Imágenes de página

Aught that recals the daily drug which turn'd
My sickening memory; and, though Time hath taught
My mind to meditate what then it learn'd,
Yet such the fix'd inveteracy wrought
By the impatience of my early thought,
That, with the freshness wearing out before
My mind could relish what it might have sought,

If free to choose, I cannot now restore
Its health ; but what it then detested, still abhor.


Then farewell, Horace; whom I hated so,
Not for thy faults, but mine; it is a curse
To understand, not feel thy lyric flow,
To comprehend, but never love thy verse,
Although no deeper Moralist rehearse
Our little life, nor Bard prescribe his art,
Nor livelier Satirist the conscience pierce,

Awakening without wounding the touch'd heart,
Yet fare thee well—upon Soracte's ridge we part.



Oh 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 see
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,
Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe;
An empty urn within her wither'd hands,
Whose holy dust was scatter'd long ago;
The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now; (41)
The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,

Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness ?
Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress.

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,


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,

“ here was, or is,” where all is doubly night?

And say,


to err :

The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and wrap
All round us; we but feel our

The ocean hath his chart, the stars their map,

, And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap; But Rome is as the desert, where we steer Stumbling o'er recollections; now we clap

Our hands, and cry “ Eureka!" it is clearWhen but some false mirage of ruin rises near.


Alas! the lofty city! and alas !
The trebly hundred triumphs ! (42) and the day
When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away!
Alas, for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay,
And Livy's pictured page !—but these shall be
Her resurrection; all beside-decay.

Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!


Oh thou, whose chariot rolld on Fortune's wheel, (43) Triumphant Sylla! Thou, who didst subdue Thy country's foes ere thou would pause to feel The wrath of thy own wrongs, or reap the due Of hoarded vengeance till thine eagles flew O'er prostrate Asia ;-thou, who with thy frown Annihilated senates—Roman, too, With all thy vices, for thou didst lay down With an atoning smile a more than earthly crown

The dictatorial wreath,—couldst thou divine
To what would one day dwindle that which made
Thee more than mortal ? and that so supine
By aught than Romans Rome should thus be laid ?
She who was named Eternal, and array'd
Her warriors but to conquer—she who veil'd
Earth with her haughty shadow, and display'd,

Until the o'er-canopied horizon faild,
Her rushing wings-Oh! she who was Almighty haild !


Sylla was first of victors; but our own
The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell; he
Too swept off senates while he hew'd the throne
Down to a block-immortal rebel! See
What crimes it costs to be a moment free
And famous through all ages! but beneath
His fate the moral lurks of destiny;

His day of double victory and death
Beheld him win two realms, and, happier, yield his breath.

« AnteriorContinuar »