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Oh Time! the beautifier of the dead, That curse shall be Forgiveness.—Have I Adorner of the ruin, comforter

notAnd only healer when the heart hath bled- Hear me, my mother Earth! behold it, Time! the corrector where our judgments


Have I not had to wrestle with my lot? The test of truth, love,-sole philosopher, Have I not suffer'd things to be forgiven ? For all beside are sophists , from thy thrift, Have I not had my brain sear’d, my heart Which never loses though it doth deferTime, the avenger! unto thee I lift Hopes sapp'd, name blighted , Lise's life My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave

lied away? of thee a gift: And only not to desperation driven,

Because not altogether of such clay Amidst this wreck, where thou hast made As rots into the souls of those whom I survcy.

a shrine And temple more divinely desolate, From mighty wrongs to petty perfidy Among thy mightier offerings here are mine, Have I not seen what human things could do? Ruins of years—though few, yet full of From the loud roar of foaming calumny

fate :

To the small whisper of the as paltry few, If thou hast ever seen me too elate, And subtler venom of the reptile crew, Hear me not; but if calmly I have borne The Janus-glance of whose significant eye, Good, and reserved my pride against the Learning to lie with silence, would seem

hate Which shall not whelm me, let me not And without utterance, save the shrug or have worn

sigh, This iron in my soul in vain—shall they Deal round to happy fools its speechless not mourn ?



And thou , who never yet of human wrong But I have lived, and have not lived in vain : Lost the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis ! My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire, Here, where the ancient paid thee homage And my frame perish even in conquering long

pain, Thou, who didst call the Furies from the But there is that within me which shall tire


Torture and Time,and breathe when I expire; And round Orestes bade them howl and hiss Something unearthly, which they deem For that unnatural retribution-just,

not of, Had it but been from hands less near-in Like the remember'd tone of a mute lyre,


Shall on their soften'd spirits sink, and move Thy former realm I call thee from the dust! In hearts all rocky now the late remorsc Dost thou not hear my heart ?-Awake! thou

of love. shalt and must.

The seal is set.-Now welcome, thou dread It is not that I may not have incurr'd

power! For my ancestral faults or mine the wound Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here I bleed withal, and, had it been conferr’d Walk'st in the shadow of the midnight-hour With a just weapon, it had flow'd unbound; With a deep awe, yet all distinct from But now my blood shall not sink in the

fear; ground; Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls To thee I do devote it-thou shalt take The vengeance, which shall yet be sought Their ivy mantles, and the solemn scene

and found, Derives from thee a sense so deep and clear Which if I have not taken for the sake- That we become a part of what has been, But let that pass—1 sleep, but thou shalt And grow unto the spot, all-seeing but

yet awake. And if my voice break forth, 'tis not that And here the buzz of eager nations ran,

In murmur'd pity, or loud-roar'd applausc, I shrink from what is suffer'd : let him speak As man was slaughter'd by his fellow-man; Who hath beheld decline upon my brow, And wherefore slaughter’d? wherefore, but Or seen my mind's convulsion leave it weak;

becanse But in this page a record will I seek. Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, Not in the air shall these my words disperse, And the imperial pleasure.- Wherefore not? Though I be ashes; a far hour shall wreak What matters where we fall to fill the maws The deep prophetic fulness of this verse, of worms-- on battle-plains or listed spot? And pile on human heads the mountain of Both are but theatres where the chief actors




my curse!


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the ways,

I see before me the Gladiator lie: Then in this magic circle raise the dead :
He leans upon his hand-his manly brow Heroes have trod this spot—'tis on their
Consents to death, but conquers agony,

dust ye tread.
And his droop'd head sinks gradually low-
And through his side the last drops, ebbing “ While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall

From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one, When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now “ And when Rome falls-the World." From
The arena swims around him-he is gone,

our own land
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which haild Thus spake the pilgrims o'er this mighty
the wretch who won.


