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CXXXVI. From mighty wrongs to petty perfidy Have I not seen what human things could do? From the loud roar of foaming calumny To the small whisper of the as paltry few, And subtler venom of the reptile crew, The Janus glance of whose significant eye, Learning to lie with silence, would seem trne, And without utterance, save the shrug or sigh, Deal round to happy fools its speechless obloquy.
CXXXVII. But I have lived, and have not lived in vain: My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire, And my frame perish' even in conquering pain, But there is that within me which shall tire Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire; Something unearthly, which they deem not of, Like the remember'd tone of a mute lyre, Shall on their soften'd spirits sink, and move In hearts all rocky now the late remorse of love. VOL. VII.
CXXXVIII. The seal is set. Now welcome, thou dread power Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here Walk’st in the shadow of the midnight hour With a deep awe, yet all distinct from fear; Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls rear Their ivy mantles, and the solemn scene Derives from thee a sense so deep and clear That we become a part of what has been, And grow unto the spot, all - seeing but unseen.
CXXXIX. And here the buzz of eager
nations In murmur'd pity, or loud-roar'd applause, As man was slaughter'd by his fellow man. And wherefore slaughter'd? wherefore, but because Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, And the imperial pleasure. – Wherefore not? What matters where we fall to fill the maws Of worms on battle - plains or listed spot ? Both are but theatres where the chief actors rot.
CXL. I see before me the Gladiator lie: $9 * He leans upon his hands his manly brow Consents to death, but conquers agony, And his drooped head sinks gradually low And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one, Like the first of a thunder shower; and now The arena swims around him – he is gone, Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hail'd the wretch
CXLI. He heard it, but he heeded not his eyes Were with his heart, and that was far away He reck'd not of the life he lost nor prize, But wlivre his rude hut by the Danube lay There were his young barbarians all at play, There was their Dacian mother - he, their sire, Bulcbeild to make a Roman holiday All this rush'l with his blood
Shall he expire And unavenged? – Arise! ye Goths, and glut your
CXLII. But here, where Murder breathed her bloody steam; And here, where buzzing nations choked the
ways, And roar'd or murmur'd like a mountain stream Dashing or winding as its torrent strays; Here, where the Roman million's blame or praise Was death or life, the playthings of a crowd, 61 My voice sounds much — and fall the stars' faint rays On the arena voidseats crush'd - walls how'd. And galleries, where my steps seem echoes strangely
CXLIII. A ruin yet what ruin! from its mass Walls, palaces, half-cities, have been rear'd; Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass And marvel the spoil could have appear’d. Hath it indeed been plunder'd, or but clear'd? Alas! developed, opens the decay, When the colossal fabric's form is near'd: It will not bear the brightness of the day, Which strearns too much on all years, man, have
CXLLV. But when the rising moon begins to climb Its topmost arch, and gently pauses there; When the stars twinkle through the loops of time, And the low night - breeze waves along the air The garland - forest, which the gray walls wear, Like laurels on the bald first Caesar's head; 62 When the light sbines serene but doth not glare, Then in this magic circle raise the dead: Heroes have trod this spot-'tis on their dust ye tread.
CXLV. “While stands tlie Coliseum, Bome shall stand; 63 “When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; “And when Rome falls the World." From our
own land Thus spake the pilgrims o'er this mighty wall In Saxon times, which we are wont to call Ancient; and these three mortal things are still On their foundations, and unalter'd all ; Rome and her Ruin past Redemption's skill, The World, the same wide den-of thieves, or what