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For deathless powers to verse belong,
Not such the initiatory strains
Nor such the spirit-stirring note
And not unhallowed was the page
O ye who patiently explore
That were, indeed, a genuine birth
THE PILLAR OF TRAJAN. Where towers are crushed, and unforbidden weeds O'er mutilated arches shed their seeds; And temples, doomed to milder change, unfold A new magnificence that vies with old; Firm in its pristine majesty hath stood A votive column, spared by fire and flood ;And, though the passions of man's fretful race Have never ceased to eddy round its base, Not injured more by touch of meddling hands Than a lone obelisk, mid Nubian sands, Or aught in Syrian deserts left to save From death the memory of the good and brave. Historic figures round the shaft embossed Ascend, with lineaments in air not lost: Still as he turns, the charmed spectator sees Group winding after group with dreamlike ease; Triumphs in sunbright gratitude displayed, Or softly stealing into modest shade. So, pleased with purple clusters to entwine Some lofty elm-tree, mounts the daring vine; The woodbine so, with spiral grace, and breathes Wide-spreading odours from her flowery wreaths.
Borne by the muse from rills in shepherd's ears Murmuring but one smooth story for all years, I gladly commune with the mind and heart Of him who thus survives by classic art,
His actions witness, venerate his mien,
Memorial pillar! mid the wrecks of time Preserve thy charge with confidence sublimeThe exultations, pomps, and cares of Rome, Whence half the breathing world received its doom; Things that recoil from language; that, if shown By apter pencil, from the light had flown. A pontiff, Trajan here the gods implores, There greets an embassy from Indian shores; Lo! he harangues his cohorts—there the storm Of battle meets him in authentic form! Unharnessed, naked, troops of Moorish horse Sweep to the charge ; more high, the Dacian force. To hoof and finger mailed ;-yet, high or low, None bleed and none lie prostrate but the foe; In every Roman, through all turns of fate, Is Roman dignity inviolate; Spirit in him pre-eminent; who guides, Supports, adorns, and over all presides; Distinguished only by inherent state From honoured instruments that round him wait; Rise as he may, his grandeur scorns the test Of outward symbol, nor will deign to rest On aught by which another is depressed. Alas! that one thus disciplined could toil To enslave whole nations on their native soil; So emulous of Macedonian fame,
That, when his age was measured with his aim,
DION. Farr is the swan, whose majesty, prevailing O'er breezeless water, on Locarno's lake, Bears him on while proudly sailing He leaves behind a moon-illumined wake : Behold! the mantling spirit of reserve Fashions his neck into a goodly curve; An arch thrown back between luxuriant wings Of whitest garniture, like fir-tree boughs To which on some unruffled morning clings A faky weight of winter's purest snows! Behold !--as with a gushing impulse heaves That downy prow, and softly cleaves The mirror of the crystal flood, Vanish inverted hill, and shadowy wood, And pendant rocks, where'er, in gliding state, Winds the mute creature without visible mate Or rival, save the queen of night Showering down a silver light, From heaven, upon her chosen favourite!
So pure, so bright, so fitted to embrace,
That he, not too elate
With self-sufficing solitude,
Might in the universal bosom reign,
Five thousand warriors-Oh, the rapturous day!
In seemly order stand,