In Saxon times, which we are wont to call He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes Ancient;

and these three mortal things are Were with his heart, and that was far

still away ;

On their foundations, and unalter'd all ;
He reck'd not of the life he lost nor prize, Rome and her Ruin past Redemption's skill,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay; The World, the same wide den—of thieves,
There were his

barbarians all at play,

or what ye will. There was their Dacian mother-he, their


Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublimeButcher'd to make a Roman holiday- Shrine of all saints and temple of all gods, All this rush'd with his blood—Shall he From Jove to Jesus - spared and blest by expire

And unavenged ?-Arise! ye Goths, and Looking tranquillity, while falls or nods

glut your ire!
Arch, empire, each thing round thee, and

man plods
But here, where Murder breathed her bloody His way through thorns to ashes-glorious

dome! And here, where buzzing nations choked Shalt thou not last ? Time's scythe and

tyrants' rods And roar'd or murmur'd like a mountain- Shiver upon thee_sanctuary and home


Of art and piety-Pantheon-pride of Rome!
Dashing or winding as its torrent strays;
Here, where the Roman million's blame or Relic of nobler days, and noblest arts !


Despoil'd yet perfect, with thy circle spreads
Was death or life, the playthings of a crowd, A holiness appealing to all hearts—
My voice sounds much-and fall the stars' To art a model ; and to him who treads

Rome for the sake of ages, Glory sheds
On the arena void-seats crush’d-walls Her light through thy sole aperture; to those


Who worship,here are altars for their beads; And galleries, where my steps seem echoes And they who feel for genius may repose strangely lond. Their eyes on honour'd forms, whose busts

around them close. A rain-yet what ruin! from its mass Walls, palaces, half-cities, have been rear'd; There is a dungeon in whose dim drear light Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass What do I gaze on ? Nothing: Look again ! And marvel where the spoil could have Two forms are slowly shadow'd on my appear'd.

sightHath it indeed been plunderd,or but clear’d? | Two insulated phantoms of the brain : Alas! developed, opens the decay, It is not so; I see them full and plainWhen the colossal fabric's form is near’d: An old man, and a female young and fair, It will not bear the brightness of the day, Fresh as a nursing mother, in whose vein Which streams too much on all years, man, The blood is nectar:—but what doth she have reft away.


With her unmantled neck, and bosom white But when the rising moon begins to climb

and bare ? Its topmost arch, and gently pauses there; When the stars twinkle through the loops Full swells the deep pare fountain of young

of time, And the low night-breeze waves along the air Where on the heart and from the heart we The garland-forest, which the gray walls


Our first and sweetest nurture, when the
Like laurels on the bald first Casar's head;
When the light shines serene but doth not Blest into mother, in the innocent look,


Or even the piping cry of lips that brook

faint rays

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No pain and small suspense, a joy perceives Of a sublimer aspect? Majesty, Man knows not, when from out its cradled Power, Glory, Strength, and Beauty, all nook

are aisled She sees her little bud put forth its leaves. In this eternal ark of worship undefiled. What may the fruits be yet ?—I know not

Cain was Eve's. Enter: its grandeur overwhelms thee not;

And why? it is not lessen'd; but thy mind, But here youth offers to old age the food, Expanded by the genius of the spot, The milk of his own gift:-it is her sire Has grown colossal, and can only find To whom she renders back the debt of blood A fit abode wherein appear enshrined Born with her birth. No; he shall not expire Thy hopes of immortality; and thou While in those warm and lovely veins the fire Shalt one day, if found worthy, so defined, Of health and holy feeling can provide See thy God face to face, as thou dost now Great Nature's Nile, whose deep stream rises His Holy of Holies, nor be blasted by his higher

brow. Than Egypt's river:—from that gentle side Drink, drink and live, old man ! Heaven's Thou movest - but increasing with the realm holds no such tide.


Like climbing some great Alp, which still The starry fable of the milky way

doth rise, Has not thy story's purity; it is

Deceived by its gigantic elegance ; A constellation of a sweeter ray,

Vastness which grows—but grows to harAnd sacred Nature triumphs more in this

monize Reverse of her decree, than in the abyss All musical in its immensitics; Where sparkle distant worlds :-Oh, holiest Rich marbles — richer painting - shrines nurse!

where flame No drop of that clear stream its way shall The lamps of gold—and haughty dome miss

which vies To thy sire's heart, replenishing its source In air with Earth's chief structures, though With life, as our freed souls rejoin the

their frame universe. Sits on the firm-set ground-and this the

clouds must claim. Turn to the Mole which Hadrian rear'd

on high, Thou seest not all; but piecemeal thou must Imperial mimic of old Egypt's piles,

break, Colossal copyist of deformity,

To separate contemplation, the great whole; Whose tra vell’d phantasy from the far Nile's And as the ocean many bays will make, Enorinous model doom'd the artist's toils That ask the eye—so here condense thy soul To build for giants, and for his vain earth, To more immediate objects, and control His shrunken ashes, raise this dome: How Thy thoughts until thy mind hath got by smiles

heart The gazer's eye with philosophic mirth, Its eloquent proportions, and unroll To view the huge design which sprung from In mighty graduations, part by part, such a birth! The glory which at once upon thee did not

dart, But lo! the dome—the vast and wondrous


Not by its fault--but thine : Our outward To which Diana's marvel was a cellChrist's mighty shrine above his martyr's Is but of gradual grasp-and as it is

tomb ;

