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For our remembrance, and from out the plain Heaves like a long-swept wave about to break, And on the curl hangs pausing: not in vain May he, who will, his recollections rake, And quote in classic raptures, and awake The hills with Latian echoes; I abhorr'd Too much, to conquer for the poet's sake, The drill'd dull lesson, forced down word by word In my repugnant youth, with pleasure to record
Aught that recalls the daily drug which turn'd My sickening memory; and, though Time hath taught
My mind to meditate what then it learn'd,
Then farewell, Horace; whom I hated so,
(CANTO IV, lxxviii-lxxxii, cvii-cx)
Он Rome! my country! city of the soul! The orphans of the heart must turn to thee, Lone mother of dead empires! and control In their shut breasts their petty misery. What are our woes and sufferance ? Come and sce The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way O'er steps of broken thrones and temples, Ye! Whose agonies are evils of a day-A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.
The Niobe of nations! there she stands,
Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,
The Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood, and Fire, Have dealt upon the seven-hill'd city's pride; She saw her glories star by star expire, And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride, Where the car climb'd the Capitol; far and wide Temple and tower went down, nor left a site : Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void, O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light, And say, 'here was, or is,' where all is doubly night ?
The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and wrap
And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap;
Alas! the lofty city! and alas!
The trebly hundred triumphs! and the day
Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was
Cypress and ivy, weed and wallflower grown
On what were chambers, arch crush'd, column strown In fragments, choked up vaults, and frescos steep'd In subterranean damps, where the owl peep'd, Deeming it midnight :-Temples, baths, or halls? Pronounce who can; for all that Learning reap'd From her research hath been, that these are wallsBehold the Imperial Mount! 'tis thus the mighty falls.
There is the moral of all human tales ; 'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past, First Freedom, and then Glory-when that fails, Wealth, vice, corruption,—barbarism at last. And History, with all her volumes vast, Hath but one page,-'tis better written here Where gorgeous Tyranny hath thus amass'd All treasures, all delights, that eye or ear, Heart, soul could seek, tongue ask-Away with words!
Admire, exult, despise, laugh, weep,-for here There is such matter for all feeling :-Man ! Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear, Ages and realms are crowded in this span, This mountain, whose obliterated plan The pyramid of empires pinnacled, Of Glory's gewgaws shining in the van Till the sun's rays with added flame were fill'd ! Where are its golden roofs ? where those who dared to build ?
Tully was not so eloquent as thou,
Thou nameless column with the buried base! What are the laurels of the Caesar's brow? Crown me with ivy from his dwelling-place. Whose arch or pillar meets me in the face, Titus or Trajan's? No-'tis that of Time : Triumph, arch, pillar, all he doth displace Scoffing; and apostolic statues climb To crush the imperial urn, whose ashes slept sublime.
But France got drunk with blood to vomit crime, And fatal have her Saturnalia been
To Freedom's cause, in every age and clime;
(CANTO IV, xcvi-xcviii)
CAN tyrants but by tyrants conquer'd be, And Freedom find no champion and no child Such as Columbia saw arise when she Sprung forth a Pallas, arm'd and undefiled? Or must such minds be nourish'd in the wild, Deep in the unpruned forest, 'midst the roar Of cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled On infant Washington? Has Earth no more Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no such shore ?
And vile Ambition, that built up between Man and his hopes an adamantine wall, And the base pageant last upon the scene, Are grown the pretext for the eternal thrall Which nips life's tree, and dooms man's worst-his second fall.
Yet, Freedom! yet thy banner, torn, but flying, Streams like the thunder-storm against the wind; Thy trumpet voice, though broken now and dying, The loudest still the tempest leaves behind; Thy tree hath lost its blossoms, and the rind, Chopp'd by the axe, looks rough and little worth, But the sap lasts,—and still the seed we find Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North; So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth.
TOMB OF CECILIA METELLA
(CANTO IV, xcix-ciii)
THERE is a stern round tower of other days, Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone, Such as an army's baffled strength delays, Standing with half its battlements alone, And with two thousand years of ivy grown, The garland of eternity, where wave The green leaves over all by time o'erthrown ;— What was this tower of strength? within its cave What treasure lay so lock'd, so hid ?-A woman's
But who was she, the lady of the dead,