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And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but one page— tis better written here,
Where gorgeous Tyranny hath thus amassed

All treasures, all delights, that eye or ear,
Heart, soul could seek, tongue ask-Away with words

draw near,

CIX

3

Admire, exult, despise, laugh, weep,- for here There is such matter for all feeling -Man ! Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear,? Ages and realms are crowded in this span, This mountain, whose obliterated plan The pyramid of empires pinnacled, Of Glory's gewgaws 3 shining in the van Till the sun's rays with added flame were filled ! Where are its golden roofs ? where those who dared to

build ?

Сх

Tully was not so eloquent as thou,
Thou nameless column with the buried base !
What are the laurels of the Cæsar's brow ?
Crown me with ivy from his dwelling-place.
Whose arch or pillar meets me in the face,
Titus or Trajan's ?4 No-'tis that of Time;
Triumph, arch, pillar, all he doth displace

Scoffing ; and apostolic statues climb
To crush the imperial urn, whose ashes slept sublime,

CXI
Buried in air, the deep blue sky of Rome,
And looking to the stars : they had contained

6

1 Gorgeous Tyranny.] Refers to Imperial Rome. 2 Pendulum betwixt a smile and tear.]

Helpless, immortal ; insect, infinite ;

A worm, a God.'—Young's • Night Thoughts. 5 Gewgaws.] Glossary.

4 Titus or Trajan.]. The column of Trujan, raised by the senate in honour of Trajan during his expedition to Dacia. In 1588 Sixtus V. placed upon this column the statue of St. Peter apostolic statues climb (line 8); while on the column of Marcus Aurelius was placed, 1589, the statue of St. Paul.

The arch of Titus commemorates the taking of Jerusalem, A.D. 79.

A spirit which with these would find a home,
The last of those who o'er the whole earth reigned,
The Roman globe, for after none sustained,
But yielded back his conquests :—he was more
Than a mere Alexander, and, unstained

With household blood and wine, serenely wore
His sovereign virtues--still we Trajan's name adore.

CXII

Where is the rock of Triumph, the high place
Where Rome embraced her heroes ? where the steep
Tarpeian ?? fittest goal of Treason's race,
The promontory whence the Traitor's Leap
Cured all ambition. Did the conquerors heap
Their spoils here? Yes; and in yon field below 3
A thousand years of silenced factions sleep-

The Forum, where the immortal accents glow,
And still the eloquent air breathes—burns with Cicero !

CXIII

The field of freedom, faction, fame, and blood :
Here a proud people's passions were exhaled,
From the first hour of empire in the bud
To that when further worīds to conquer failed ;
But long before had Freedom's face been veiled,
And Anarchy assumed 4 her attributes ;
Till every lawless soldiers who assailed

Trod on the trembling senate's slavish mutes,
Or raised the venal voice of baser prostitutes.

CXIV

Then turn we to her latest tribune's name,
From her ten thousand tyrants turn to thee,

Rock of Triumph. 1 The Capitol.

2 Tarpeian.] The Tarpeian rock, down which the criminals were thrown.

3 Yon field below.] The Forum, where the people assembled. The Rostrum stood in the Forum (whence the Roman orators delivered their orations), and also the tribunal of the Prætor.

4 Anarchy.] The despotism of the Emperor, which clothed itself in constitutional titles, especially that of Princeps Senatus.

5 Lawless soldier.] The purple was often sold by the Prætorian cohort-in return for a donative to each man.

Redeemer of dark centuries of shameThe friend of Petrarch-hope of Italy, Rienzi !1 last Romans ! While the tree Of freedom's withered trunk puts forth a leaf, Even for thy tomb a garland let it beThe forum’s champion, and the people's chiefHer new-born Numathou—with reign, alas ! too brief.

CXV

Egeria ! sweet creation of some heart Which found no mortal resting-place so fair As thine ideal breast; whate'er thou art Or wert,-a young Aurora of the air, The nympholepsy of some fond despair ; Or, it might be, a beauty of the earth, Who found a more than common votary there Too much adoring; whatsoe'er thy birth, Thou wert a beautiful thought, and softly bodied forth.

