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Fill’u the loud echoes of the world around,
Worms prey upon the mould'ring God,
Nor know a Cæsar from his slave :
In vain with various arts they strive
To keep their little names alive; Bid to the skies th' ambitious tow'r ascend; The cirque its vast majestic length extend ; Bid arcs of triumph swell their graceful round; Or mausoleums load th' encumber'd ground; Or Sculpture speak in animated stone Of vanquish'd Monarchs tumbled from the throne:
The rolling tide of years, Rushing with strong and steady current, bears
The pompous piles, with all their fame, away
To black Oblivion's sea ;
Where's now imperial Rome, Who erst to subject Kings denounc'd their doom, And shook the sceptre o'er a trembling world? From her proud height by force barbarian hurl'd. Now, on some broken capital reclin'd,
The Sage of classic mind Her awful relics views with pitying eye, And o'er departed Grandeur heaves a sigh ; Or fancies, wand'ring in his moon-light walk, ! The prostrate fanes, and mould'ring domes among, He sees the mighty ghosts of heroes stalk In melancholy majesty along, Or pensive hover o'er the ruins round, Their pallid brows with faded laurels bound; While Cato's shade seems scornful to survey A race of Slaves, and sternly strides away.
Where old Euphrates winds his storied food,
Yet, ’tis Divinity's implanted fire Which bids the soul to glorious heights aspire; Enlarge her wishes, and extend her sight Beyond this little Life's contracted round,
And wing her eagle flight 'To grandeur, fame, and bliss without a bound. Ambition's ardent hopes, and golden dreams, Her tow'ring madness, and her wild extremes,
Unfold this sacred truth to Reason's eye,
Yes, Friend ! let noble deeds, and noble aims,
Are dropt to dust away,
To future times, “ we were !"
But with its firm foundation laid
Superior to the surge's shock.
Of time! no, that's a period too confin'd
Which o'er the barrier leaps of added years,
When the loud clarion's dreadful roll
Shall Virtue see her honours shine ; Shall see them blazing round the sacred shrine
Of blest Eternity.