The Tower of Famine
Published by Mrs. Shelley in "The Keepsake", 1829. Mr. C.W. Frederickson of Brooklyn possesses a transcript in Mrs. Shelley's handwriting.
Amid the desolation of a city, Which was the cradle, and is now the grave Of an extinguished people,-so that Pity
Weeps o'er the shipwrecks of Oblivion's wave, There stands the Tower of Famine. It is built Upon some prison-homes, whose dwellers rave
For bread, and gold, and blood: Pain, linked to Guilt, Agitates the light flame of their hours, Until its vital oil is spent or spilt.
There stands the pile, a tower amid the towers And sacred domes; each marble-ribbed roof, The brazen-gated temples, and the bowers
Of solitary wealth,-the tempest-proof Pavilions of the dark Italian air,- Are by its presence dimmed-they stand aloof,
And are withdrawn-so that the world is bare; As if a spectre wrapped in shapeless terror Amid a company of ladies fair
Should glide and glow, till it became a mirror Of all their beauty, and their hair and hue, The life of their sweet eyes, with all its error, Should be absorbed, till they to marble grew.
NOTE: _7 For]With 1829.