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XCVI. The fool of false dominion-and a kind
Can tyrants bnt by tyrants conquer'd be, Of bastard Cæsar, following him of old
And Freedom find no champion and no child With steps unequal: for the Roman's mind Such as Columbia saw arise when she Was modell’d in a less terrestrial mould, 47
Sprung forth a Pallas, arm'd and undefiled ? With passions fiercer, yet a judgment cold, Oi must such minds be nourish'd in the wild, And an immortal instinct which redcem'd
Deep in the unpruned forest, ümidst the roar The frailties of a heart so soft, yet bold,
Of cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled Alcides with the distaff now he seem'd
On infant Washington? Has Earth no more At Cleopatra's feet,-and now himself he beam'd. Such seeds within her breast, or Europe na such
XCVII. And came-and saw-and conquer'd! But the man But France got drunk with blood to vomit crime, Who would have tamed his eagles down to flee, And fatal have her Saturnalia been Like a train'd falcon, in the Gallic van,
To Freedom's cause, in every age and clime; Which he, in sooth, long led to victory,
Because the deadly days which we have seen, With a deaf heart which never seem'd to be And vile Ambition, that built up between A listener to itself, was strangely framed;
Man and his hopes an adamantine wall, With but one weakest weakness-vanity,
And the base pageant last upon the scene, Coquettish in ambition-still he aim'd
Are grown the pretext for the eternal thrall At what? can he arouch-or answer what he Which nips life's tree, and dooms man's worst-hiş claim'd ?
second fall. XCII.
XCVIII. And would be all or nothing-nor could wait Yet, Freedom ! yet thy banner, torn, but flying, For the sure grave to level him; few years
Screams like the thunder-storm ayottest the wind; Had fix'd him with the Cæsars in his fate
The trumpet voice, though broket now and dying, On whom we tread: For this the conqueror rears The loudest still the tempest leaves behind; The arch of triumph! and for this the tears Thy tree hath lost its blossoms, and the rind, And blood of earth fiow on as they have flow'd, Chopp'd by the axe, looks rough and little worth, An universal deluge, which appears
But the sap lasts,--and still the seed we find Without an ark for wretched man's abode, Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North; And ebbs but to reflow!-Renew thy rainbow, God! So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth.
XCIX. What from this barren being do we reap ?
There is a stern round tower of other days,49 Our senses narrow, and our reason frail, 4s
Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone, Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep, Such as an army's baffled strength delays, And all things weigh'd in custom's falsest scale: Standing with half its battlements alone, Opinion and Omnipotetice,—whose veil
And with two thousand years of ivy grown, Mantles the earth with darkness, until right The garland of cternity, where wave And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale The green leaves over all by time o'erthrown ;
Lest their own judgments should become too bright, What was this tower of strength? within its cave And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have What treasure lay so lock'd, so hid ?-A woman's too much light.
But who was she, the lady of the dead, And thus they plod in sluggish misery,
Tomb'd in a palace ? was she chaste and fair ? Rotting from siro to son, and age to age,
Worthy a king's—or more-a Roman's bed? Proud of their trampled nature, and so die, What race of chiefs and heroes did she bear? Bequeathing their hereditary rage
What daughter of her beauties was the heir ? To the new race of inborn slaves, who wage How lived-how loved--how djed she? Was she War for their chains, and rather than be free, So honor'd-and conspicusly there,
(not Bleed gladiator-like, and still engage
Where meaner relics mnst not dare to rot, Within the same arena where they see
Placed to commemorate a more than mortal lot? Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same tree.
Was she as those who love their lords, or they
Or the light air of Egypt's graceful queen, And the intent of tyranny avow'd,
Profuse of joy--or 'gainst it did she war,
Inveterate in virtue? did she lean
And shook them from their slumbers on the throne; Love frorn amongst her griefs ?--for such the affed Too glorious, were this all his mighty arm had done. tions are.
