A Base Ambition (a Cento)

Men bled in imitation of
the rotting dead they feared
~ fought, conquered, and
the same course steered

with a deaf heart, framed
with the still fiercer vanity
of a fool of false dominion,
a slave to claimed supremacy.

And from their barren being
did grow a cold omnipotence...
until their crimes were triumph,
and free thoughts accidents.

All creeds thus modelled still
have men in chains; much misery
we reap, where gladiator gods
wage war on life with 'dignity'.



(the words in this Cento are from
Harold Childe's Pilgrimage, by Lord
Byron, specifically: Canto the fourth,
verses LXXXVII - XCV)

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