Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Behold the Wrecks of Ages

The True Basis of Power
by Sir Aubrey De Vere


Power's footstool is Opinion, and his throne
The Human Heart: thus only Kings maintain
Prerogatives God-sanctioned. The coarse chain
Tyrants would bind around us may be blown
Aside, like foam, that with a breath is gone:
For there's a tide within the popular vein
That despots in their pride may not restrain;
Swoln with a vigour that is all its own.
Ye who would steer along these donbtful seas,
Lifting your proud sails to high heaven, beware!
Rocks throng the waves, and tempests load the breeze:
Go, search the shores of History—mark there
The Oppressor's lot, the Tyrant's destinies:
Behold the Wrecks of Ages; and despair!

Aubrey De Vere's son, Aubrey Thomas De Vere, is the more famous poet of the two.

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