An Avenger for the State, by Theognis of Megara

An Avenger for the State

Our state is pregnant; shortly to produce
A rude avenger of prolong'd abuse.
The commons hitherto seem sober-minded,
But their superiors are corrupt and blinded.
The rule of noble spirits, brave and high,
Never endanger'd peace and harmony.
The supercilious, arrogant pretence
Of feeble minds; weakness and insolence;
Justice and truth and law wrested aside
By crafty shifts of avarice and pride;
These are our ruins, Kurnus!--never dream
(Tranquil and undisturb'd as it may seem)
Of future peace or safety to the state;
Bloodshed and strife will follow soon or late.
Never imagine that a ruin'd land
Will trust her destiny to your command,
To be remodell'd by a single hand.

poems.one - Theognis of Megara