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The Sleep – years of



Tarpeian, fittest goal of Treason's race, The nympholepsy of some fond despair; The promontory whence the Traitor's Or, it might be, a beauty of the earth, Leap

Who found a more than common votary Cured all ambition ? Did the conquerors

there heap

Too much adoring; whatsoe'er thy birth, Their spoils here? Yes; and in yon | Thou wert a beautiful thought, and softly field below,

bodied forth. A thousand years of silenced factions sleep —

CXVI The Forum, where the immortal accents The mosses of thy fountain still are glow,

sprinkled And still the eloquent air breathes - burns With thine Elysian water-drops; the face with Cicero !

Of thy cave-guarded spring, with years

unwrinkled, CXIII

Reflects the meek-eyed genius of the The field of freedom, faction, fame, and place, blood:

Whose green, wild margin now no more Here a proud people's passions were ex

erase haled,

Art's works; nor must the delicate waters From the first hour of empire in the

sleep, bud

Prison'd in marble; bubbling from the To that when further worlds to conquer

base fail'd;

Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap But long before had Freedom's face been | The rill runs o'er, and round, fern, flowers, veil’d,

and ivy creep, And Anarchy assumed her attributes; Till every lawless soldier who assail'd

CXVII Trod on the trembling senate's slavish Fantastically tangled. The green hills mutes,

Are clothed with early blossoms, through Or raised the venal voice of baser prosti

the grass tutes.

The quick-eyed lizard rustles, and the bills

Of summer-birds sing welcome as ye CXIV

pass; Then turn we to her latest tribune's Flowers fresh in hue, and many in their name,

class, From her ten thousand tyrants turn to Implore the pausing step, and with their thee,


1050 Redeemer of dark centuries of shame — Dance in the soft breeze in a fairy The friend of Petrarch — hope of Italy

mass; Rienzi! last of Romans! While the The sweetness of the violet's deep blue tree

eyes, Of freedom's wither'd trunk puts forth a Kiss'd by the breath of heaven, seems leaf,

colour'd by its skies. Even for thy tomb a garland let it beThe forum’s champion, and the people's

CXVIII chief

Here didst thou dwell, in this enchanted Her new-born Numa thou — with reign,

cover, alas, too brief.

Egeria ! thy all heavenly bosom beating

For the far footsteps of thy mortal lover. CXV

The purple Midnight veil'd that mystic Egeria, sweet creation of some heart

meeting Which found no mortal resting-place so With her most starry canopy; and seating fair

1028 Thyself by thine adorer, what befell ? As thine ideal breast! whate'er thou art This cave was surely shaped out for the Or wert, - a young Aurora of the air,




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Of an enamour'd Goddess, and the cell

CXXII Haunted by holy Love — the earliest Of its own beauty is the mind diseased, oracle !

And fevers into false creation:— where,

Where are the forms the sculptor's soul CXIX

hath seized ? And didst thou not, thy breast to his re In him alone. Can Nature show so fair ? plying,

Where are the charms and virtues which Blend a celestial with a human heart;

we dare And Love, which dies as it was born, in Conceive in boyhood and pursue as men, sighing,

The unreach'd Paradise of our despair, Share with immortal transports ? Could Which o'er-informs the pencil and the thine art

pen, Make them indeed immortal, and im- | And overpowers the page where it would part

bloom again? The purity of heaven to earthly joys, Expel the venom and not blunt the dart

CXXIII The dull satiety which all destroys - Who loves, raves — 't is youth's frenzy; And root from out the soul the deadly weed but the cure which cloys ?

