They come, they come, in thronging hosts,
Round Bismarck's couch--the pallid ghosts
Of men swept off before their time,
In youth, in age, and manhood's prime.
They come from every battle-plain,
Where lay th' unburied, gory slain,
From tents and hospitals they glide,
To stand at midnight by his side.
Vassals and foes together stand,
And, pointing to the shadowy land,
"Why didst thou send us there?" demand.
"Demon! It was the lustful pride--
Like Lucifer's, who God defy'd,
Which spread around such carnage wide.
"Thy robber hand on Denmark first
Unjustly fell with weight accurst,
And every petty German power
Applauded thee in that dark hour.
"To be thy tool then Austria stoop'd,
And for reward by thee was duped.
Kings are dethroned, nations enslaved,
The scorn and hate of Europe braved,
"To pleasure thy vain-glorious mind;
A patriot's name thine artful blind.
Scourge of thy country and thy kind,
Hark to thy victim's dying groans,
Their widows' and their orphans' moans,
Ascending in accusing tones
"To yonder distant realms above,
Where dwells the God of peace and love!
When Time before His bar shall bring
Thee and thy puppet, Prussia's king,
"Tyrants! how shall ye both appear,
When thunder'd forth your crimes ye hear,
Your earthly glories vanish'd, flown,
Ye stand condemn'd before God's throne?
"Now, with success triumphant flush'd,
Your wretched victims humbled, crush'd,
All better feelings stifled, hush'd. Then, rising from the dark, cold tomb,
Surrounded by death's ghastly gloom,
Ye hear your everlasting doom--
"'Depart from me, accursed, go,
To regions of eternal woe,
With spirits of the lost to share
The untold horrors of despair.'"
Round Bismarck's couch such was the strain
The spectres chanted, but in vain;
His stony heart is deaf to all,
Except Ambition's frenzied call!