Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
7. Death’s Epitaph
 
From “The House of Night”
 
By Philip Freneau
 
 
DEATH in this tomb his weary bones hath laid,
Sick of dominion o’er the human kind;
Behold what devastations he hath made,
Survey the millions by his arm confined.
 
“Six thousand years has sovereign sway been mine,        5
None but myself can real glory claim;
Great Regent of the world I reigned alone,
And princes trembled when my mandate came.
 
“Vast and unmatched throughout the world, my fame
Takes place of gods, and asks no mortal date—        10
No: by myself, and by the heavens, I swear
Not Alexander’s name is half so great.
 
“Nor swords nor darts my prowess could withstand,
All quit their arms, and bowed to my decree,—
Even mighty Julius died beneath my hand,        15
For slaves and Cæsars were the same to me!”
 
Traveller, wouldst thou his noblest trophies seek,
Search in no narrow spot obscure for those;
The sea profound, the surface of all land,
Is moulded with the myriads of his foes.        20
 

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