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XCII

And would be all or nothing—nor could wait
For the sure grave to level him ; few years
Had fixed him with the Cæsars in his fate,
On whom we tread : For this the conqueror rears
The arch of triumph ; and for this the tears
And blood of earth flow on as they have flowed,
An universal deluge, which appears

Without an ark for wretched man's abode,
And ebbs but to reflow ! Renew thy rainbow, God !

XCIII

1 What from this barren being do we reap ?
Our senses narrow, and our reason frail,
Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep,
And all things weighed in custom’s falsest scale ;
Opinion an omnipotence,-whose veil
Mantles the earth with darkness, until right
And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale

Lest their own judgments should become too bright, And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have too

much light.

XCIV

And thus they plod in sluggish misery,
Rotting from sire to son, and age to age,
Proud of their trampled nature, and so die,
Bequeathing their hereditary rage
To the new race of inborn slaves, who wage
War for their chains, and rather than be free,
Bleed gladiator-like, and still engage

Within the same arena where they see
Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same tree.

XCV

I speak not of men's creeds--they rest between
Man and his Maker-but of things allowed,
Averred, and known, and daily, hourly seen-
The yoke that is upon us doubly bowed,

1 An eloquent summary of the causes of human error. These causes of error are well summarised by Bacon in • Adv. of Learning.'

And the intent of tyranny avowed,
The edict of Earth's rulers, who are grown
The
apes

of him who humbled once the proud, And shook them from their slumbers on the throne; Too glorious, were this all his mighty arm had done.

XCVI

Can tyrants but by tyrants conquered be,
And Freedom find no champion and no child
Such as Columbia ? saw arise when she
Sprung forth a Pallas, armed and undefiled ?
Or must such minds be nourished in the wild,
Deep in the unpruned forest ’midst the roar
Of cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled

On infant Washington ?3 Has Earth no more
Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no such shore ?

XCVII

But France got drunk with blood to vomit crime, And fatal have her Saturnalia” been To Freedom's cause, in every age and clime ; Because the deadly days which we have seen, And vile Ambition, that built up between Man and his hopes an adamantine wall, And the base pageant last upon the scene, Are grown the pretext for the eternal thrall Which nips life’s tree, and dooms man's worst-his second

fall.

XCVIII

Yet, Freedom ! yet thy banner, torn, but flying,

ams like the thunder-storm against the wind ; Thy trumpet voice, though broken now and dying, The loudest still the tempest leaves behind ;

1 The edict of Earth's rulers.] Refers to the Holy Alliance in 1815—a reaction towards the establishment of legitimate despotism. See Age of Bronze.' •D. J.' xiv. 83 : 'Ship off the Holy Three to Senegal.'

2 Columbia.] The independence of Columbia was achiered by Bolivar, 1819.

3 Washington was born in America 1732, died 1799.

4 Crime.] And no greater crime than the deification of Marat by Danton—the divine Marat.'

5. Saturnalia.] The Roman holiday for slaves. A time of great licence,

Thy tree hath lost its blossoms, and the rind,
Chopped by the axe, looks rough and little worth,
But the sap lasts, -and still the seed we find

Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North ;
So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth.

1

XCIX

There is a stern round tower of other days,
Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone,
Such as an army's baffled strength delays,
Standing with half its battlements alone,
And with two thousand years of ivy grown,
The garland of eternity, where wave
The green leaves over all by time o’erthrown :-

What was this tower of strength ? within its cave
What treasure lay so locked, so hid ?-A woman's grave.?

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But who was she, the lady of the dead,
Tombed in a palace ? Was she chaste and fair ?
Worthy a king's or more—a Roman's bed?

What race of chiefs and heroes did she bear ? :

What daughter of her beauties was the heir ?
How lived, how loved, how died she? Was she not
So honoured—and conspicuously there,

Where meaner relics must not dare to rot,
Placed to commemorate a more than mortal lot ?

CI

Was she as those who love their lords, or they
Who love the lords of others ? such have been
Even in the olden time, Rome’s annals say.
Was she a matron of Cornelia's 3 mien,
Or the light air of Egypt's graceful queen,
Profuse of joy-or 'gainst it did she war,
Inveterate in virtue? Did she lean

To the soft side of the heart, or wisely bar
Love from amongst her griefs ?-for such the affections

are.
1 The North.] A bitter glance at England.

2 The tomb of Cecilia Metella, d. of Metellus Creticus, and wife of the triumvir Crassus. Her sarcophagus is in the Farnese Palace at Rome.

3 Cornelia.] The great mother of the Gracchiếabout 169 B.C.and sister of Scipio Africanus the Elder,

CII

Perchance she died in youth :1 it may be, bowed With woes far heavier than the ponderous tomb That weighed upon her gentle dust, a cloud Might gather o'er her beauty, and a gloom In her dark eye, prophetic of the doom Heaven gives its favourites—early death ; yet shed A sunset charm around her, and illume With hectic light, the Hesperus’ of the dead, Of her consuming cheek 3 the autumnal leaf-like red.

CIII

Perchance she died in age-surviving all,
Charms, kindred, children—with the silver gray
On her long tresses, which might yet recall,
It may be, still a something of the day
When they were braided, and her proud array
And lovely form were envied, praised, and eyed
By Rome-But whither would Conjecture stray ?

Thus much alone we know-Metella died,
The wealthiest Roman’s wife : Behold his love or pride !

CIV

I know not why-but standing thus by thee
It seems as if I had thine inmate known,
Thou Tomb ! and other days come back on me
With recollected music, though the tone
Is changed and solemn, like the cloudy groan
Of dying thunder on the distant wind ;
Yet could I seat me by this ivied stone

Till I had bodied forth the heated mind
Forms from the floating wreck which Ruin leaves behind ;

CV

And from the planks, far shattered o'er the rocks,
Built me a little bark of hope, once more

1 Perchance she died in youth.] • Whom the gods love die young'-a Greek gnome or aphorism.

2 Hesperus.] The evening star, premonitory of the night.

3 Hectic and consuming cheek imply consumption as the disease spoken of.

To battle with the ocean and the shocks Of the loud breakers, and the ceaseless roar Which rushes on the solitary shore Where all lies foundered that was ever dear : But could I gather from the wave-worn store Enough for my rude boat, where should I steer? There woos no home, nor hope, nor life, save what is here.1

CVI Then let the winds howl on! their harmony Shall henceforth be my music, and the night The sound shall temper with the owlets' cry, As I now hear them, in the fading light Dim o'er the bird of darkness' native site, Answering each other on the Palatine, With their large eyes, all glistening gray and bright, And sailing pinions.-Upon such a shrine What are our petty griefs ?-let me not number mine.

2

CVII

Cypress and ivy, weed and wallflower grown
Matted and massed together, hillocks heaped
On what were chambers, arch crushed, column strown
In fragments, choked up vaults, and frescos steeped
In subterranean damps, where the owl peeped,
Deeming it midnight Temples, baths, or halls?
Pronounce who can; for all that Learning reaped

From her research hath been, that these are wallsBehold the Imperial Mount ! 'tis thus the mighty falls.

CVIII

There is the moral of all human tales ;
'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
First Freedom and then Glory &_when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption,-

barbarism at last,

| From his sensitiveness to English praise, no man could less say, . omnia mea mecum porto.

? Palatine.] The earliest site of Rome; “the Imperial Mount' (cvii. 9).

3 Freedom and then Glory.] The well-marked stages through which Rome passed.

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