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Thus spake the pilgrims o'er this mighly wall
In Saxon times , which we are wont to call
Ancient; and these three mortal things are still
On their foundations, and unaltered all,

Rome and her Ruin past Redemption's skill,
The World , the same wide den-of thieves, or what ye will

CXLVI.
Simple , erect , severe , austere , sublime
Shrine of all saints and temple of all gods,
From Jove to Jesus-spared and blest by time ; 60
Looking tranquillity, while falls or nods
Arch, empire , each thing round the, and man plods
His way through thorns to ashes--glorious dome! :
Shalt thou not last ? Time's scythe and tyrants' rods

Shiver upon thee-sanctuary and home
Of art and piety-Pantheon !--pride of Rome ! !

CXLVII. ...
Relic of nobler days, and noblest arts !
Despoiled yet perfect, with thy circle spreads
A holiness appealing to all hearts-
To art a model; and to him who treads
Rome for the sake of ages , Glory sheds
Her light through thy sole aperture; to those
Who worship , here are altars for their beads ;

And they who feel for genius may repose
Their eyes on honoured forms, whose busts around them close. 61
CXLVIII.
There is a dungeon , in whose dim drear light 62
What do I gaze on ? Nothing : Look again !.
Two forms are slowly shadowed on my sight
Two insulated phantoms of the brain:
It is not so ; I see them full and plain-
An old man, and a female young and fair ,
Fresh as a nursing mother, in whose vein

The blood is nectar :-but what doth she there,
With her unmantled neck , and bosom white and bare ?

CXLIX.
Full swells the deep pure fountain of young life,
Where on the heart and from the heart we took
Our first and sweetest nurture, when the wife ,
Blest into mother, in the innocent look,
Or even the piping cry of lips that brook
No pain and small suspense , a joy perceives
Man knows not , When from out its cradled nook

She sees her little bud put forth its leaves--
What may the fruit be yet ?-I know not-Cain was Eve's

CL.
But here youth offers to old age the fond,
The milk of his own gift :-it is her sire
To whom she renders back the debt of blood
Porn with her birth. No; he shall not expire
While in those warm and lovely veins the fire
Of health and holy feeling can provide

Great Nature's Nile, whose deep stream rises higher

Than Egypt's river:- from that gentle side
Drink, drink and live , old man ! Heaven's realm holds no such tide

CLI.
The starry fable of the milky way
Has not thy story's purity; it is
A constellation of a sweeter ray,
And sacred Nature triumphs more in this
Reverse of her decree , than in the abyss
Where sparkle distant worlds:-Oh, holiest nurse !
No drop of that clear stream its way shall miss

To thy sire's heart, replenishing its source
With life, as our freed souls; rejoin the universe.

CLII.
Turn to the Mole which Hadrian rear'd on high ,63
Imperial mimic of old Egypt's piles ,
Colossal copyist of deformity,
Whose travelled phantasy from the far Nile's
Enormous model, doom'd the artists 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 64
To which Diana's marvel was a cell-
Christ's mighty shrine above his martyr's tomb !

I have beheld the Ephesian's miracle
Its columns strew the wilderness; and dwell
The hyæna and the jackall in their shade ;
I have behield 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
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.

CLV.
Enter : its grandeur overwlielms thee not;
And why? it is not lessened; but thy mind,
Expanded by the genius of the spot,
Has grown colossal, and can only find
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 brow.

CLVI.
Thou niovest—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 harmonize-
All musical in its immensities;
Rich marbles-richer painting—shrines where flame
The lamps of gold—and haughty dome which vies

In air with Earth's chief structures, though their frame Sils on the firm-set ground—and this the clouds must claim.

CLVII.
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
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 intense
Outstrips our faint expression; even so this
Outshining and o’erwhelming edifice

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