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To understand, not feel thy lyric flow,
Awakening without wounding the touched heart,
1 Oh Rome! my country! city of the soul !
Whose agonies are evils of a day-
Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness ?
The Goth, the Christian, 5 Time, War, Flood, and Fire,
•Go thou to Rome, at once the paradise,
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,
O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
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,
The dictatorial wreath-couldst thou divine
Until the o'er-canopied horizon failed,
Sylla was first of victors ; but our own,
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,
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
And thou, the thunder-stricken nurse of Rome !
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-
Save one vain man,' who is not in the grave,
The fool of false dominion-and a kind
Alcides with the distaff now he seemed
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 came—and saw—and conquered.] In these three words• Veni-vidi-vici'-Cæsar describes his success over Pharnaces, the son of Mithridates.