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Though to the last, in verge of our decay,
Some phantom lures, such as we sought at first-
But all too late,-80 are we doubly curst.
Love, fame, ambition, avarice—'tis the same,
Each idle, and all ill, and none the worst-

For all are meteors with a different name,
And Death the sable smoke where vanishes the flame.

CXXV Few-none-find what they love or could have loved, Though accident, blind contact, and the strong Necessity of loving, have removed Antipathies—but to recur, ere long, Envenomed with irrevocable wrong ; And Circumstance, that unspiritual god And miscreator, makes and helps along

Our coming evils with a crutch-like rod, Whose touch turns Hope to dust, -the dust we all havo trod.

CXXVI Our life is a false nature : 'tis not in 1 The harmony of things,-this hard decree, This uneradicable taint of sin, This boundless upas,” this all-blasting tree, Whose root is earth, whose leaves and branches be The skies which rain their plagues on men like dewDisease, death, bondage-all the woes we see, And worse, the woes we see not-which throb through The immedicable soul, with heart-aches ever new.


Yet let us ponder boldly—'tis a base
Abandonment of reason to resign
Our right of thought-our last and only place
Of refuge : this, at least, shall still be mine :
Though from our birth the faculty divine
Is chained and tortured-cabined, cribbed, confined, 3

1 'T'is not in.] See the Introduction on the versification. This ending is found in Shakspeare's latest works.

? Upas.] A poisonous tree, native to Java.

3 Cabined, cribbed, confined.] A quotation from Macbeth,' Again quoted .D. J.' iv. 75.


The Suabian 1 sued, and now the Austrian 2 reigns-
An Emperor tramples where an Emperor knelt;
Kingdoms are shrunk to provinces, and chains
Clank over sceptred cities ; nations melt
From power's high pinnacle, when they have felt
The sunshine for a while, and downward go
Like lauwine 3 loosened from the mountain's belt ;

Oh for one hour of blind old Dandolo ! 4
Th' octogenarian chief, Byzantium's * conquering foe.



Before St. Mark still glow his steeds of brass,
Their gilded collars glittering in the sun ;
But is not Doria's 6 menace come to pass ?
Are they not bridled ?Venice, lost and won,
Her thirteen hundred years of freedom done,
Sinks, like a sea-weed, into whence she rose !
Better be whelmed beneath the waves, and shun,

Even in destruction’s depth, her foreign foes,
From whom submission wrings an infamous repose.


In youth she was all glory,-a new Tyre ;?
Her very by-word sprung from victory,
The 'Planter of the Lion,'' which through fire
And blood she bore o'er subject earth and sea ;

· The Suabian.] Though elected Emperor of Austria, Frederick Barbarossa was Duke of Suabia.

2 The Austrian.] Venice was given up to Austria in 1814, and she was at this time still trampled on. She was, however, freed from the Austrian yoke by Napoleon III.

3 Lauviine.] German lawine, 'avalanche.'

4 Dandolo.] From A.D. 1110 to 1205. The Eastern Emperor Manuel Comnenus put out his eyes in 1173. Taking part in the fourth Crusade in 1202, he diverted his forces and took Constantinople, i.e. Byzantium.

5 His steeds of brass.] These horses were removed by Napoleon I., but subsequently restored.

6 Doria.] Peter Doria, the Genoese, who made himself master or Chiozza, and proudly rejected the terms of the Venetians, A.D. 1380.

? A new Tyre.] The Phænician town on the coast of Palestine. 8 The lion on the flag of St. Mark-Pianta-leone, the planter of

Though making many slaves, herself still free,
And Europe's bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite ; 1
Witness Troy's rival, Candia ! ? Vouch it, ye

Immortal waves that saw Lepanto’s 3 fight!
For ye are names no time nor tyranny can blight.


Statues of glass—all shivered—the long file
Of her dead Doges are declined to dust;
But where they dwelt, the vast and sumptuous pile
Bespeaks the pageant of their splendid trust;
Their sceptre broken, and their sword in rust,
Have yielded to the stranger : empty halls,
Thin streets, and foreign aspects, such as must

Too oft remind her who and what enthrals,
Have flung a desolate cloud o'er Venice' lovely walls.