Is bitterer still. As charm by charm unwinds


Which robed our idols, and we see too Alas! our young affections run to waste, Or water but the desert; whence arise Nor worth nor beauty dwells from out But weeds of dark luxuriance, tares of

the mind's baste,

Ideal shape of such; yet still it binds Rank at the core, though tempting to the The fatal spell, and still it draws us on, eyes,

Reaping the whirlwind from the oftFlowers whose wild odours breathe but sown winds; agonies,

The stubborn heart, its alchemy begun, And trees whose gums are poison; — such Seems ever near the prize,- wealthiest when the plants

most undone. Which spring beneath her steps as Passion flies

сxxIV O'er the world's wilderness, and vainly We wither from our youth, we gasp pants

away For some celestial fruit forbidden to our Sick - sick; unfound the boon- unslaked wants.

the thirst,

Though to the last, in verge of our decay, CXXI

Some phantom lures, such as we sought Oh Love! no habitant of earth thou

at first

111 art

But all too late, — so are we doubly curst. An unseen seraph, we believe in thee, Love, fame, ambition, avarice - 't is the A faith whose martyrs are the broken

same, heart,

Each idle, and all ill, and none the But never yet hath seen, nor e'er shall

worst see

For all are meteors with a different name, The naked eye, thy form, as it should And Death the sable smoke where vanishes

the flame. The mind hath made thee, as it peopled heaven,

сxxy Even with its own desiring phantasy, Few — none — find what they love or And to a thought such shape and image

could have loved, given,

Though accident, blind contact, and the As haunts the unquench'd soul — parch'd

s strong
wearied — wrung - and riven. 1089 Necessity of loving, have removed





Antipathies — but to recur, ere long, 1120
Envenom'd with irrevocable wrong;
And Circumstance, that unspiritual god
And miscreator, makes and helps along

Our coming evils with a crutch-like rod, Whose touch turns Hope to dust, — the dust we all have trod.

CXXVI Our life is a false nature, 't is not in The harmony of things, this hard decree, This uneradicable taint of sin, This boundless upas, this all-blasting tree Whose root is earth, whose leaves and

branches be The skies which rain their plagues on

men like dew Disease, death, bondage — all the woes

we see — And worse, the woes we see not — which

throb through The immedicable soul, with heart-aches ever new.

CXXVII Yet let us ponder boldly; 't is a base Abandonment of reason to resign Our right of thought, our last and only

place Of refuge — this, at least, shall still be

mine. Though from our birth the faculty divine Is chain'd and tortured – cabin'd, cribb’d, confined,

1140 And bred in darkness, lest the truth should

shine Too brightly on the unprepared mind, The beam pours in, for time and skill will couch the blind.

CXXVIII Arches on arches ! as it were that Rome, Collecting the chief trophies of her line, Would build up all her triumphs in one

dome, Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams

shine As 't were its natural torches, for divine Should be the light which streams here,

to illume This long-explored but still exhaustless mine

1150 Of contemplation; and the azure gloom Of an Italian night, where the deep skies


Hues which have words and speak to ye

of heaven, Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monu

ment, And shadows forth its glory. There is

given Unto the things of earth, which Time

hath bent, A spirit's feeling; and where he hath

leant His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a

power And magic in the ruin'd battlement, For which the palace of the present

hour Must yield its pomp and wait till ages are its dower.

Oh, Time! the beautifier of the dead,
Adorner of the ruin, comforter
And only healer when the heart bath

bled -
Time ! the corrector where our judgments

err, The test of truth, love,– sole philosopher, For all besides are sophists, from thy

thrift Which never loses though it doth defer

Time, the avenger ! unto thee I lift My hands and eyes and heart, and crave of thee a gift:

сxxxІ Amidst this wreck, where thou hast made

a shrine And temple more divinely desolate, Among thy mightier offerings here are

mine, Ruins of years — though few, yet full of If thou hast ever seen me too elate, Hear me not; but if calmly I have borne Good, and reserved my pride against the

hate Which shall not whelm me, let me not

have worn This iron in my soul in vain — shall they

not mourn ?




And thou, who never yet of human wrong

1180 Left the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis!

Here, where the ancient paid thee homage Have I not had my brain sear'd, my heart long —

riven, Thou, who didst call the Furies from the Hopes sapp'd, name blighted, Life's life abyss,

lied away? And round Orestes bade them howl and And only not to desperation driven, hiss

Because not altogether of such clay For that unnatural retribution — just, As rots into the souls of those whom I survey. Had it but been from hands less near in this

CXXXVI Thy former realm, I call thee from the From mighty wrongs to petty perfidy dust!

Have I not seen what human things could Dost thou not hear my heart ? — Awake! I do? thou shalt, and must.

