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Unless, like he of Babylon,
All sense is with thy sceptre gone,

Life will not long confide
That spirit poured so widely forth
So long obeyed--so little worth !

XVI.

Or like the thief of fire from heaven,

Wilt thou withstand the shock ? And share with him, the unforgiven,

His vulture and his rock! Foredoomed by God-by man accurst, And that last act, though not thy worst,

The very Fiend's arch mock; He in his fall preserved his pride, And, if a mortal, had as proudly died !

ODE

TO

VENICE.

I.

Ou Venice ! Venice ! when thy marble walls

Are level with the waters, there shall be A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,

A loud lament along the sweeping sea! If I, a northern Wanderer, weep for thee, What should thy sons do ?-any thing but weer: And yet they only murmur in their sleep. In contrast with their fathers—as the slime, The dull green ooze of the receding deep, Is with the dashing of the spring-tide foam, That drives the sailor shipless to his bomé, Are they to those that were ; and thus they creep, Crouching and crab-like, through their sapping streets. Oh! agony—that centuries should reap No mellower harvest ! Thirteen hundred years Of wealth and glory turn'd to dust and tears; And every monument the stranger meets, Church, palace, pillar, as a mourner greets ; And even the Lion all subdued appears, And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum, With dull and daily dissonance, repeats The echo of thy tyrant's voice along The soft waves, once all musical to song, That heaved beneath the moon light with the throng of gondolas--and to the busy hum

Of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
Were but the overbeating of the heart,
And flow of too much happiness, which needs
The aid of age to turn its course apart
From the luxuriant and voluptuous flood
Of sweet sensations, battling with the blood.
But these are better than the gloomy errors,
The weeds of nations in their last decay,
Whence Vice walks forth with their unsoften'd terrors,
And Mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay;
And Hope is nothing but a false delay,
The sick man's lightning half an hour ere death,
When faintness , the last mortal birth of Pain,
And apathy of limb, the dull beginning
Of the cold staggering race which Death is winning,
Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away;
Yet so relieving the o’ertortured clay,
To him appears renewal of his breath,
And freedom the mere numbness of his chain ;-
And then he talks of life, and how again
He feels his spirits soaring-albeit weak,
And of the fresher air, which he would scek;
And as he whispers knows not that he gasps,
That his thin finger feels.not what he clasps,
And so the film comes o’er him—and the dizzy
Chamber swims round and round—and shadows busy,
At which he vainly catches, flit and gleam,
Till the last rattle chokes the strangled scream,
And all is ice and blackness,--and the earth
That which it was the moment ere our birth..

II.

There is no hope for nations !--Search the page

Of many thousand years—the daily scene, The flow and ebb of each recurring age,

The everlasting to be which hath been,

Hath taught us nought or little : still we lean On things that rot beneath our weight, and wear Dur strength away in wrestling with the air ; for 'lis our nature strikes us down: the beasts Slaughter'd in hourly hecatombs for feasts Are of as high an order—they must go Even where their driver goads them, though to slaughter. Ye men, who pour your blood for kings as water, What have they given your children in return? A heritage of servitude and woes, A blindfold bondage, where your hire is blows. What! do not yet the red-hot ploughshares burn, D'er which

you

stumble in a false ordeal, And deem this proof of loyalty the real; Kissing the hand that guides you to your scars, And glorying as you tread the glowing bars ? all that your sires have left you, all that Time Bequeaths of free, and History of sublime, Spring from a different theme !-Ye see and read, Admire and sigh, and then succumb and bleed ! Save the few spirits, who despite of all, And worse than all, the sudden crimes engender'd By the down-thundering of the prison-wall, And thirst to swallow the sweet waters tender'd, Gushing from Freedom's fountains--when the crowd, Madden'd with centuries of drought, are loud, And trample on each other to obtain The cup which brings oblivion of a chain

Heavy and sore,-in which long yoked they plough'd
The sand, or if there sprung the yellow grain,
'Twas not for them, their necks were too much bow'd,
And their dead palates chew'd the cud of pain
Yes! the few spirits—who, despite of deeds
Which they abhor, confound not with the cause
Those momentary starts from Nature's laws,
Which, like the pestilence and earthquake, smite
But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth
With all her seasons to repair the blight
With a few summers, and again put forth
Cities and generations-fair, when free-
For, Tyranny, there blooms no bud for thee!

III.

Glory and Empire ! once upon these towers

With Freedom-godlike Triad ! how ye sate! The league of mightiest nations, in those hours

When Venice was an envy, might abate,

But did not quench, her spirit—in her fate
All were enwrapp'd : the feasted monarchs knew

And loved their hostess, nor could learn to hate,
Although they humbled with the kingly few
The many felt, for from all days and climes
She was the voyager's worship-even her crimes
Were of the soffer order-born of Love,
She drank no blood, nor fatten'don the dead,
But gladden’d where her harmless conquests spread ;
For these restored the Gross, that from above
Hallow'd her sheltering banners, which incessant
Flew between earth and the unholy Crescent,
Which, if it waned and dwindled, Earth may thank
The city it has clothed in chains, which clank

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