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To understand, not feel thy lyric flow,
To comprehend, but never love thy verse ;
Although no deeper Moralist rehearse
Our little life, nor Bard prescribe his art,
Nor livelier Satirist the conscience pierce,

Awakening without wounding the touched heart,
Yet fare thee well-upon Soracte's ridge we part.


1 Oh Rome! my country! city of the soul !
The orphans of the heart must turn to thee,
Lone mother of dead empires ! and control
In their shut breasts their petty misery,
What are our woes and sufferance ? Come and see
The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
O'er steps of broken thrones and temples, Ye !

Whose agonies are evils of a day-
A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.

The Niobe ? of nations ! there she stands
Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe;
An empty urn within her withered hands,
Whose holy dust was scattered long ago ;
The Scipios' tomb 3 contains no ashes now;
The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers : dost thou flow,

Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness ?
Rise, with thy yellow waves," and mantle her distress.


The Goth, the Christian, 5 Time, War, Flood, and Fire,
Have dealt upon the seven-hilled city's pride;
i Coní. Shelley-

•Go thou to Rome, at once the paradise,
The grave, the city, and the wilderness.

Shelley's 'Adonais.' 2 Niobe.]. Who wept with perpetual tears the slaughter of her children. The wife of Ampbion, king of Thebes.

3 Scipios' tomb.] Outside the Porta Capena, close to the Appian

4 Yellow waves.] Yellow Tiber, the common epithet of the Latin poets, from the amount of alluvial soil washed down with its flood.

5 The Goth, the Christian.] Rome was sacked by Alaric A.D.



She saw her glories star by star expire,
And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
Where the car climbed the capitol ; far and wide
Temple and tower went down, nor left a site :
Chaos of ruins ? who shall trace the void,

O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
And say, 'here was, or is,' where all is doubly night?

The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and wrap
All round us ; we but feel our way to err :
The ocean hath his chart, the stars their map,
And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap ;
But Rome is as the desert, where we steer
Stumbling o'er recollections ; now we clap
Our hands, and cry 'Eureka !’it is clear-
When but some false mirage of ruin rises near.

Alas! the lofty city! and alas !
The trebly hundred 4 triumphs ! and the day
When Brutus 5 made the dagger's edge surpass
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away!
Alas, for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay,

And Livy's pictured page !? but these shall be 409; by Genseric, A.D. 455 ; by Ricimer, A.D. 472 ; by Theodoric, A.D. 493 ; and again by Totila, A.D. 546.

The Christian has taken Rome also frequently; especially the French, under Massena in 1799, and since Byron's time, in 1849. See • Prophecy of Dante,'— The spoil of France.'

1 Up the steep.] The Sacred Way' joined the Clivus Capitolinus. The steep road which led to the Capitol, on which the triumphs passed.

2 Hath wrupt and wrap.] Hath, the ungrammatical use of a singular verb with a double nominative. For plural verb with singular noun see • Island,' i. 2: “The sound of mats are heard.'

5 Eureka.] I have found,' related to have been the expression of Archimedes on the settlement of his problem, before he was killed by the Roman soldiers at Syracuse.

4 Trebly hundred.] The number is given as 320 by Orosius.

5 Brutus.] Who assassinated Cæsar, B.C. 44. See Marino Faliero.

6 Virgil.]. The great Roman epic poet, died B.C. 19.

? Livy's pictured page.] The epithet well describes the style and historical inaccuracy of Livy, died A.D. 19.

Her resurrection; all beside_decay.

Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!


Oh thou, whose chariot rolled on Fortune's wheel,
Triumphant Sylla ! 1 Thou, who didst subdue
Thy country's foes ere thou wouldst pause to feel
The wrath of thy own wrongs, or reap the due
Of hoarded vengeance till thine eagles flew
O’er prostrate Asia ;-thou, who with thy frown
Annihilated senates—Roman, too,
With all thy vices, for thou didst lay down
With an atoning smile a more than earthly crown-


The dictatorial wreath-couldst thou divine
To what would one day dwindle that which made
Thee more than mortal ? and that so supine
By aught than Romans Rome should thus be laid ? .
She who was named Eternal, and arrayed
Her warriors but to conquer-she who veiled
Earth with her haughty shadow, and displayed,

Until the o'er-canopied horizon failed,
Her rushing wings-Oh! she who was Almighty hailed.