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
And History, with all her volumes vast,
Where gorgeous Tyranny lat thus emass'd With hectic light, the Hesperus of the dead, All treasures, all delights, that eye or ear, Of her consuming cheek the autumnal leaf-like red. Heart, soul could seek, tongue ask-Away with
words ! draw near,
Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear,
Where are its golden roofs ? where those who dared
to build ? I know not why—but standing thus by thee,
CX. It seems as if I had thine inmate known,
Tully was not so eloquent as thou, Thou tomb! and other days come back on me
Thou nameless column with the buried base! With recollected music, though the tone
What are the laurels of the Cæsar'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: Till I had bodied forth the heated mind
Triumph, arch, pillar, all he doth displace
Scoffing; and apostolic statues climb
To crush the imperial urn, whose ashes slept sub
limė, 53 And from the planks, far shatter'd e'er the rocks,
Buried in air, the deep blue sky of Rome, Of the loud breakers, and the ceaseless roar
And looking to the stars: they had contain'd Which rushes on the solitary shore
A spirit which with these would find a home Where all lies founder'd that was ever dear:
The last of those who o'er the whole earth reign'd, But could I gather from the wave-worn store
The Roman globe, for after nune sustain'd, Enough for my rude boat, where should I steer? But yielded back his conquests :-he was more There woos no home, nor hope, nor life, save what
Than a mere Alexander, and, unstain'd,
With household blood and wine, serenely wore
His sovereign virtues-still we Trajan's nama
adore.54 Then let the winds howl on! their harmony
Where is the rock of Triumph, the high place
Where Rome embraced her heroes? where the Dim o'er the bird of darkness' native site,
Tarpeian? fittest goal of Treason's race, [steep Answering each other on the Palatine, [bright, The promontory whence the Traitor's leap With their large eyes, all glistening gray and
Cured all ambition. Did the conquerors heap
The Forum, where the immortal accents glow,
And still the eloquent air breathes-burns with
[steep'd Here a proud people's passions were exhaled,
From her research hath been, that these are walls- Till every lawless soldier who assail'd
Or raised the venal voice of baser prostitutes
1 From her ten thousand tyrants turn to thee, Or water but the desert; whence arise Redeemer of dark centuries of shame
But weeds of dark luxuriance, tares of haste, The friend of Petrarch-hope of Italy
Rank at the core, though tempting to the eyes, Rienzi ! last of Romans! While the tree 55 Flowers whose wild odors breathe but agonies, Of freedom's withered trunk puts forth a leaf, And trees whose gums are poison; such the plants Even for thy tomb a garland let it be
Which spring beneath her steps as Passion flies The forum’s champion, and the people's chief
O'er the world's wilderness, and vainly pants Her new-born Numa thou—with reign, alas! too For some celestial fruit forbidden to our wants. brief.
Oh Love? no habitant of earth thou art-
An unseen seraph, we believe in thee, Which found no mortal-resting-place so fair
A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart, As thine ideal breast; whate'er thou art
But never yet hath seen, nor e'er shall see Or wert,-a young Aurora of the air,
The naked eye, thy form, as it should be; The nympholepsy of some fond despair;
The mind hath made thee, as it peopled heaven, Or, it might be, a beauty of the earthy
Even with its own desiring phantasy, Who found a more than common votary there And to a thought such shape and image given, Too much adoring; whatsoe'er thy birth,
As haunts the unquench'd soul-parch'd-wearied Thou wert a beautiful thought, and softly bodied
In him alone. Can Nature show so fair? Whose green, wild margin now no more erase
Where are the charms and virtues which we dare Art's works; nor must the delicate waters sleep,
Conceive in boyhood and pursue as men, Prison'd in marble, bubbling from the base
The unreach'd Paradise' of our despair, Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap
Which o'er-informs the pencil and the pen, The rill runs o'er, and round, fern, flowers, and And overpowers the page where it would bloom ivy creep
Who loves, raves—'tis youth's frenzy-but the cure Fantastically tangled; the green hills
Is bitterer still; as charm by charm unwind Are clothed with early blossoms, through the grass
Which robed our idols, and we see too sure The quick-eyed lizard rustles, and the bills
Nor worth nor beauty dwells from out the mind's Of summer-birds sing welcome as ye pass;
Ideal shape of such ; yet still it binds Flowers fresh in hue, and many in their class
The fatal spell, and still it draws us on, . Implore the pausing step, and with their dyes
Reaping the whirlwind from the oft-sown winds ; Dance in the soft breeze in a fairy mass;
The stubborn heart, its alchemy begun, The sweetness of the violet's deep blue eyes,
Seems ever near the prize-wealthiest when most Kiss'd by the breath of heaven, seems color'd by its
We wither from our youth, we gasp away-
Though to the last, in verge of our decay, For the far footsteps of thy mortal lover;
Some phantom lures, such as we-sought at firstThe purple Midnight veil'd that mystic meeting But all too late,-so are we doubly curst. With her most starry canopy, and seating
Love, fame, ambition, avarice--'tis the same, Thyself by thine adorer, what befell?
