'd powerV
The Spaniard when the lust of swayL
Had lost its quickening spellW
Cast crowns for rosaries awayL
An empire for a cellW
A strict accountant of his beadsB
A subtle disputant on creedsB
His dotage trifled wellW
Yet better had he neither knownN
A bigot's shrine nor despot's throneN
But thou from thy reluctant handX
The thunderbolt is wrungY
Too late thou leav'st the high commandX
To which thy weakness clungY
All Evil Spirit as thou artT
It is enough to grieve the heartT
To see thine own unstrungY
To think that God's fair world hath beenZ
The footstool of a thing so meanA2
And Earth hath spilt her blood for himA
Who thus can hoard his ownN
And Monarchs bow'd the trembling limbA
And thank'd him for a throneN
Fair Freedom we may hold thee dearB2
When thus thy mightiest foes their fearB2
In humblest guise have shownN
Oh ne'er may tyrant leave behindF
A brighter name to lure mankindF
Thine evil deeds are writ in goreJ
Nor written thus in vainC2
Thy triumphs tell of fame no moreJ
Or deepen every stainC2
If thou hadst died as honour diesB
Some new Napoleon might ariseB
To shame the world againK
But who would soar the solar heightD2
To set in such a starless nightD2
Weigh'd in the balance hero dustE2
Is vile as vulgar clayL
Thy scales Mortality are justE2
To all that pass awayL
But yet methought the living greatO
Some higher sparks should animateM
To dazzle and dismayL
Nor deem'd Contempt could thus make mirthF2
Of these the Conquerors of the earthF2
And she proud Austria's mournful flowerV
Thy still imperial brideG2
How bears her breast the torturing hourV
Still clings she to thy sideG2
Must she too bend must she too shareH2
Thy late repentance long despairH2
Thou throneless HomicideG2
If still she loves thee hoard that gemA
'Tisworth thy vanish'd diademA
Then haste thee to thy sullen IsleI2
And gaze upon the seaB
That element may meet thy smileI2
It ne'er was ruled by theeB
Or trace with thine all idle handX
In loitering mood upon the sandX
That Earth is now as freeB
That Corinth's pedagogue hath nowJ2
Transferr'd his by word to thy browJ2
Thou Timour in his captive's cageK2
What thoughts will there be thineL2
While brooding in thy prison'd rageK2
But one 'The world was mine '-
Unless like he of BabylonM2
All sense is with thy sceptre goneN2
Life will not long confineL2
That spirit pour'd so widely forthO2
So long obey'd so little worthF2
Or like the thief of fire from heavenP2
Wilt thou withstand the shockY
And share with him the unforgivenP2
His vulture and his rockY
Foredoom'd by God by man accurstX
And that last act though not thy worstX
The very Fiend's arch mockY
He in his fall preserved his prideX
And if a mortal had as proudly diedX
There was a day there was an hourV
While earth was Gaul's Gaul thineL2
When that immeasurable powerV
Unsated to resignL2
Had been an act of purer fameA
Than gathers round Marengo's nameA
And gilded thy declineL2
Through the long twilight of all timeA
Despite some passing clouds of crimeA
But thou forsooth must be a kingY
And don the purple vestX
As f that foolish robe could wringY
Remembrance from thy breastX
Where is that faded garment whereH2
The gewgaws thou Overt fond to wearH2
The star the string the crestX
Vain froward child of empire sayB
Are all thy playthings snatched awayB
Where may the wearied eye reposeB
When gazing on the GreatX
Where neither guilty glory glowsB
Nor despicable stateX
Yes one the first the last the bestX
The Cincinnatus of the WestX
Whom envy dared not hateX
Bequeath'd the name of WashingtonP2
To make man blush there was but oneP2

George Gordon Byron


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