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Mortals, who sought and found, by dangerous roads,
flame Of Heaven again assailed, if Heaven the while On man and man's research could deign do more than
The one was fire and fickleness, a child
Blew where it listed, laying all things prone, -
The other, deep and slow, exhausting thought,
And doomed him to the zealot's ready Hell,
Historian, in his histories, e.g. Charles XII. ;' Bard, in his dramas, and his Henriade ;' Philosopher, in his · Philosophy of History, &c. His influence on the French Revolution, in sapping the reality of political and religious conviction, is noted in the last lines, “laying all things prone,' &c.
1 Proteus.] The Old Man of the Sea, whose principal power seems to have been the assuming of every possible shape. 2 See Pope's • Universal Prayer'
• Let not this weak unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,
Ou each I judge thy foe.'
Yet, peace be with their ashes,-for by them,
And when it shall revive, as is our trust,
But let me quit man's works, again to read
To their most great and growing region, where
Italia! too, Italia ! looking on thee,
Her thirst of knowledge, quaffing there her fill, Flows from the eternal source of Rome's imperial hill.
Thus far have I proceeded in a theme
1 Compels.] In Virgil, 'in nubem cogitur aër.'
Passion or feeling, purpose, grief, or zeal,
Which is the tyrant spirit of our thought,
And for these words, thus woven into song,
As loss or guerdon of a glorious lot ;
I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
I have not loved the world, nor the world me,-
That two, or one, are almost what they seem, That goodness is no name, and happiness no dream. | Frled my mind.] See ‘Macbeth,' act iii. 1
• If it be so, For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind.' See also · Henry VIII.' act i. 2
‘And front, but in that filer? Hence the meaning to range, or keep in order.
My daughter ! with thy name this song begun ;
And reach into thy heart, when mine is cold,
To aid thy mind's development, to watch
Yet this was in my nature : as it is,
Yet, though dull Hate as duty should be taught,
And an attainment,-all would be in vain,-
The child of love, though born in bitterness,
Fain would I waft such blessing upon thee,
I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs ;? A palace and a prison on each hand : I saw from out the wave her structures rise As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand : A thousand years their cloudy wings expand Around me, and a dying Glory smiles O'er the far times, when many a subject land Looked to the winged Lion's 2 marble piles, Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred
She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean, Rising with her tiara of proud towers At airy distance, with majestic motion, A ruler of the waters and their powers : And such she was ; 5—her daughters had their dowers From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East Poured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers. In purple was she robed, and of her feast Monarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased. 1 I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of sighs.] Conf.
• The covered bridge, the bridge of sighs.'—Rogers. Called the Bridge of Sighs because it led to the cells of the condemned. See Two Foscari,'— The Bridge which few repass.'
2 The winged Lion.] The Lion of St. Mark, the emblem of the Evangelist-supposed to have been brought over from Alexandria to Venice. "St. Mark and Liberty,'— Marino Faliero.'
3 Her hundred isles.] Venice is formed really of a group of 70 isles, connected by 450 bridges. See · Marino Faliero.'
4 ' A sea Cybele.'] We must take the simile to be that Venice looks like a goddess crowned, 'imago turrita.'
5 Such she was.] Before the discovery of America the ports of the Mediterranean, specially Venice, were from their position the entrepôts of the world's trade,