Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Gone in the Wind
By James Clarence Mangan (1803–1849)
 
SOLOMON, where is thy throne? It is gone in the wind.
Babylon, where is thy might? It is gone in the wind.
Like the swift shadows of noon, like the dreams of the blind,
Vanish the glories and pomps of the earth in the wind.
 
Man, canst thou build upon aught in the pride of thy mind?        5
Wisdom will teach thee that nothing can tarry behind:
Tho’ there be thousand bright actions embalm’d and enshrined,
Myriads and millions of brighter are snow in the wind.
 
Solomon, where is thy throne? It is gone in the wind.
Babylon, where is thy might? It is gone in the wind.        10
All that the genius of man hath achieved or design’d
Waits but its hour to be dealt with as dust by the wind.
 
Say what is pleasure? A phantom, a mask undefined:
Science? An almond whereof we can pierce but the rind:
Honour and affluence? Firmans that Fortune hath sign’d,        15
Only to glitter and pass on the wings of the wind.
 
Solomon, where is thy throne? It is gone in the wind.
Babylon, where is thy might? It is gone in the wind.
Who is the fortunate? He who in anguish hath pined!
He shall rejoice when his relics are dust in the wind.        20
 
Mortal, be careful with what thy best hopes are entwined:
Woe to the miners for Truth, where the lampless have mined!
Woe to the seekers on earth for what none ever find!
They and their trust shall be scatter’d like leaves to the wind!
 
Solomon, where is thy throne? It is gone in the wind.        25
Babylon, where is thy might? It is gone in the wind.
Happy in death are they only whose hearts have consign’d
All earth’s affections and longings and cares to the wind.
 
Pity thou, reader, the madness of poor humankind
Raving of knowledge—and Satan so busy to blind!        30
Raving of glory, like me; for the garlands I bind,
Garlands of song, are but gather’d—and strewn in the wind.
 
Solomon, where is thy throne? It is gone in the wind.
Babylon, where is thy might? It is gone in the wind.
I, Abul-Namez, must rest; for my fire is declined,        35
And I hear voices from Hades like bells on the wind.
 
 
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