There is the moral of all human tales;
Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
First Freedom, and then Glory — when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption, — barbarism at last.
From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. And here he is on modern Britain:
Kingdoms are shrunk to provinces, and chains
Clank over sceptred cities, nations melt
From power’s high pinnacle, when they have felt
The sunshine for a while, and downward go
Like lauwine loosen’d from the mountain’s belt:
“lauwine” is nice. “Lavin” in Swedish is an avalanche. I wonder if this is a Scots/Norse word.