Peter John Allan

Ambition

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Who says that power is bliss? The glory
Bought by a million's blood for one
To reign, to die, yet live in story--
The greatest murderer 'neath the sun!
Who envies such a fate? The madness
That weaves of straw the fancied crown
Is happier in its frantic gladness,
Than he upon his couch of down.
Ambition's vulture gnaws not ever.
The monarch's soul may sometimes start
From dreams, whose wizard spell to sever
Were harder than with life to part.
What memories must then awaken
Of justice scorned in guilty pride?
How must the conqueror's heart be shaken
In wasting passion's lava tide!
That swift convulsion of the spirit,
So brief, so fierce, yet soon forgot,
Ambition's sons must all inherit.
'Tis Satan's, and 'twas Xerxes' lot.

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