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Oh, known the earliest, and esteem'd the most!
Dear to a heart where nought was left so dear!
Though to my hopeless days for ever lost,
In dreams deny me not to see thee here!
And Morn in secret shall renew the tear
Of Consciousness awaking to her woes,
And Fancy hover o'er thy bloodless bier,
Till my frail frame return to whence it rose,
And mourn'd and mourner lie united in repose.
olymeth now may scribble moe,
Is this too much? stern Critic! say not so:
Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld
In other lands, where he was doom'd to go: ,
Lands that contain the monuments of Eld,
Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were
COME, blue-eyed maid of heaven !—but thou, alas !
Didst never get one mortal song inspire-
Goddess of Wisdom! here thy temple was,
And is, despite of war and wasting fire, (1)
And years that bade thy worship to expire:
But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow,
Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire
Of men who never felt the sacred glow
That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd breasts
Ancient of days! august Athena! where, Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul ? Gone-glimmering through the dream of things that First in the race that led to Glory's goal, [were: They won, and pass'd away—is this the whole ? A school-boy's tale, the wonder of an hour! The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering tower, Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power.
Son of the morning, rise! approach you here!
Come—but molest not yon defenceless urn:
Look on this spot-a nation's sepulchre !
Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn.
Even gods must yield—religions take their turn:
'Twas Jove's—’tis Mahomet's—and other creeds
Will rise with other years, till man shall learn
Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds;
Poor child of Doubt and Death,whose hope is built on reeds.
Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heaven
I'st not enough, unhappy thing! to know
Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given,
That being, thou wouldst be again, and go,
Thou know'st not, reck’st not to what region, so
On earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
Still wilt thou dream on future joy and wo?
Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies:
That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.
Or burst the vanish'd Hero's lofty mound;
Far on the solitary shore he sleeps : (3)
He fell, and falling nations mourn'd around;
But now not one of saddening thousands weeps,
Nor warlike-worshipper his vigil keeps
Where demi-gods appear'd, as records tell.
Remove yon skull from out the scatter'd heaps :
Is that a temple where a God may dwell ?
Why ey'n the worm at last disdains her shatter'd cell!
Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul:
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit,
And Passion's host, that never brook'd control :
Can all, saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit ?
VII. Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son! “ All that we know is, nothing can be known." Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun? Each has his pang, but feeble sufferers groan With brain-born dreams of evil all their own. Pursue what Chance or Fate proclaimeth best ; Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron:
There no forced banquet claims the sated guest, But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.
VIII. Yet if, as holiest men have deem'd, there be A land of souls beyond that sable shore, To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore; How sweet it were in concert to adore With those who made our mortal labours light! To hear each voice we feard to hear no more! Behold each mighty shade reveald to sight, The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who taught the right!