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And when Rome falls — the World.' The blood is nectar;— but what doth she From our own land


1331 Thus spake the pilgrims o'er this mighty With her unmantled neck, and bosom white wall

and bare ? In Saxon times, which we are wont to call Ancient; and these three mortal things

CXLIX are still

Full swells the deep pure fountain of On their foundations, and unalter'd all;

young life, Rome and her Ruin past Redemption's . Where on the heart and from the heart skill,

we took The World, the same wide den — of thieves, . Our first and sweetest nurture, when the or what ye will.


Blest into mother, in the innocent look CXLVI

Or even the piping cry of lips that brook Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublime No pain and small suspense, a joy perShrine of all saints and temple of all gods,

ceives From Jove to Jesus — spared and blest Man knows not, when from out its by time;

cradled nook Looking tranquillity, while falls or nods She sees her little bud put forth its Arch, empire, each thing round thee, and


1340 man plods

1310 What may the fruit be yet ? — I know not, His way through thorns to ashes —

Cain was Eve's. glorious dome! Sbalt thou not last? Time's scythe and tyrants' rods

But here youth offers to old age the food, Shiver upon thee — sanctuary and home The milk of his own gift: – it is her Of art and piety - Pantheon 1- pride of

sire Rome!

To whom she renders back the debt of

blood CXLVII

Born with her birth. No; he shall not Relic of nobler days and noblest arts !

expire Despoil'd, yet perfect, with thy circle While in those warm and lovely veins the spreads

fire A holiness appealing to all hearts —

Of health and holy feeling can provide To art a model; and to him who treads Great Nature's Nile, whose deep stream Rome for the sake of ages, Glory sheds

rises higher Her light through thy sole aperture; to Than Egypt's river: — from that gentle those


side Who worship, here are altars for their Drink, drink and live, old man ! Heaven's beads;

realm holds no such tide. 1350 And they who feel for genius may repose Their eyes on honour'd forms whose busts

around them close.

The starty fable of the milky way
Has not thy story's purity; it is

A constellation of a sweeter ray,
There is a dungeon, in whose dim drear And sacred Nature triumphs more in

this What do I gaze on ? Nothing: Look Reverse of her decree than in the abyss again!

Where sparkle distant worlds. Oh, holiTwo forms are slowly shadow'd on my

est nurse ! sight

No drop of that clear stream its way shall Two insulated phantoms of the brain:

miss It is not so; I see them full and plain - To thy sire's heart, replenishing its source An old man, and a female young and fair, With life, as our freed souls rejoin the uni. Fresh as a nursing mother, in whose vein | verse.




CLII Turn to the Mole which Hadrian rear'd

on high, Imperial mimic of old Egypt's piles, Colossal copyist of deformity, Whose traveli'd phantasy from the far

Nile's Enormous model doom'd the artist's toils To build for giants, and for his vain earth, His shrunken ashes, raise this dome. How

smiles The gazer's eye with philosophic mirth, To view the huge design which sprung from such a birth !

CLIII But lo, the dome, the vast and wondrous

dome To which Diana's marvel was a cell, 1370 Christ's mighty shrine above his martyr's

tomb ! ° I have beheld the Ephesian's miracle Its columns strew the wilderness, and

The hyæna and the jackal in their shade;
I have beheld Sophia's bright roofs swell
Their glittering mass i' the sun, and have

survey'd Its sanctuary the while the usurping Moslem pray'd;

CLIV But thou, of temples old or altars new, Standest alone, with nothing like to thee Worthiest of God, the holy and the true. Since Zion's desolation, when that He 1381 Forsook his former city, what could be, Of earthly structures, in his honour piled Of a sublimer aspect? Majesty, Power, Glory, Strength, and Beauty, all

are aisled In this eternal ark of worship undefiled.