Sylla was first of victors ; but our own,
The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell !?-he

Too swept off senates while he hewed the throne : Down to a block-immortal rebel! See

What crimes it costs to be a moment free,
And famous through all ages! but beneath

1 Sylla.]

B.C. 136–78. After his war with Mithridates he turned his arms against the Marian faction. He laid down the perpetual Dictatorship (cf. Diocletian and the Emperor Charles V.), but the presence of the Sullani, the soldiers of his faction, prerented the step from being dangerous.

2 Cromwell.] September 3rd was Cromwell's day. He crushed the Royalists of Scotland on that day in 1650 ; in 1651 gained the of Worcester ; in 1658 he died on that day. (See lxxxvi. 1-4.)

His fate the moral lurks of destiny ;

His day of double victory and death Beheld him win two realms, and, happier, yield his breath.


The third of the same moon whose former course Had all but crowned him, on the selfsame day Deposed him gently from his throne of force, And laid him with the earth’s preceding clay. And showed not Fortune thus how fame and sway, And all we deem delightful, and consume Our souls to compass through each arduous way, Are in her eyes less happy than the tomb ? Were they but so in man's, how different were his doom !


And thou, dread statue ! yet existent in
The austerest form of naked majesty,
Thou who beheldest, ’mid the assassin's din,
At thy bathed base the bloody Cæsar lie,
Folding his robe in dying dignity,
An offering to thine altar from the queen
Of gods and men, great Nemesis ! did he die,
And thou, too, perish, Pompey?? have ye been
Victors of countless kings, or puppets of a scene ?


And thou, the thunder-stricken nurse of Rome !
She-wolf ! 3 whose brazen-imaged dugs impart
The milk of conquest yet within the dome
Where, as a monument of antique art,
Thou standest :-Mother of the mighty heart,
Which the great founder sucked from thy wild teat,
Scorched by the Roman Jove's ethereal dart,

And thy limbs black with lightning-dost thou yet Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond charge forget ?

1 Thou who beheldest.] The statue of Pompey, Cæsar's rival, at the base of which Cæsar was assassinated.

2 Great Nemesis.] The principle of retribution, for which see Herodotus especially:

3 She-wolf.) Alluding to the bronze figure of the wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, which was blasted with lightning.


Thou dost ; but all thy fuster-babes are dead-
The men of iron ; and the world hath reared
Cities from out their sepulchres : men bled
In imitation of the things they feared,
And fought and conquered, and the same course steered,
At apish distance; but as yet none have,
Nor could, the same supremacy have neared.,

Save one vain man,' who is not in the grave,
But, vanquished by himself, to his own slaves a slave-


The fool of false dominion-and a kind
Of bastard Cæsar, following him of old
With steps unequal ; for the Roman's mind
Was modelled in a less terrestrial mould,
With passions fiercer, yet a judgment cold,
And an immortal instinct which redeemed
The frailties of a heart so soft, yet bold,

Alcides with the distaff now he seemed
At Cleopatra's feet, :—and now himself he beamed,


And came—and saw—and conquered !8 But the man Who would have tamed his eagles down to flee, Like a trained falcon, in the Gallic van, Which he, in sooth, long led to victory, With a deaf heart which never seemed to be A listener to itself, was strangely framed ; With but one weakest weakness—vanity, Coquettish in ambition, still he aimed At what ? can he avouch or answer what he claimed ?

1 Save one vain man.] Napoleon. The Napoleonic idea was the restoration of Cæsarism. Napoleon the New Sesostris,'— Age of Bronze.' 'A bastard Attila,' see . Marino Faliero.'

2. Cleopatra's feet.] For a brief time Julius Cæsar was overcome by Cleopatra, just as the club of Alcides (Hercules) gave way to the distaff of Omphale.

3 And cameand sawand conquered.] In these three words• Veni-vidi-vici'-Cæsar describes his success over Pharnaces, the son of Mithridates.

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