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Mortals, who sought and found, by dangerous roads,
A path to perpetuity of fame :
They were gigantic minds, and their steep aim
Was, Titan-like, on daring doubts to pile
Thoughts which should call down thunder, and the

flame Of Heaven again assailed, if Heaven the while On man and man's research could deign do more than



The one was fire and fickleness, a child
Most mutable in wishes, but in mind
A wit as various ;-gay, grave, sage, or wild,-
Historian, bard, philosopher, combined ;
He multiplied himself among mankind,
The Proteus 1 of their talents : But his own
Breathed most in ridicule,—which, as the wind,

Blew where it listed, laying all things prone, -
Now to o’erthrow a fool, and now to shake a throne.


The other, deep and slow, exhausting thought,
And hiving wisdom with each studious year,
In meditation dwelt, with learning wrought,
And shaped his weapon with an edge severe,
Sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer ;
The lord of irony,—that master-spell,
Which stung his foes to wrath, which grew from fear,

And doomed him to the zealot's ready Hell,
Which answers to all doubts so eloquently well.?

Historian, in his histories, e.g. Charles XII. ;' Bard, in his dramas, and his Henriade ;' Philosopher, in his · Philosophy of History, &c. His influence on the French Revolution, in sapping the reality of political and religious conviction, is noted in the last lines, “laying all things prone,' &c.

1 Proteus.] The Old Man of the Sea, whose principal power seems to have been the assuming of every possible shape. 2 See Pope's • Universal Prayer'

• Let not this weak unknowing hand

Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land

Ou each I judge thy foe.'


Yet, peace be with their ashes,-for by them,
If merited, the penalty is paid ;
It is not ours to judge,- far less condemn ;
The hour must come when such things shall be made
Known unto all, or hope and dread allayed
By slumber, on one pillow, in the dust,
Which, thus much we are sure, must lie decayed ;

And when it shall revive, as is our trust,
'Twill be to be forgiven, or suffer what is just.


But let me quit man's works, again to read
His Maker's, spread around me, and suspend
This page, which from my reveries I feed,
Until it seems prolonging without end.
The clouds above me to the white Alps tend,
And I must pierce them, and survey whate'er
May be permitted, as my steps I bend

To their most great and growing region, where
The earth to her embrace compels the powers of air.


Italia! too, Italia ! looking on thee,
Full flashes on the soul the light of ages,
Since the fierce Carthaginian almost won thee,
To the last halo of the chiefs and sages
Who glorify thy consecrated pages ;
Thou wert the throne and grave of empires ; still,
The fount at which the panting mind assuages

Her thirst of knowledge, quaffing there her fill, Flows from the eternal source of Rome's imperial hill.


Thus far have I proceeded in a theme
Renewed with no kind auspices : to feel
We are not what we have been, and to deem
We are not what we should be, and to steel
The heart against itself; and to conceal,
With a proud caution, love, or hate, or aught,

1 Compels.] In Virgil, 'in nubem cogitur aër.'

Passion or feeling, purpose, grief, or zeal,

Which is the tyrant spirit of our thought,
Is a stern task of soul :-No matter, -it is taught.


And for these words, thus woven into song,
It may be that they are a harmless wile,-
The colouring of the scenes which fleet along,
Which I would seize, in passing, to beguile
My breast, or that of others, for a while.
Fame is the thirst of youth, but I am not
So young as to regard men's frown or smile,

As loss or guerdon of a glorious lot ;
I stood and stand alone,-remembered or forgot.


I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bowed
To its idolatries a patient knee,
Nor coined my cheek to smiles, nor cried aloud
In worship of an echo ; in the crowd
They could not deem me one of such ; I stood
Among them, but not of them ; in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still

Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.


I have not loved the world, nor the world me,-
But let us part fair foes ; I do believe,
Though I have found them not, that there may

Words which are things, hopes which will not deceive,
And virtues which are merciful, nor weave
Snares for the failing, I would also deem
O'er others' griefs that some sincerely grieve ;

That two, or one, are almost what they seem, That goodness is no name, and happiness no dream. | Frled my mind.] See ‘Macbeth,' act iii. 1

• If it be so, For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind.' See also · Henry VIII.' act i. 2

‘And front, but in that filer? Hence the meaning to range, or keep in order.


My daughter ! with thy name this song begun ;
My daughter! with thy name thus much shall end ;
I see thee not, I hear thee not, but none
Can be so wrapt in thee ; thou art the friend
To whom the shadows of far years extend :
Albeit my brow thou never should'st behold,
My voice shall with thy future visions blend,

And reach into thy heart, when mine is cold,
A token and a tone, even from thy father's mould.


To aid thy mind's development, to watch
Thy dawn of little joys, to sit and see
Almost thy very growth, to view thee catch
Knowledge of objects,-wonders yet to thee !
To hold thee lightly on a gentle knee,
And print on thy soft cheek a parent's kiss,-
This, it should seem, was not reserved for me ;

Yet this was in my nature : as it is,
I know not what is there, yet something like to this.


Yet, though dull Hate as duty should be taught,
I know that thou wilt love me ; though my name
Should be shut from thee, as a spell still fraught
With desolation, and a broken claim :
Though the grave closed between us,-'twere the same,
I know that thou wilt love me; though to drain
My blood from out thy being were an aim,

And an attainment,-all would be in vain,-
Still thou would'st love me, still that more than life retain.


The child of love, though born in bitterness,
And nurtured in convulsion. Of thy sire
These were the elements, and thine no less.
As yet such are around thee, but thy fire
Shall be more tempered, and thy hope far higher.
Sweet be thy cradled slumbers ! O'er the sea
And from the mountains where I now respire,

Fain would I waft such blessing upon thee,
As, with a sigh, I deem thou might'st have been to me!


A.D. 1818.


I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs ;? A palace and a prison on each hand : I saw from out the wave her structures rise As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand : A thousand years their cloudy wings expand Around me, and a dying Glory smiles O'er the far times, when many a subject land Looked to the winged Lion's 2 marble piles, Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred

isles. 3


She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean, Rising with her tiara of proud towers At airy distance, with majestic motion, A ruler of the waters and their powers : And such she was ; 5—her daughters had their dowers From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East Poured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers. In purple was she robed, and of her feast Monarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased. 1 I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of sighs.] Conf.

• The covered bridge, the bridge of sighs.'—Rogers. Called the Bridge of Sighs because it led to the cells of the condemned. See Two Foscari,'— The Bridge which few repass.'

2 The winged Lion.] The Lion of St. Mark, the emblem of the Evangelist-supposed to have been brought over from Alexandria to Venice. "St. Mark and Liberty,'— Marino Faliero.'

3 Her hundred isles.] Venice is formed really of a group of 70 isles, connected by 450 bridges. See · Marino Faliero.'

4 ' A sea Cybele.'] We must take the simile to be that Venice looks like a goddess crowned, 'imago turrita.'

5 Such she was.] Before the discovery of America the ports of the Mediterranean, specially Venice, were from their position the entrepôts of the world's trade,

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