Disease! Man’s dread, relentless foe,
Fell source of fear, and pain, and woe!
O say, on what ill-fated coast
They mourn thy tyrant reign the most?
On Java’s bogs, or Gambia’s sand,
Or Persia’s sultry southern strand;
Or Egypt’s annual-flooded plain,
Or Rome’s neglected, waste domain;
Or where her walls Byzantium rears,
And mosques and turrets crescent-crown’d,
And from his high serail the sultan hears
The wide Propontis’ beating waves resound.
I’ll ask no more — Our clime, tho’ fair,
Enough thy tyrant reign must share;
And lovers there, and friends, complain,
By Thee their friends and lovers slain:
And yet our Avarice and our Pride
Combine to spread thy mischiefs wide;
While that the captive wretch confines,
To hunger, cold, and filth resigns, —
And this the funeral pomp attends
To vaults, where mouldering corses lie, —
Amid foul air thy form unseen ascends,
And like a vulture hovers in the sky.