Each idle-and all ill-and none the worstThis cave was surely shaped out for the greeting For all are meteors with a different name, Of an enamoured Goddess, and the cell
And Death the sable smoke where ranishes the Haunted by holy Love--the earliest oracle !
Few-none-find what they love or could have And didst thou not, thy breast to his replying,
loved, Blend a celestial with a human heart;
Though accident, blind contact, and the strong And Love, which dies as it was born, in sighing, Necessity of loving, have removed Share with immortal transports ? could thine art Antipathies--but to recur, ere long, Make them indeed immortal, and impart
Envenom'd with irrevocable wrong; The purity of heaven to earthly joys,
And Circumstance, that unspiritual god Espel the venom and not blunt the dart And miscreator, makes and helps along The dull satiety which all destroys
Our coming evils with a crutch-like rod, And root from out the soul the deadly weed which Whose touch turns Hope to dust,--the dust we all cloys ?
CXXXII. Our life is a false nature'tis not in
And thou, who never yet of human wrong The harmony of things,-this hard decree, Left the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis ! This uneradicable taint of sin,
Here, where the ancient paid thee homage longThis boundless upas, this all-blasting tree, Thou who didst call the Furies from the abyss, Whose root is earth, whose leaves and branches be And round Orestes bade them howl and hiss, The skies which rain their plagues on men like For that unnatural retribution-just, dew
Had it but been from hands less near-in this Disease, death, bondage-all the woes we see- Thy former realm, I call thee from the dust! And worse, the woes we see not—which throb Dost thou not hear my heart ?-Awake! thou shalt, through
and must. The immedicable soul, with heart-aches ever new.
It is not that I may not have incurr'd
For my ancestral faults or mine the wound
I bleed withal, and, had it been conferr'd
With a just weapon, it had flow'd unbound;
But now my blood shall not sink in the ground; Of refuge; this, at least, shall still be mine:
To thee I do devote it—thou shalt take [found, Though from our birth the faculty divine Is chain'd and tortured-cabin'd, cribb’d, confined,
The vengeance, which shall yet be sought and
Which if I have not taken for the sakeAnd bred in darkness, lest the truth should shine
But let that pass—I sleep, but thou shalt yet awake
And if my voice break forth, 'tis not that now Arches on arches ! as it were that Rome,
I shrink from what is suffer'd : let him speak Collecting the chief trophies of her line,
Who hath beheld decline upon my brow, Would build up all her triumphs in one dome,
Or seen my mind's convulsion leave it weak; Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams shine But in this page a record will I seek. As 'twere its natural torches, for divine
Not in the air shall these my words disperse, Should be the light which streams here, to illume Though I be ashes; a far hour shall wreak This long-explored but still exhaustless mine The deep prophetic fulness of this verse, Of contemplation; and the azure gloom
And pile on human heads the mountain of my curse! Of an Italian night, where the deep skies assume
That curse shall be Forgiveness.-Have I not-
Hopes sapp'd, name blighted, Life's life lied away? His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power And only not to desperation driven, And magic in the ruin'd battlement,
Because not altogether of such clay For which the palace of the present hour As rots into the souls of those whom I survey. Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower. cxxx.
CXXXVI. Oh Time! the beautifier of the dead,
From mighty wrongs to petty perfidy Adorner of the ruin, comforter
Have I not seen what human things could do?
From the loud roar of foaming calumny Time! the corrector where our judgments err,
To the small whisper of the as paltry few, The test of truth, love,-sole philosopher,
And subtler venom of the reptile crew, For all beside are sophists, from thy thrift,
The Janus glance of whose significant eye, Which never loses though it doth defer
Learning to lie with silence, would seem true, Time, the avenger | unto thee I lift
And without utterance, save the shrug or sigh, My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a
Deal round to happy fools its speechless obloquy. gift: CXXXI.
CXXXVII. Amidst this wreck, where thou hast made a shrine But I have lived, and have not lived in vain : And temple more divinely desolate,
My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire, Among thy mightier offerings here are mine, And my frame perish even in conquering pain; Ruins of years—though few, yet full of fate :- But there is that within me which shall tire If thou hast ever seen me too elate,
Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire; Hear me not; but if calmly I have borne
Something unearthly, which they deem not of, Good, and reserved my pride against the hate Like the remember'd tone of a mute lyre, Which shall not whelm me, let me not have worn Shall on their soften'd spirits sink, and move This iron in my soul in vain-shall they not mourn ? In hearts all rocky now the late remorse of love.
