Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

Felix Opportunitate Mortis - Poem by Alfred Austin

Exile or Caesar? Death hath solved thy doubt,
And made thee certain of thy changeless fate;
And thou no more hast wearily to wait,
Straining to catch the people's tarrying shout
That from unrestful rest would drag thee out,
And push thee to those pinnacles of State
Round which throng courtly loves, uncourted hate,
Servility's applause, and envy's flout.
Twice happy boy! though cut off in thy flower,
The timeliest doom of all thy race is thine:
Saved from the sad alternative, to pine
For heights unreached, or icily to tower,
Like Alpine crests that only specious shine,
And glitter on the lonely peak of Power.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010

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