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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

shore? xC.

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.


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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
I speak not of men's creeds—they rest between Who love the lords of others? such have been
Man and his Maker,--but of things allow'd, Even in the olden time, Rome's annals say.
Aver'd and known,-and daily, hourly seen Was she a matron of Cornelia's mien,
The yoke that is upon us doubly bow'd,

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,
The edict of Earth's rulers, who are grown

Inveterate in virtue? did she lean
The apes of him who humbled once the proud, To the soft side of the heart, or wisely bar

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.



57 CII.

Perchance she died in youth: it may be, bow'd There is the moral of all human tales ; 52
With woes far heavier than the ponderous tomb "Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
That weigh'd upon her gentle dust, a cloud First Freedom, and then Glory-when that fails,
Might gather o'er her beauty, and a gloom Wealth, vice, corruption,-barbarism at last.
In her dark eye, prophetic of the doom

And History, with all her volumes vast,
Heaven gives its favorites--early death; yet shed50 Hath but one page'tis better written here,
A sunset charm around her, and illume

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,
Perchance she died in age-surviving all,

Charms, kindred, children—with the silver gray Admire, exult-despise-laugh, weep,-for here
On her long tresses, which might yet recall, There is such matter for all feeling :-Man!
It may be, still a something of the day

Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear,
When they were braided, and her proud array Ages and realms are crowded in this span,
And lovely form were envied, praised, and eyed This mountain, whose obliterated plan
By Rome-But whither would Conjecture stray ? The pyramid of empires pinnacled,
Thus much alone we know-Motella died, Of Glory's gewgags shining in the van
The wealthiest Roman's wife; behold his love or Till the sun's rays with added flame were fill'd!

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?
Is changed and solemn, like the cloudy groan

Crown me with ivy from his dwelling-place.
Of dying thunder on the distant wind;
Yet could I seat me by this ivied stone

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
Forms from the flowing wreck which Ruin leaves

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,

Built me a little bark of hope, once more
To battle with the occan and the


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,
is here.

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

Shall henceforth be my music, and the night
The sound shall temper with the owlets' cry,

Where is the rock of Triumph, the high place
As I now hear them, in the fading light

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
And sailing pinions.-Upon such a shrine Their spoils here? Yes; and in yon field below,
What are our petty griefs ?-let me not number A thousand years of silenced factions sleep-

The Forum, where the immortal accents glow,

And still the eloquent air breathes-burns with

Cypress and ivy, weed and wallflower grown

Matted and mass'd together, hillocks heap'd
On what were chambers, arch crush'd, column The field of freedom, faction, fame, and blood :

[steep'd Here a proud people's passions were exhaled,
In fragments, choked up vaults, and frescoes From the first hour of empire in the bud
In subterranean damps, where the owl peep'd, To that when further worlds to conquer fail'd;
Deeming it midnight:- Temples, baths, or halls? But long before had freedom's face been veil'd,
Pronounce who can; for all that Learning reap'd And Anarchy assumed her attributes;

From her research hath been, that these are walls- Till every lawless soldier who assail'd
Behold the Imperial Mount ! 'tis thus the mighty Trod on the trembling senate's slavish mutes

Or raised the venal voice of baser prostitutes


Then turn we to her latest tribune's name, Alas! our young affections run to waste,

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-
Egeira ! sweet creation of some heart E8

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

wrung-and riven.

The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled Of its own beauty is the mind diseased,
With thine Elysian water drops; the face And fevers into false creation :-where,
Of thy cave-guarded spring, with years unwrinkled, Where are the forms the sculptor's soul hath seized i
Reflects the meek-eyed genius of the place,

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

again ?


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-
Here didst thou dwell, in this enchanted cover, Sick-sick; unfound the boon-unslak’d the thirst,
Egeria! thy all heavenly bosom beating

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 ?

have trod.


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
Yet let us ponder boldly—'tis a base 57

I bleed withal, and, had it been conferr'd
Abandonment of reason to resign
Our right of thought-our last and only place

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
Too brightly on the unprepared mind,
The beam pours in, for time and skill will couch the


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-
Hues which have words, and speak to ye of heaven, Hear me, my mother Earth! behold it, Heaven !-
Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument, Have I not had to wrestle with my lot?
And shadows forth its glory. There is given Have I not suffer'd things to be forgiven?
Unto the things of the carth, which Time hath bent, Have I not had my brain sear'a, my heart riven,
A spirit's feeling, and where he hath leant

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.


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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

tread. CXXXIX.

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.

ye will.

I see before me the Gladiator lie: 59
He leans upon his hand-his manly brow

Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublimes"
Consents to death, but conquers agony,

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.

bare? CXLIII.

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



reft away.

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