When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse,
And fettered thousands bore the yoke of war,
Rederaption rose up in the Attic Muse,
Her voice their only ransom from afar :
See! as they chant the tragic hymn, the car
Of the o’ermastered victor stops, the reins
Fall from his hands, his idle scimitar

Starts from its belt—he rends his captive's chains, And bids him thank the bard for freedom and his strains.

Thus, Venice, if no stronger claim were thine,

Were all thy proud historic deeds forgot, the lion; hence pantaloon,' in the sense of a character on the stage. The French pantalon (a garment) is a modern word.

1 Ottomite.] Follower of Othman, or Osman, i.e. the Ottoman, a Turk.

2 Candia.] The island of Crete, with its Mount Ida. See Virg. Æn. iii. 180, Agnovit prolem ambiguam.'

Lepanto.] Alluding to the fleet of Venice which fought the battle.

4 Thin streets.] In the sense of empty, as opposed to frequens or creber. Note modern use: a thin house (an empty theatre):

5 Syracuse.] After the disastrous termination of the Athenian expedition to Syracuse, A.D. 413, the Athenian captives were said to have gained their freedom by citing some of the poems of les, the Attic muse.

And bred in darkness, lest the truth should shine

Too brightly on the unprepared mind, The beam pours in, for time and skill will couch the



Arches on arches ! as it were that Rome,
Collecting the chief trophies of her line,
Would build


all her triumphs in one dome,
Her Coliseum ? stands ; the moonbeams shine
As 'twere its natural torches, for divine
Should be the light which streams here, to illume
This long-explored but still exhaustless mine

Of contemplation ; and the azure gloom
Of an Italian night, where the deep skies assume


Hues which have words, and speak to ye of heaven,
Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument,
And shadows forth its glory. There is given
Unto the things of earth, which Time hath bent,
A spirit's feeling, and where he hath leant
His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power
And magic in the ruined battlement,

For which the palace of the present hour
Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower.


3 Oh Time! the beautifier of the dead, Adorner of the ruin, comforter And only healer when the heart hath bled ; Time! the corrector where our judgments err, The test of truth, love-sole philosopher, For all beside are sophists—from thy thrift, Which never loses though it doth deferTime, the avenger ? unto thee I lift My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a gift:

Couch the blind.] Couch (from collocare, to depress) the tilm that forms over the eye in cataract.

2 Coliseum.] The great Flavian Amphitheatre, commenced by Vespasian A.D. 77, and completed by his son Titus.

3 Time—the test of truth-of love; sole philosopher, for all besides are sophists. Thou hast for me a store (thrift) of restitution wbich shall certainly be mine, though I wait long for it.


Amidst this wreck, where thou hast made a shrine
And temple more divinely desolate,
Among thy mightier offerings here are mine,
Ruins of years, though few, yet full of fate :
If thou hast ever seen me too elate,
Hear me not; but if calmly I have borne
Good, and reserved my pride against the hate

Which shall not whelm me, let me not have worn
This iron in my soul in vain-shall they not mourn ?


And thou, who never yet of human wrong
Left the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis !
Here, where the ancient paid thee homage long-
Thou, who didst call the Furies from the abyss,
And round Orestes 1 bade them howl and hiss
For that unnatural retribution-just,
Had it but been from hands less near-in this

Thy former realm, I call thee from the dust! Dost thou not hear my heart ?—Awake! thou shalt, and must.

It is not that I may not have incurred
For my ancestral faults or mine the wound
I bleed withal, and had it been conferred
With a just weapon, it had flowed unbound;
But now my blood shall not sink in the ground :
To thee I do devote it—thou shalt take
The vengeance, which shall yet be sought and found,

Which if I have not taken for the sake
But let that pass—I sleep, but thou shalt yet awake.


And if my voice break forth, 'tis not that now
I shrink from what is suffered : let him speak

1 Orestes. For the murder of his mother, Clytemnestra, wag pursued by the Eumenides or Furies. (See the plays of Æschylus.) His inother's fate was deserved, had it been inflicted upon hier by any other hand, for she had murdered her husband Agamemnon.

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