Thou movest – but increasing with the

advance, Like climbing some great Alp, which still

doth rise, Deceived by its gigantic elegance; Vastness which grows, but grows to har

monise — All musical in its immensities; 1400 Rich marbles, richer painting, shrines

where flame The lamps of gold, and baughty dome

which vies In air with Earth's chief structures,

though their frame Sits on the firm-set ground — and this the clouds must claim.

Thou seest not all; but piecemeal thou

must break
To separate contemplation the great

whole; And as the ocean many bays will make, That ask the eye — so here condense thy

soul To more immediate objects, and control Thy thoughts until thy mind hath got by heart

1410 Its eloquent proportions, and unroll

In mighty graduations, part by part, The glory which at once upon thee did not dart,

CLVIII Not by its fault — but thine. Our outward

sense Is but of gradual grasp: and as it is That what we have of feeling most in

tense Outstrips our faint expression; even so

this Outshining and o'erwhelming edifice Fools our fond gaze, and greatest of the

great Defies at first our Nature's littleness, 1420 Till, growing with its growth, we thus

dilate Our spirits to the size of that they contemplate.

Then pause, and be enlighten'd; there is

In such a survey than the sating gaze


Enter: its grandeur overwhelms thee not;
And why ? it is not lessen'd; but thy
: mind,
Expanded by the genius of the spot,
Has grown colossal, and can only find 1390
A fit abode wherein appear enshrined
Thy hopes of immortality; and thou
Shalt one day, if found worthy, so defined,

See thy God face to face as thou dost now His Holy of Holies, nor be blasted by his


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Of wonder pleased, or awe which would

adore The worship of the place, or the mere

praise Of art and its great masters, who could

raise What former time, nor skill, nor thought

could plan; The fountain of sublimity displays Its depth, and thence may draw the mind of man

1430 Its golden sands, and learn what great conceptions can.

Or, turning to the Vatican, go see
Laocoon's torture dignifying pain —
A father's love and mortal's agony
With an immortal's patience blending.

The struggle; vain, against the coiling

strain And gripe and deepening of the dragon's

grasp, The old man's clench; the long envenom'd

chain Rivets the living links, the enormous asp Enforces pang on pang, and stifles gasp on gasp.

CLXI Or view the Lord of the unerring bow, The God of life and poesy and light, – The Sun in human limbs array'd, and brow All radiant from his triumph in the fight; The shaft hath just been shot - the arrow

bright With an immortal's vengeance; in his eye And nostril beautiful disdain and might

And majesty flash their full lightnings by, Developing in that one glance the Deity.

CLXII But in his delicate form — a dream of

Love, Shaped by some solitary nymph, whose

breast Long'd for a deathless lover from above And madden'd in that vision — are ex

prest All that ideal beauty ever bless'd The mind with in its most unearthly

mood, When each conception was a heavenly



And if it be Prometheus stole from

The fire which we endure, it was repaid
By him to whom the energy was given
Which this poetic marble hath array'd
With an eternal glory -- which, if made
By human hands, is not of human thought;
And Time himself hath hallow'd it, nor

laid One ringlet in the dust; nor hath it caught A tinge of years, but breathes the flame with which 't was wrought.

CLXIV But where is he, the Pilgrim of my song, The being who upheld it through the Methinks he cometh late and tarries long. He is no more — these breathings are his last;

1471 His wanderings done, his visions ebbing

fast, And he himself as nothing: — if he was Aught but a phantasy, and could be

class'd With forms which live and suffer – let

that pass — His shadow fades away into Destruction's mass,

CLXV Which gathers shadow, substance, life,

and all That we inherit in its mortal shroud, And spreads the dim and universal pall Through which all things grow phantoms; and the cloud

1480 Between us sinks and all which ever

glow'd, Till Glory's self is twilight, and displays A melancholy halo scarce allow'd To hover on the verge of darkness; —

rays Sadder than saddest night, for they distract the gaze,

CLXVI And send us prying into the abyss, To gather what we shall be when the




Shall be resolved to something less than And Freedom's heart, grown heavy, cease this

to hoard Its wretched essence; and to dream of Her many griefs for ONE; for she had fame,

pour'd And wipe the dust from off the idle Her orisons for thee, and o'er thy head name

Beheld her Iris. — Thou, too, lonely lord, We never more shall hear, - but never And desolate consort — vainly wert thou more,


1520 Oh, happier thought! can we be made | The husband of a year! the father of the the same:

dead! It is enough in sooth that once we bore These fardels of the heart — the heart

CLXX whose sweat was gore.