That what we have of feeling most intense I have beheld the Ephesian's miracle Outstrips our faint expression ; even so this Its columns strew the wilderness; and dwell Outshining and o’erwhelming edifice The hyaena and the jackall in their shade: Fools our fond gaze, and greatest of the great I have beheld Sophia's bright roofs swell Defies at first our Nature's littleness, Their glittering mass i’ the sun, and have Till.growing with its growth, we thus dilate


Our spirits to the size of that they conIts sanctuary the while the usurping Moslem

template. pray'd;

Then pause, and be enlighten’d; there is more But thou, of temples old, or altars new, In such a survey than the sating gaze Standest alone- with nothing like to theem Of wonder pleased or awe which would adoro Worthiest of God, the holy and the true. The worship of the place, or the mere praise Since Zion's desolation, when that He Of art and its great masters, who could raisc Forsook his former city, what could be, What former time, nor skill, nor thought Of earthly structures, in his honour piled,

could plan;


The fountain of sublimity displays Which gathers shadow, substance, life, and Its depth, and thence may draw the mind

all of man

That we inherit in its mortal shroud, Its golden sands, and learn what great And spreads the dim and universal pall conceptions can. Through which all things grow phantoms;

and the cloud Or, turning to the Vatican, go see Between us sinks and all which ever glow'd, Laocoon's torture-dignifying pain

Till Glory's self is twilight, and displays A father's love and mortal's agony A melancholy halo scarce allow'd With an immortal's patience blending :- To hover on the verge of darkness; rays


Sadder than saddest night, for they disThe struggle; vain,against the coiling strain

tract the gaze, And gripe, and deepening of the dragon's


And send us prying into the abyss, The old man's clench; the long envenom'd To gather what we shall be when the frame


Shall be resolved to something less than this Rivets the living links,-the enormous asp Its wretched essence; and to dream of fame, Enforces pang on pang, and stifles gasp on And wipe the dust from off the idle name


We never more shall hear,—but nevermore,

Oh, happier thought! can we be made Or view the Lord of the unerring bow,

the same; The God of life, and poesy, and light- It is enough in sooth that once we bore The Sun in human limbs array'd, and brow These fardels of the heart—the heart whose All radiant from his triumph in the fight;

sweat was gore. The shaft hath just been shot—the arrow


Hark! forth from the abyss a voice proceeds, With an immortal's vengeance; in his eye A long low distant murmur of dread sound, And nostril beautiful disdain, and might, Such as arises when a nation bleeds And majesty, flash their full lightnings by, With some deep and immedicable wound; Developing in that one glance the Deity. Through storm and darkness yawns the

rending ground, But in his delicate form—a dream of Love, The gulf is thick with phantoms, but the Shaped by some solitary nymph, whose

chief breast

Seems royal still, though with her head Longd for a deathless lover from above,

discrown'd, And madden'd in that vision-are exprest And pale, but lovely, with maternal grief All that ideal beauty ever bless'd She clasps a babe, to whom her breast The mind with in its most unearthly mood,

yields no relief. When each conception was a heavenly


Scion of chiefs and monarchs,where art thou? A ray of immortality-and stood,

Fond hope of many nations, art thou dead ? Starlike,around,until they gather’d to a god! Could not the grave forget thee, and lay low

Some less majestic, less beloved head ? And if it be Prometheus stole from heaven In the sad midnight, while thy heart still The fire which we endure, it was repaid By him to whom the energy was given The mother of a moment, o'er thy boy, Which this poetic marble hath array'd Death hush'd that pang for ever: with thee With an eternal glory—which, if made

fled By human hands, is not of human thought; The present happiness and promised joy And time himself hath hallow'd it, nor laid Which fillid the imperial isles so full it One ringlet in the dust—nor hath it caught

seem'd to cloy. A tinge af years, but breathes the flame with which 'twas wrought. Peasants bring forth in safety.-Can it be,

