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.
Other works by Lord Byron...
Windsor Poetics: Lines Composed on the Occasion of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent Being Seen Standing Between the Coffins of Henry Viii and Charles I, in the Royal Vault at Windsor
Famed for contemptuous breach of s
By headless Charles see heartless
Between them stands another sceptr
It moves, it reigns—in all but nam
Charles to his people, Henry to h