Of sackcloth was thy wedding garment

made; CLXVII

Thy bridal's fruit is ashes; in the dust Hark! forth from the abyss a voice pro The fair-hair'd Daughter of the Isles is ceeds,

laid, A long low distant murmur of dread The love of millions ! How we did insound,

trust Such as arises when a nation bleeds

Futurity to her! and, though it must With some deep and immedicable wound; Darken above our bones, yet fondly Through storm and darkness yawns the

deem'd rending ground;

Our children should obey her child, and The gulf is thick with phantoms, but the bless'd chief


Her and her hoped-for seed, whose proSeems royal still, though with her head

mise seem'd discrown'd;

Like stars to shepherds' eyes:-'t was but And pale, but lovely, with maternal a meteor beam'd.

7530 She clasps a babe to whom her breast yields

CLXXI no relief.

Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps


The fickle reek of popular breath, the Scion of chiefs and monarchs, where art tongue thou ?

Of hollow counsel, the false oracle, Fond hope of many nations, art thou Which from the birth of monarchy hath dead ?

rung Could not the grave forget thee, and lay Its kneli in princely ears till the o'erlow

stung Some less majestic, less beloved head ? Nations have arm'd in madness, the In the sad midnight, while thy heart still

strange fate bled,

Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns, and The mother of a moment, o'er thy boy,

hath flung Death hush'd that pang for ever; with Against their blind omnipotence a weight thee fled


Within the opposing scale which crushes The present happiness and promised joy soon or late, — Which fill'd the imperial isles so full it seem'd to cloy.


These might have been her destiny; but CLXIX

no, Peasants bring forth in safety. — Can it Our hearts deny it: and so young, so

fair, Oh thou that wert so happy, so adored! Good without effort, great without a foe; Those who weep not for kings shall weep But now a bride and mother — and now for thee,





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How many ties did that stern moment

tear! From thy Sire's to his humblest subject's

breast Is link'd the electric chain of that despair, Whose shock was as an earthquake's, and

opprest The land which loved thee so that none could love thee best.

CLXXIII Lo, Nemi! navell’d in the woody hills So far, that the uprooting wind which tears

1550 The oak from his foundation, and which

spills The ocean o'er its boundary, and bears Its foam against the skies, reluctant

spares "he oval mirror of thy glassy lake; And, calm as cherish'd hate, its surface

wears A deep cold settled aspect nought can

shake, All coil'd into itself and round, as sleeps the snake.

CLXXIV And near Albano's scarce divided waves Shine from a sister valley; and afar The Tiber winds, and the broad ocean laves

1560 The Latian coast where sprung the Epic

war, • Arms and the Man,' whose re-ascend

ing star Rose o'er an empire: but beneath thy

right Tully reposed from Rome; and where

yon bar Of girdling mountains intercepts the

sight The Sabine farm was tilld, the weary bard's delight.

CLXXV But I forget. — My Pilgrim's shrine is

won, And he and I must part - so let it be: His task and mine alike are nearly done; Yet once more let us look upon the sea; The midland ocean breaks on him and me,

1571 And from the Alban Mount we now be


CLXXVII Oh that the Desert were my dwelling

place, With one fair Spirit for my minister, That I might all forget the human race, And, hating no one, love but only her! Ye Elements, in whose ennobling stir I feel myself exalted, can ye not 1590 Accord me such a being ? Do I err

In deeming such inhabit many a spot, Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot?

CLXXVIII There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more, From these our interviews, in which I steal

1599 From all I may be or have been before,

To mingle with the Universe, and feel What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean,
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in


roll !

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