From the loud roar of foaming calumny

To the small whisper of the as paltry CXXXIII


1219 It is not that I may not have incurr’d And subtler venom of the reptile crew, For my ancestral faults or mine the The Janus glance of whose significanteye, wound


Learning to lie with silence, would seem I bleed withal, and, had it been conferr'd

true, With a just weapon, it had flow'd un And without utterance, save the shrug bound;

or sigh, But now my blood shall not sink in the Deal round to happy fools its speechless ground;

obloquy. To thee I do devote it - thou shalt take The vengeance, which shall yet be sought

CXXXVII and found,

But I have lived, and have not lived in Which if I have not taken for the sake

vain: But let that pass — I sleep, but thou shalt My mind may lose its force, my blood its yet awake.


And my frame perish even in conquering CXXXIV

pain; And if my voice break forth, 't is not But there is that within me which shall

that now I shrink from what is suffer'd; let him Torture and Time, and breathe when I speak

expire; Who hath beheld decline upon my Something unearthly which they deem brow,

not of,

1230 Or seen my mind's convulsion leave it Like the remember'd tone of a mute lyre, weak:

Shall on their soften'd spirits sink, and But in this page a record will I seek.

move Not in the air shall these my words In hearts all rocky now the late remorse of disperse,

love. Though I be ashes; a far hour shall wreak The deep prophetic fulness of this verse,

CXXXVIII And pile on human heads the mountain of The seal is set. — Now welcome, thou my curse!

dread power!

Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which CXXXV

here That curse shall be Forgiveness. Have I | Walk'st in the shadow of the midnight not

hour Hear me, my mother Earth! behold it, With a deep awe, yet all distinct from Heaven

fear; Have I not had to wrestle with my lot? Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls Have I not suffer'd things to be for

rear given ?

1910! Their ivy mantles, and the solemn scene



Derives from thee a sense so deep and

CXLII clear

1240 But here, where Murder breathed her That we become a part of what has been,

bloody steam;

1270 And grow unto the spot, all-seeing but And here, where buzzing nations choked unseen.

the ways,

And roard or murmur'd like a mountain CXXXIX

stream And here the buzz of eager nations ran, Dashing or winding as its torrent strays; In murmur'd pity or loud-roar'd applause, Here, where the Roman millions' blame As man was slaughter'd by his fellow man.

or praise And wherefore slaughter'd ? wherefore, Was death or life, the playthings of a but because

crowd, Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, My voice sounds much, and fall the stars' And the imperial pleasure. - Wherefore

faint rays not?

On the arena void - seats crush'd — walls What matters where we fall to fill the bow'd maws

And galleries, where my steps seem echoes Of worms - on battle-plains or listed strangely loud. spot ?

1250 Both are but theatres where the chief actors


A ruin - yet what ruin ! From its mass

Walls, palaces, half-cities, have been CXL rear'd;

1280 I see before me the Gladiator lie:

Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass, He leans upon his hand — his manly brow And marvel where the spoil could have Consents to death, but conquers agony,

appear'd. And his droop'd head sinks gradually Hath it indeed been plunder'd, or but low

clear'd ? And through his side the last drops, ebb Alas ! developed, opens the decay, ing slow

When the colossal fabric's form is near'd: From the red gash, fall heavy, one by It will not bear the brightness of the day, one,

Which streams too much on all years, man, Like the first of a thunder-shower; and have reft away.

now The arena swims around him — he is

CXLIV gone,

But when the rising moon begins to climb Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hail'd

Its topmost arch and gently pauses there; the wretch who won.

When the stars twinkle through the loops of time,

1290 CXLI

And the low night-breeze waves along He heard it, but he heeded not — his eyes

the air Were with his heart and that was far The garland forest, which the gray walls away;

wear He reck'd not of the life he lost nor prize, Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar's But where his rude hut by the Danube head; lay,

When the light shines serene but doth There were his young barbarians all at

not glare, play,

Then in this magic circle raise the dead: There was their Dacian mother-he, their | Heroes have trod this spot - 't is on their sire,

dust ye tread. Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday – All this rush'd with his blood. - Shall be

CXLV expire

• While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall And unavenged ? — Arise ! ye Goths, and

stand; glut your ire !

When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;


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