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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
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
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
Art's works; nor must the delicate waters From the first hour of empire in the
Prison'd in marble; bubbling from the To that when further worlds to conquer
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
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,
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.
Though to the last, in verge of our decay, CXXI
Some phantom lures, such as we sought Oh Love! no habitant of earth thou
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
Each idle, and all ill, and none the But never yet hath seen, nor e'er shall
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
Antipathies — but to recur, ere long, 1120
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
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.
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,
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!
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
1240 But here, where Murder breathed her That we become a part of what has been,
1270 And grow unto the spot, all-seeing but And here, where buzzing nations choked unseen.
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
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,
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
• While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall And unavenged ? — Arise ! ye Goths, and
stand; glut your ire !
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;