Imágenes de página
PDF

Fill’u the loud echoes of the world around,
Whileshore to shore return'd the lengthen’d sound ?
The Warriors where, who, in triumphal pride,
With weeping Freedom to the chariot tied,
To Glory's Capitolian temple rode ?
In undistinguish'd dust together trod,
Victors and vanquish'd mingle in the grave;

Worms prey upon the mould'ring God,

Nor know a Cæsar from his slave :
In empty air their mighty deeds exhale,
A school-boy's wonder, or an ev’ning tale.

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 ;
Deep in whose dread abyss the glory lies
Of empires, ages, never more to rise !

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,
The curious traveller explores in vain
The barren shores, and solitary plain,
Where erst majestic Babel's turiets stood;
All vanish'd from the view her proud abodes,
Her walls, and brazen gates, and palaces of Gods !
A shapeless heap o'erspreads the dreary space,
Of mingled piles an undistinguish'd mass; .
There the wild tenants of the desert dwell;
The serpent's biss is heard, the dragon's yell ;
And doleful howlings o'er the waste affright,
And drive afar the wand'rers of the night.

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,

Ell

Unfold this sacred truth to Reason's eye,
That “ Man was made for Immortality.”

Yes, Friend ! let noble deeds, and noble aims,
To distant ages consecrate our names,
That when these tenements of crumbling clay

Are dropt to dust away,
Some worthy monument may still declare

To future times, “ we were !"
Not such as mad Ambition's vot’ries raise
Upon the driving sand of vulgar praise ;

But with its firm foundation laid
On Virtue's adamantine rock,
That to the skies shall lift its tow'ring head

Superior to the surge's shock.
Plann'd like a Memphian Pyramid sublime,
Rising majestic on its ample base,
By just degrees, and with a daring grace,
Erect, unmov'd amid the storms of time!

Of time! no, that's a period too confin'd
To fill th' unbounded mind,

Which o'er the barrier leaps of added years,
Of ages, æras, and revolving spheres,
And leaves the flight of numbers still behind.

When the loud clarion's dreadful roll
Shall rend the globe from pole to pole;
When worlds and systems sink in fire,
And Nature, Time, and Death expire;
In the bright records of the sky

Shall Virtue see her honours shine ; Shall see them blazing round the sacred shrine

Of blest Eternity.

« AnteriorContinuar »