Oh thou that wert so happy, so adored ! But where is he; the Pilgrim of my song, Those who weep not for kings shall weep The being who upheld it through the past ?

for thee, Methinks he cometh late and tarries long. And Freedom's heart, grown heavy, cease He is no more these breathings are his last;

to hoard His wanderings done, his visions ebbing fast, Her many griefs for OnB; for she had pour’d And he himself as nothing:--if he was Her orisons for thee, and o'er thy head Aught but a phantasy, and could be classid Beheld her Iris.—Thon, too, lonely lord, With forms which live and suffer-let that And Se solate consort — vainly wert thou pass

wed; His shadow fades away into Destruction's The husband of a year! the father of the




Of sackcloth was thy wedding-garment made; The midland ocean breaks on him and me, Thy bridal's fruit is ashes : in the dust And from the Alban Mount we now behold The fair-hair'd Daughter of the Isles is laid, Our friend of youth, that ocean, which The love of millions! How we did entrust

when we Futurity to her! and, though it must Beheld it last by Calpe's rock unfold Darken above our bones, yet fondly deem'd Those waves, we follow'd on till the dark Ourchildren should obey herchild,and bless’d

Euxine roll'd Her and her hoped-for seed, whose promise


Upon the blue Symplegades: long years Like stars to shepherds' eyes :-'twas but a Long, though not very many, since have done meteor beam'd. Their work on both; some suffering and

some tears Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps well: Have left us nearly where we had begun: The fickle reek of popular breath, the tongue Yet not in vain our mortal race hath run, Of hollow counsel, the false oracle, We have had our reward-and it is here; Which from the birth of monarchy hath rung That we can yet feel gladden'd by the sun, Its knell in princely ears, till the o’erstung And reap from earth, sea, joy almost as dear Nations have arm'd in madness, the strange As if there were no man to trouble what fate

is clear. Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns, and

hath flung Oh! that the Desert were my dwelling-place, Against their blind omnipotence a weight With one fair Spirit for my minister, Within the opposing scale, which crushes That I might all forget the human race,

soon or late, And, hating no one, love but only her!

Ye Elements !-in whose ennobling stir These might have been her destiny ; but no, I feel myself exalted-Can ye not Our hearts deny it: and so young, so fair, Accord me such a being? Do I err Good without effort, great without a foe; In deeming such inhabit many a spot? But now a bride and mother—and now there! Though with them to converse can rarely How many ties did that stern moment tear!

be our lot. From thy Sire's to his humblest subject's


There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, Is link'd the electric chain of that despair, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, Whose shock was as an earthquake's, and There is society, where none intrudes,


By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: The land which loved thee so that none I love not Man the less, but Nature more, could love thee best. From these our interviews, in which I stcal

From all I may be, or have been before, Lo, Nemi! navell’d in the woody hills To mingle with the Universe, and feel So far, that the uprooting wind which tears What I can ne’er express, yet can not all The oak from his foundation,and which spills

conceal. The ocean o'er its boundary, and bears Its foam against the skies, reluctant spares' Roll onthou deep and dark blue ocean-roll! The oval mirror of thy glassy lake; Ten thousand flects sweep over thee in vain ; And, calm as cherish'd hate, its surface wears Man marks the earth with ruin-his control Adeep cold settled aspect nought can shake, Stops with the shore;-upon the watery plain All coil'd into itself and round, as sleeps The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain

the snake.

A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,

When, for a moment, like a drop of rain, And near Albano's scarce divided waves He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Shine from a sister-valley ;-and afar Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin'd, and The Tiber winds, and the broad ocean laves

unknown. The Latian coast where sprang the Epic war, “ Arms and the Man,” whose reascending star His steps are not upon thy paths,-thy fields Rose o'er an empire:– but beneath thy right Are not a spoil for him,-thou dost arise Tully reposed' from Rome ; and where And shake him from thee; the vile strength

he wields Of girdling mountains intercepts the sight For earth's destruction thou dost all despise, The Sabine farm was tilld, the weary Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,

bard's delight.
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful

But I forget.—My pilgrim's shrine is won, And howling, to his Gods, where haply lies
And he and I must part, so let it be, - His petty hope in some near port or bay,
His task and mine alike are nearly done; And dashest him again to earth :—there let
Yet once more let us look upon the sea ;

him lay.

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