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And History, with all her volumes vast,
All treasures, all delights, that eye or ear,
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
Tully was not so eloquent as thou,
Scoffing ; and apostolic statues climb
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,
With household blood and wine, serenely wore
Where is the rock of Triumph, the high place
The Forum, where the immortal accents glow,
The field of freedom, faction, fame, and blood :
Trod on the trembling senate's slavish mutes,
Then turn we to her latest tribune's name,
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.
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.
The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled
Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap
Fantastically tangled : the green hills
| 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
The sweetness of the violet's deep blue eyes,
Here didst thou dwell, in this enchanted cover,
Of an enamoured Goddess, and the cell
And didst thou not, thy breast to his replying,
The dull satiety which all destroys-
Alas! our young affections run to waste,
O'er the world's wilderness, and vainly pants
A faith whose martyrs are 1 the broken heart,-
And to a thought such shape and image given,
wrung and riven.
? Of its own beauty is the mind diseased,
Which o'er-informs the pencil and the pen,
3 where it would bloom again?
Who loves, raves—’tis youth's frenzy—but the cure
The stubborn heart, its alchemy begun,
We wither from our youth, we gasp away-
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.