Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

course

[ocr errors]

and wrap

[ocr errors]

Temple and tower went down, nor left a What crimes it costs to be a moment free

site:

And famous through all ages! but beneath
Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void, His fate the moral lurks of destiny ;
O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light, His day of double victory and death
And say, where was, or is,” where all is Beheld him win two realms, and, happier,
doubly night?

yield his breath. The double night of ages, and of her, The third of the same moon whose former Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath' wrapt

Had all but crown'd him, on the selfsame day All round us ; we but feel our way to crr: Deposed him gently from his throne of force, The ocean hath his chart, the stars their And laid him with the earth's preceding map,

clay.
And Knowledge spreads them on her ample And show'd not Fortune thus how fame and
lap;

sway,
But Rome is as the desert, where we steer And all we deem delightful, and consume
Stumbling o'er recollections ; now we clap Our souls to compass through each arduous
Our hands and cry “Eureka!” it is clear-

way,
When but some false mirage of rises Are in her eyes less happy than the tomb?

Were they but so in man's, how different

were his doom!
Alas! the lofty city! and alas!
The trebly hundred triumphs! and the day And thou, dread statue! yet existent in
When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass The austerest form of naked majesty,
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame Thou who beheldest, \mid the assassins'din,

away!

At thy bathed base the bloody Caesar lie,
Alas, for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay, Folding his robe in dying dignity,
And Livy's pictured page!—but these shall be An offering to thine altar from the queen
Her resurrection; all beside-decay. Of gods and men, great Nemesis! did he die,
Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see And thou, too, perish, Pompey ? have ye been
That brightness in her eye she bore when Victors of countless kings, or puppets of a
Rome was free!

scene?

near.

[ocr errors]

crown

Oh thoa, whose chariot rollid on Fortune's And thou , the thunder-stricken nurse of wheel,

Rome! Triumphant Sylla! Thou, who didst subdue She-wolf! whose brazen-imaged dugsimpart Thy country's foes ere thou would pause to The milk of conquest yet within the dome

feel

Where, as a monument of antique art,
The wrath of thy own wrongs, or reap the due Thou standest:-Mother of the mighty heart,
Of hoarded vengeance till thine eagles flew Which the great founder suck'd from thy
O'er prostrateAsia;-thou,who with thy frown

wild teat, Annihilated senates—Roman, too,

Scorch'd by the Roman Jove's etherial dart,
With all thy vices, for thou didst lay down and thy limbs black with lightning-dost
With an atoning smile a more than earthly

thon yet
Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond

charge forget ?
The dictatorial wreath, couldst thou divine
To what would one day dwindle that which Thou dost;—but all thy foster-babes are
made

dead Thee more than mortal ? and that so supine The men of iron; and the world hath rear'd By aught than Romans Rome should thus be Cities from out their sepulchres: men bled

laid?

In imitation of the things they fear'd She who was named Eternal, and array'

y'd And fought and conquerd, and the same Her warriors but to conquer-she who veil'd

course steerd, Earth with her haughty shadow, and dis- At apish distance; but as yet none have,

play'd,

Nor could, the same supremacy have near’d, Until the o'er-canopied horizon fail’d, Save one vain man, who is not in the grave, Her rushing wings Oh! she who was But, vanquish'd by himself, to his own Almigthy hailid !

slaves a slaveSylla was first of victors; but our own The fool of false dominion--and a kind The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell; he Of bastard-Caesar, following him of old Too swept off scnates while he hew'd the With steps anequal; for the Roman's mind

throne

Was modellid in a less terrestrial mould, Down to a block-immortal rebel! See With passions fiercer, yet a judgment cold,

9

rears

flow'd,

And an immortal instinct which redeem'd And the intent of tyranny avow'd,
The frailties of a heart so soft, yet bold, The edict of Earth's rulers, who are grown
Alcides with the distaff now he seem'd The apes of him who humbled once the
At Cleopatra's feet,--and now himself he

proud,
beam'd,
And shook them from their slumbers on

the throne; And came—and saw—and conquer'd! But Too glorious, were this all his mighty the man

arm had done. Who would have tamed his eagles down to flee,

Can tyrants but by tyrants conquer'd be, Like a train'd falcon, in the Gallic van, And Freedom find no champion and no child Which he, in sooth, long led to victory, Such as Columbia saw arise when she With a deaf heart which never seem'd to be Sprung forth a Pallas, arm'd and undefiled A listener to itself, was strangely framed; Or must such minds be nourish'd in the wild, With but one weakest weakness—vanity, Deep in the unpruned forest, ’midst the roar Coquettish in ambition--still he aimed of cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled At what? can he avouch-or answer what On infant Washington ? Has Earth no more he claim'd? Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no

such shure ? And would be all or nothing-nor could wait

But France got drunk with blood to vomit For the sure grave to level him; few years

crime, Had fix'd him with the Caesars in his fate, And fatal have her Saturnalia been On whom we tread : For this the conqueror To Freedom's cause, in every age and clime;

