Lord Byron

To Belshazzar

Belshazzar! from the banquet turn, Nor in thy sensual fulness fall; Behold! while yet before thee burn The graven words, the glowing wall. Many a despot men miscall Crown’d and anointed from on high; But thou, the weakest, worst of all­ Is it not written, thou must die? Go! dash the roses from thy brow– Grey hairs but poorly wreathe with them; Youth’s garlands misbecome thee now, More than thy very diadem, Where thou hast tarnish’d every gem: Then throw the worthless bauble by, Which, worn by thee, ev’n slaves con­temn; And learn like better men to die! Oh! early in the balance weigh’d, And ever light of word and worth, Whose soul expired ere youth decay’d, And left thee but a mass of earth. To see thee moves the scorner’s mirth: But tears in Hope’s averted eye Lament that even thou hadst birth– Unfit to govern, live, or die.

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