Oh, just, subtle, and mighty opium! that to the hearts of poor and
rich alike, for the wounds that will never heal, and for "the pangs
that tempt the spirit to rebel," bringest an assuaging balm; eloquent
opium! that with thy potent rhetoric stealest away the purposes of
wrath; and to the guilty man for one night givest back the hopes of
his youth, and hands washed pure from blood; and to the proud man a
brief oblivion for
Wrongs undress'd and insults unavenged;
that summonest to the chancery of dreams, for the triumphs of
suffering innocence, false witnesses; and confoundest perjury, and
dost reverse the sentences of unrighteous judges;--thou buildest upon
the bosom of darkness, out of the fantastic imagery of the brain,
cities and temples beyond the art of Phidias and Praxiteles--beyond
the splendour of Babylon and Hekatompylos, and "from the anarchy of
dreaming sleep" callest into sunny light the faces of long-buried
beauties and the blessed household countenances cleansed from the
"dishonours of the grave." Thou only givest these gifts to man; and
thou hast the keys of Paradise, oh, just, subtle, and mighty opium!
Thomas De Quincey

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