CXVI

The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled
With thine Elysian water-drops ; the face
Of thy cave-guarded spring, with years unwrinkled,
Reflects the meek-eyed genius of the place,
Whose green, wild margin now no more erase
Art's works ; nor must the delicate waters sleep,
Prisoned in marble ; bubbling from the base

Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap
The rill runs o'er, and round, fern, flowers, and ivy, creep,

CXVII

Fantastically tangled : the green hills
Are clothed with early blossoms, through the grass

| Rienzi.]. The last of the Tribunes, born at Rome 1310, was the son of an inn-keeper, and one of the first orators of the day. He and Petrarch revived the old Republican sentiment, and established a Republic in Rome. His subsequent career belied his early promise, and he was killed in a popular émeute.

2 Numa.] Pompilius, the second king of Rome, who professed to derive his designs from Egeria-a camena, or local deity-whom he met in her grotto, which still stands at Rome.

i Nympholepsy is the mens lymphata of Horace (infatuation, or heavenly possession).

The quick-eyed lizard rustles, and the bills
Of summer-birds sing welcome as ye pass ;
Flowers fresh in hue, and many in their class,
Implore the pausing step, and with their dyes
Dance in the soft breeze in a fairy mass ;

The sweetness of the violet's deep blue eyes,
Kissed by the breath of heaven, seems coloured by its skies.

CXVIII

Here didst thou dwell, in this enchanted cover,
Egeria ! thy all heavenly bosom beating
For the far footsteps of thy mortal lover ;
The purple Midnight veiled that mystic meeting
With her most starry canopy, and seating
Thyself by thine adorer, what befel ?
This cave was surely shaped out for the greeting

Of an enamoured Goddess, and the cell
Haunted by holy Love—the earliest oracle !

CXIX

And didst thou not, thy breast to his replying,
Blend a celestial with a human heart;
And Love, which dies as it was born, in sighing, !
Share with immortal transports ? could thine art
Make them indeed immortal, and impart
The purity of heaven to earthly joys,
Expel the venom and not blunt the dart-

The dull satiety which all destroys-
And root from out the soul the deadly weed which cloys ?

CXX

Alas! our young affections run to waste,
Or water but the desert; whence arise
But weeds of dark luxuriance, tares of haste,
Rank at the core, though tempting to the eyes,
Flowers whose wild odours breathe but agonies,
And trees whose gums are poison ; such the plants
Which spring beneath her steps as Passion flies

O'er the world's wilderness, and vainly pants
For some celestial fruit forbidden to our wants.

CXXI
Oh Love! no habitant of earth thou art-
An unseen seraph, we believe in thee,

L

A faith whose martyrs are 1 the broken heart,-
But never yet hath seen, nor e'er shall see
The naked eye, thy form, as it should be ;
The mind hath made thee, as it peopled heaven,
Even with its own desiring phantasy,

And to a thought such shape and image given,
As haunts the unquenched soul-parched, wearied,

wrung and riven.

CXXII

? Of its own beauty is the mind diseased,
And fevers into false creation :—where,
Where are the forms the sculptor's soul hath seized ?
In him alone. Can nature show so fair ?
Where are the charms and virtues which we dare
Conceive in boyhood and pursue as men,
The unreached Paradise of our despair,

Which o'er-informs the pencil and the pen,
And overpowers the page

3 where it would bloom again?

CXXIII

Who loves, raves—’tis youth's frenzy—but the cure
Is bitterer still, as charm by charm unwinds
Which robed our idols, and we see too sure
Nor worth nor beauty dwells from out the mind's
Ideal shape of such ; yet still it binds
The fatal spell, and still it draws us on,
Reaping the whirlwind 4 from the oft-sown winds ;

The stubborn heart, its alchemy begun,
Seems ever near the prize-wealthiest when most undone.

5

CXXIV

We wither from our youth, we gasp away-
Sick-sick ; unfound the boon, unslaked the thirst,

1 Are.] Conf. “The wages of sin is death.' Here grammar is sacrificed to the metre.

2 Nature in her actual beauty never attains to ideal perfection. The Paradise which may be the offspring of our despair passes the power of pen and pencil to delineate.

3 Overpowers the page.] That attempts to paint it.

4 Reaping the whirlwind.] 'He that soweth the wind shall reap he whirlwind.'

5. Its alchemy begun.] Having begun its foolish dreams—its ain quest'-as the alchemist searching for the philosopher's stone.

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