Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/432

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And expound the words of fear,
Which mar our royal mirth."


Chaldea's seers are good,
But here they have no skill;
And the unknown letters stood
Untold and awful still.
And Babel's men of age
Are wise and deep in lore;
But now they were not sage,
They saw—but knew no more.


A captive in the land,
A stranger and a youth,[1]
He heard the King's command,
He saw that writing's truth.
The lamps around were bright,
The prophecy in view;
He read it on that night,—
The morrow proved it true.


"Belshazzar's grave is made,[2]
His kingdom passed away,
He, in the balance weighed,
Is light and worthless clay;
The shroud, his robe of state,
His canopy the stone;
The Mede is at his gate!
The Persian on his throne!"

  1. [It was not in his youth, but in extreme old age, that Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall."]
  2. Oh king thy grave ——.—[Copy erased.]