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348 Alexander at Paradise ^
" Lord King , the Immortal ' s Gift , Has that which passes show;—Though light enough for a babe to lift , It outweighs all the wealth below . Let the balance straight be brought , And the gold of thy rich stores laid Against it—all will be as nought
With that light fragment weighed . "The treasure was brought , and in heaps uprolled—But the bone weighed down the Conqueror ' s gold I " I see thee , Prince , amazed At the marvel I have shown ; But know , the more the pile is raised , The more will the Gift sink down .
Dosf thou ask me how or why ? I have come to answer all—That bone is the cell of a human eye , And it once contained a ball , Whose thirst of gain nought ever could slak « , Though the Sea had been changed to a Golden Lake . ' * " Can there nought , " said the musing King , " To sink the rich scale be found
?"—The Old Man stepped from the tent to bring A turf from the broken ground ; He crumbled the earth on the bone—Down sunk the golden scale : . " Behold , proud Monarch ! the moral shown Of thine and of every tale ! When the dust of the grave shall seal it d ' er ^ The insatiate eye can desire no more . "
" My guards ! " —Alexander cried" Dares the dotard brave me here ?"With an eye of death the Seer he eyed—But it soon was fixed in fear ! The snows of earthly age
Became locks of starry prime ; The form and face of the Stranger-sage Wore a glory unknown to time ; And they , who had seen the bright gates expand , Remembered the Guard of the Paradise-land 1
" Farewell , proud Prince !"—he said , And his voice like music rung" Farewell , proud Prince !—thou hast ill repaid The lore of a Seraph's tongue ! Farewell for ever !"—and bright
His rainbow plumes unfold , And the radiant form is lost to sight In a cloud of purple and gold . Ere a pulse could beat , was the Bright One gone , And . behind was left but the Gift alone .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), May 2, 1827, page 348, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1796/page/36/