Because the deadly days which we have seen, The arch of triumph! and for this the tears And vile Ambition, that built up between And blood of earth flow on as they have Man and his hopes an adamantine wall,

And the base pageant last upon the scene, An universal deluge, which appears Are grown the pretext for the eternal thrall Without an ark for wretched man's abode, Which nips life's tree, and dooms man's And ebbs but to reflow!--Renew thy rain

worst-his second fall. bow, God!

Yet, Freedom! yet thy banner, torn, but What from this barren being do we reap ?

flying, Our senses narrow, and our reason frail, Streams like the thunder-storm against the Life short, and truth a gem which loves

wind; the deep,

Thy trumpet-voice, though broken now and And all things weigh'd in custom's falsest

dying, scale;

The loudest still the tempest leaves behind; Opinion an omnipotence,—whose veil Thy tree hath lost its blossoms, and the rind, Mantles the earth with darkness, until right Chopp'd by the axe, looks rough and little And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale

worth, Lest their own judgments should become too But the sap lasts,—and still the seed we find bright,

Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North; And their free thoughts becrimes, and earth So shall a better spring less bitter fruit have too much light.

bring forth. And thus they plod in sluggish misery, There is a stern round tower of other days, Rotting from sire to son, and age to age, Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone, Proud of their trampled nature, and so die, Such as an army's baffled strength delays, Bequeathing their hereditary rage Standing with half its battlements alone, To the new race of inborn slaves, who wage And with two thousand years of ivy grown, War for their chains, and rather than be The garland of eternity, where wave free,

The green leaves over all by time o'erBleed gladiator-like, and still engage

thrown ;Within the same arena where they see What was this tower of strength ? within Their fellows fall before, like leaves of

its cave the same tree What treasure lay so lock'd, so hid ?--A

woman's Shave. I speak not of men's creeds--they rest between

But who was she, the lady of the dead, Man and his Maker-but of things allow'd, Tomb'd in a palace? Was she chaste and fair? Averr'd, and known ,--and daily, hourly Worthy a king's--or more—a Roman's bed? seen

What race of chiefs and heroes did she bear! The yoke that is upon us doubly bow'd, What daughter of her beauties was the heir?

How lived-how loved-how died she? Was | But could I gather from the wave-worn store

she not

Enough for my rude boat, where should I So honour'd—and conspicuously there,

steer? Where meaner relics must not dare to rot, There woos no home, nor hope, nor life, Placed to commemorate a more than mortal

save what is here. lot?

Then let the winds howl on! their harmony Was she as those who love their lords, or they Shall henceforth be my music, and the night Who love the lords of others? such have been, The sound shall temper with the owlet's cry, Even in the olden time Rome's annals say. As I now hear them, in the fading light Was she a matron of Cornelia's mien, Dim o'er the bird of darkness' native site, Or the light air of Egypt's graceful queen, Answering each other on the Palatine, Profuse of joy-or 'gainst it did she war, With their large eyes, all glistening gray Inveterate in virtue? Did she lean

and bright, To the soft side of the heart, or wisely bar And sailing pinions.—Upon such a shrine Love from amongst her griefs?—for such What are our petty griefs ?-let me not the affections are.

number mine.

yet shed

Perchance she died in youth: it may be, Cypress and ivy, weed and wall-flower bow'd

grown With woes far heavier than the ponderous Matted and mass'd together, hillocks heap'd

tomb

On what were chambers, arch crush'd, coThat weigh'd upon her gentle dust, a cloud

lumn strown Might gather o'er her beauty, and a gloom In fragments, choked-up vaults, and frescos In her dark eye, prophetic of the doom

steep'd Heaven gives its favourites-early death; In subterranean damps, where the owl peep'd,

Deeming it midnight:- Temples, baths, or A sunset-charm around her, and illume

halls? With hectic light, the Hesperus of the dead, Pronounce who can; for all that Learning Of her consuming cheek the autumnal leaf

reap'd like red. From her research hath been, that these are

walls Perchance she died in age-surviving all, Behold the Imperial Mount! 'tis thus the Charms, kindred, children—with the sil

mighty falls. ver-gray On her long tresses, which might yet recal, There is the moral of all human tales; It may be, still a something of the day 'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past : When they were braided, and her proud First Freedom, and then Glory-when that array.

fails, And lovely form were envied, praised, and Wealth, vice,corruption,-barbarism at last.

eyed

And History, with all her volumes vast, By Rome–But whither would Conjecture Hath but one page,— 'tis better written here,

stray?

