Emperors and kings! in vain you strive
    Your torments to conceal—
The age is come that shakes your thrones,
Tramples in dust despotic crowns,
    And bids the sceptre fail.

In western worlds the flame began:
    From thence to France it flew—
Through Europe, now, it takes its way,
Beams an insufferable day,
    And lays all tyrants low.

Genius of France! pursue the chace
    Till Reason’s laws restore
Man to be Man, in every clime;—
That Being, active, great, sublime
Debas’d in dust no more.

In dreadful pomp he takes his way
    O’er ruin’d crowns, demolish’d thrones—
        Pale tyrants shrink before his blaze—
Round him terrific lightnings play—
    With eyes of fire, he looks them through,
    Crushes the vile despotic crew,
        And Pride in ruin lays.

This poem is in the public domain.