Lines, Extempore

BY THOMAS PAINE, JULY, 1803.

QUICK as the lightning's vivid flash

The poet's eye o'er Europe rolls;

Sees battles rage, hears tempests crash,

And dims at horror's threatening scowls.

Mark ambition's ruthless king,

With crimsoned banners scathe the globe;

While trailing after conquest's wing,

Man's festering wounds his demons probe.

Palled with streams of reeking gore

That stain the proud imperial day,

He turns to view the western shore,

Where freedom holds her boundless sway.

'Tis here her sage triumphant sways

An empire in the people's love;

'Tis here the sovereign will obeys

No king but Him who rules above.