CXLIV. The seal is set.-Now welcome, thou dread power! But when the rising moon begins to climb Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here Its topmost arch, and gently pauses there; Walk'st in the shadow of the midnight hour When the stars twinkle through the loops of time With a deep awe, yet all distinct from fear; And the low night-breeze waves along the air Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls rear The garland-forest, which the gray walls wear, Their ivy mantles, and the solemn scene
Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar's head; Derives from thee a sense so deep and clear When the light shines serene but doth not glare That we become a part of what has been,
Then in this magic circle raise the dead : And grow unto the spot, alt-sceing but unseen. Heroes have trod this spot-'tis on their dust ye
CXLV. And here the buzz of eager nations ran,
“While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; In murmur'd pity, or loud-roar'd applause,
** When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; As man was slaughter'd by his fellow-man. “And when Rome falls—the World.” From our And wherefore slaughter'd ? wherefore, but because
own land Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws,
Thus spake the pilgrims o'er this mighty wall And the imperial pleasure.-Wherefore not? In Saxon times, which we are wont to call What matters where we fall to fill the maws Ancient; and these three mortal things are still
Of worms-on battle-plains or listed spot ? On their foundations, and unalter'd all; Both are but theatres where the chief actors rot. Rome and her Ruin past Redemption's skill,
The World, the same wide den-of thieves, or what CXL.
Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublimes"
Shrine of all saints and temple of all gods, And his droop'd head sinks gradually low
From Jove to Jesus-spared and blest by time; And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow Looking tranquillity, while falls or nods From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Arch, empire, each thing round thec, and man plods Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now His way through thorns to ashes-glorious dome! The arena swims around him-he is gone,
Shalt thou not last? Time's scythe and tyrant's Ere ceased the inhuman shout: which hail'd the Shiver upon thee-sanctuary and home [rods wretch who won.
Of art and Piety-Pantheon !-pride of Rome! CXLI.
CXLVII. He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes
Relic of nobler days, and noblest arts ! Were with his heart, and that was far away. Despoil'd yet perfect, with thy circle spreads He reck'd not of the life he lost nor prize,
A holiness appealing to all hearts But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
To art a model; and to him who treads There were his young barbarians all at play, Rome for the sake of ages, Glory sheds
There was their Dacian mother,-he, their sire, Her light through thy sole aperture; to those Butcher'd to make a Roman Holiday Boy Who worship, here are altars for their beads; "All this rush'd with his blood-Shall he expire And they who feel for genius may repose And unavenged ?--Arise! ye Goths, and glut your Their eyes on honored forms, whose busts around ire!
them close.65 CXLII.
CXLVIII. But here, where Murder breathed her bloody steam, There is a dungeon, in whose dim drear light 66 And here, where buzzing nations choked the ways, What do I gaze on? Nothing: Look again! And roar'd or murmur'd like a mountain stream Two forms are slowly shadow'd on my sightDashing or winding as its torrent strays;
Two insulated phantoms of the brain : Here, where the Roman million's blame or praise It is not so; I see them full and plainWas death or life, the playthings of a crowd, 61 An old man, and a female young and fair, My voice sounds much-and fall the stars' faint rays Fresh as a nursing mother, in whose vein
On the arena void-seats crush'd-walls bow'd The blood is nectar :--but what does she there, And galleries, where my steps seem echoes strangely With her unmantled neck, and bosom white and loud.
CXLIX. A ruin-yet what ruin! from its mass
Full swells the deep pure fountain of young life, Walls, palaces, half-cities have been rear'd; Where on the heart, and from the heart we took Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass,
Our first and sweetest nurture, when the wife, And marvel where the spoil could have appear’d. Blest into mother, in the innocent look, Hath it indeed been plunder'd, or but clear'd ? Or even the piping cry of lips that brook Alas! developed, opens the decay,
No pain and small suspense, a joy perceives When the colossal fabric's form is near'd;
Man knows not, when from out its cradled nook It will not bear the brightness of the day,
She sees her little bud put forth its leavesWhich streams too much on all years, man, have What may the fruit be yet 7-I know not-Cain was