Where gorgeous Tyranny had thus amassid Thus much alone we know-Metella died, All treasures, all delights, that eye or ear, The wealthiest Roman's wife; Behold his Heart, soul could seek, tongue ask

-Away love or pride!

with words! draw near, I know not why—but standing thus by thee Admire, exult-despise-langh, weep,It seems as if I had thine inmate known,

for here Thou tomb! and other days come back on me There is such matter for all feeling:-Man! With recollected music, though the tone Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear, Is changed and solemn, like the cloudy groan Ages and realms are crowded in this span, Of dying thunder on the distant wind; This mountain, whose obliterated plan Yet could I seat me by this ivied stone The pyramid of empires pinnacled, Till I had bodied forth the heated mind Of Glory's gewgaws shining in the van Forms from the floating wreck which Ruin Till the sun's rays with added flame were leaves behind;

fillid!

Where are its golden roofs? where those And from the planks, far shatter'd o'er the

who dared to build ?

rocks,

Built me a little bark of hope, once more Tully was not so eloquent as thou,
To battle with the ocean and the shocks Thou nameless column with the buried base!
Of the loud breakers, and the ceaseless roar What are the laurels of the Caesar's brow?
Which rushes on the solitary shore Crown me with ivy from his dwelling-place.
Where all lies founder'd that was ever dear:/ Whose arch or pillar meets me in the face,

wore

the steep

the grass

Titus or Trajan's ? No—'tis that of Time: The nympholepsy of some fond despair ; Triumph, arch, pillar, all he doth displace Or, it might bé, a beauty of the earth, Scoffing; and apostolic statues climb Who found a more than common votary thero To crush the imperial urn, whose ashes Too much adoring; whatsoe'er thy birth, slept sublime, Thou wert a beautiful thought, and softly

bodied forth. Buried in air, the deep-blue sky of Rome, And looking to the stars: they had contain's The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled A spirit which with these would find a home, With thine Elysian water-drops; the face The last of those who o'er the whole earth Of thy cave-guarded spring, with years unreign’d,

wrinkled, The Roman globe, for after none sustain'd, Reflects the meek-eyed genius of the place, Butyielded back his conquests:-he was more Whose green, wild margin now no more erase Than a mere Alexander, and, unstain'd Art's works; nor must the delicate waters With household-blood and wine, serenely

sleep,

Prison'd in marble; bubbling from the base His sovereign virtues—still we Trajan's Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap name adore. The rill runs o'er, and round, fern, flowers,

and ivy, creep Where is the rock of Triumph, the high

place
Fantastically tangled ;

the
green

hills Where Rome embraced her heroes? where Are clothed with early blossoms, through Tarpeian? fittest goal of Treason's race, The quick-eyed lizard rustles, and the bills The promontory whence the Traitor's Leap Of summer- birds sing welcome as ye pass ; Cured all ambition. Did the conquerors heap Flowers fresh in hue, and many in their Their spoils here? Yes; and in yon field

class, below,

Implore the pausing step, and with their dyes A thousand years of silenced factions sleep, Dance in the soft breeze in a fairy mass; The Forum, where the immortal accents The sweetness of the violet's deep-blue eyes,

glow,

Kiss'd by the breath of heaven, seems And still the eloquent air breathes—burns

colourd by its skies. with Cicero!

Here didst thou dwell, in this enchanted The field of freedom, faction, fame, and

cover, blood :

Egeria ! thy all heavenly bosom beating Here a proud people's passions were exhaled, For the far footsteps of thy mortal lover; From the first hour of empire in the bud The purple Midnight veil'd that mystic To that when further worlds to conquer

meeting fail'd ;

With her most starry canopy, and seating But long before had Freedom's face been Thyself by thine adorer, what befel?

veil'd,

This cave was surely shaped out for the And Anarchy assumed her attributes;

greeting Till every lawless soldier who assail'd Of an enamour'd Goddess, and the cell Trod on the trembling senate's slavish Haunted by holy Love-the earliest oracle!

mutes, Or raised the venal voice of baser prostitutes. And didst thog not, thy breast to his replying,

Blend a celestial with a human heart; Then turn we to her latest tribune's name, And Love, which dies as it was born, in From her ten thousand tyrants turn to thee,

sighing, Redeemer of dark centuries of shame Share vith immortal transports ? could The friend of Petrarch-hope of Italy

thine art Rienzi! last of Romans! While the tree Make them indeed immortal, and impart Of Freedon's wither'd trunk puts forth a The purity of heaven to earthly joys,

leaf,

Expel the venom and not blunt the dart-Even for thy tomb a garland let it be The dull satiety which all destroys The forums champion, and the people's | And root from out the soul the deadly weed chief

which cloys? Her new-born Numa thou—with reign, alas!

too brief.

Alas! our young affections run to waste,

Or water but the desert; whence arise Egeria! sweet creation of some heart But weeds of dark luxuriance, tares of haste, Which found no inortal resting-place so fair Rank at the core,though tempting to the eyes, As thine ideal breast; whate'er thou art Flowers whose wild odours breathe but Or wert,-a young Aurora of the air,

agonies,

And trees whose gums are poison ; such the Antipathies—but to recur, ere long,

plants

Envenom'd with irrevocable wrong; Which spriug beneath her steps as Passion And Circumstance, that unspiritual god

flies

And miscreator, makes and helps along O'er the world's wilderness,and vainly pants Our coming evils with a crutch-like rod, For some celestial fruit forbidden to our Whose touch turns Hope to dust,—the dust wants.

we all have trod.

see

Oh Love! no habitant of eartl: thou art Our life is a false nature—'tis not in
An unseen seraph, we believe in thee, The harmony of things,—this hard decree,
A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart, This uneradicable taint of sin,
But never yet hath seen , nor e'er shall see This boundless upas, this all-blasting tree,
The naked eye, thy form, as it should be ; Whose root is earth , whose leaves and
The mind has made thee, as it peopled

branches be
heaven,

The skies which rain their plagues on men Even with its own desiring phantasy,

like dewAnd to a thought such shape and image given, Disease, death, bondage-all the woes we As haunts the unquench'd soul-parch'dwearied—wrung-and riven. And worse, the woes we see not—which

throb through Of its own beauty is the mind diseased, The immedicable soul, with heart-aches And fevers into false creation :-where,

ever new Where are the forms the sculptor's soul hath

seized ?

Yet let us ponder boldly—'tis a basc In him alone. Can Nature show so fair ? Abandonment of reason to resign Where are the charms and virtues which we Our right of thought-our last and only dare

place Conceive in boyhood and pursue as men, Of refuge; this, at least, shall still be mine: The unreach'd Paradise of our despair, Thongh from our birth the faculty divine Which o'er-informs the pencil and the pen, Is chain'd and tortured-cabin'd, cribb’d, And overpowers the page where. it would

confined, bloom again? And bred in darkness, lest the truth should

shine Who loves, raves—’tis youth's frenzy—but Too brightly on the unprepared mind,

the cure

The beam pours in, for time and skill will Is bitterer still; as charm by charm unwinds

couch the blind. Which robed our idols, and we see too sure Nor worth nor beauty dwells from out the Arches on arches! as it were that Rome,

mind's

Collecting the chief trophies of her line, Ideal shape of such, yet still it binds Would build up all her triumphs in one The fatal spell, and still it draws us on,

dome, Reaping the whirlwind from the oft-sown Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams shine.

winds;

As 'twere its natural torches, for divine The stubborn heart, its alchemy begun, Should be the light which streams here, Seems ever near the prize,_wealthiest when

to illume most undone. This long-explored but still exhaustless

mine We wither from our youth, we gasp away. Of contemplation ; and the azure gloom Sick-sick; unfound the boon-unslaked Of an Italian night, where the deep skies

the thirst, Though to the last, in verge of our decay, Some phantom lures, such as we sought Hues which have words, and speak to ye at first

of heaven, But all too late,--so are we doubly curst. Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monuLove, fame, ambition, avarice'tis he same,

ment, Each idle—and all ill—and none the worst- And shadows forth its glory. There is given For all are meteors with a different name, Unto the things of earth, which time hath And Death the sable smoke where vanishes

the flame. A spirit's feeling, and where he hath leant

His hand, but broke his scythe, there is Few-none-find what they love or could

a power have loved, And magic in the ruined battlement, Though accident, blind contact, and the For which the palace of the present hour

strong

Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages Necessity of loving, have removed

are its dower.

assume

bent,

« ZurückWeiter »