Imágenes de páginas

And from within a thrilling voice replies, Thou art in Rome! A thousand busy thoughts Rush on my mind, a thousand images; And I spring up as girt to run a race Thou art in Rome ! the city that so long Reign'd absolute, the mistress of the world; The mighty vision that the prophets saw, And trembled; that from nothing, from the least, The lowliest village (what but here and there A reed-roof'd cabin by a river side 2) Grew into every thing; and, year by year, Patiently, fearlessly working her way O'er brook and field, o'er continent and sea, Not like the merchant with his merchandise, Or traveller with staff and scrip exploring, But hand to hand, and foot to foot, through hosts, Through nations numberless in battle array, Each behind each, each, when the other fell, Up and in arms, at length subdued them all. Thou art in Rome' the city where the Gauls, Entering at sunrise through her open gates, And, through her streets silent and desolate, Marching to slay, thought they saw gods, not men; The city that, by temperance, fortitude, And love of glory, tower'd above the clouds, Then fell—but, falling, kept the highest seat, And in her loneliness, her pomp of wo, Where now she dwells, withdrawn into the wild, Still o'er the mind maintains, from age to age, Her empire undiminish’d. There, as though Grandeur attracted grandeur, are beheld All things that strike, ennoble—from the depths Of Egypt, from the classic fields of Greece, Her groves, her temples—all things that inspire Wonder, delight ! Who would not say the forms Most perfect, most divine, had by consent Flock'd thither to abide eternally, Within those silent chambers where they dwell, In happy intercourse 2 And I am there ! Ah, little thought I, when in school I sate, A schoolboy on his bench, at early dawn Glowing with Roman story, I should live To tread the Appian, once an avenue Of monuments most glorious, palaces, Their doors seal’d up and silent as the night, The dwellings of the illustrious dead—to turn Toward Tiber, and, beyond the city gate, Pour out my unpremeditated verse, Where on his mule I might have met so oft Horace himself—or climb the Palatine, Dreaming of old Evander and his guest, Dreaming and lost on that proud eminence, Longwhile the seat of Rome, hereafter found Less than enough (so monstrous was the brood Engender'd there, so Titan-like) to lodge One in his madness;" and, the summit gain'd, Inscribe my name on some broad aloe-leaf, That shoots and spreads within those very walls Where Virgil read aloud his tale divine, Where his voice falter'd, and a mother wept Tears of delight! But what a narrow space

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Just underneath! In many a heap the ground
Heaves, as though ruin in a frantic mood
Had done his utmost. Here and there appears
As left to show his handy-work, not ours,
An idle column, a half buried arch,
A wall of some great temple.
It was once,
And long, the centre of their universe,
The Forum—whence a mandate, eagle-wing’d,
Went to the ends of th’ earth. Let us descend
Slowly. At every step much may be lost;
The very dust we tread stirs as with life;
And not the lightest breath that sends not up
Something of human grandeur.
We are come,
Are now where once the mightiest spirits met
In terrible conflict; this, while Rome was free,
The noblest theatre on this side heaven'
Here the first Brutus stood, when o'er the corse
Of her so chaste all mourn'd, and from his cloud
Burst like a god. Here, holding up the knife
That ran with blood, the blood of his own child,
Virginius call'd down vengeance.—But whence
They who harangued the people; turning now
To the twelve tables, now with lifted hands
To the Capitoline Jove, whose fulgent shape
In the unclouded azure shone far off,
And to the shepherd on the Alban mount -
Seem’d like a star new risen 2 Where were ranged
In rough array as on their element,
The beaks of those old galleys, destined still”
To brave the brunt of war—at last to know
A calm far worse, a silence as in death 2
All spiritless; from that disastrous hour
When he, the bravest, gentlest of them all,t
Scorning the chains he could not hope to break,
Fell on his sword '
Along the Sacred Way
Hither the triumph came, and, winding round
With acclamation, and the martial clang
Of instruments, and cars laden with spoil,
Stopt at the sacred stair that then appear'd,
Then through the darkness broke, ample, star-bright,
As though it led to heaven. 'Twas night; but now
A thousand torches, turning night to day,
Blazed, and the victor, springing from his seat,
Went up, and, kneeling as in fervent prayer,
Enter'd the capitol. But what are they,
Who at the foot withdraw, a mournful train
In fetters ? And who, yet incredulous,
Now gazing wildly round, now on his sons,
On those so young, well pleased with all they see,
Staggers along, the last —They are the fallen,
Those who were spared to grace the chariot wheels;
And there they parted, where the road divides,
The victor and the vanquish’d—there withdrew ;
He to the festal-board, and they to die.
Well might the great, the mighty of the world,
They who were wont to fare deliciously,
And war but for a kingdom more or less,
Shrink back, nor from their thrones endure to look,
To think that way! Well might they in their

* The Rostra. f Marcus Junius Brutus.

Humble themselves, and kneel and supplicate
To be delivered from a dream like this
Here Cincinnatus pass'd, his plough the while
Left in the furrow, and how many more
Whose laurels fade not, who still walk the earth,
Consuls, dictators, still in curule pomp
Sit and decide ; and, as of old in Rome,
Name but their names, set every heart on fire
Here, in his bonds, he whom the phalanx saved
not," -
The last on Philip's throne; and the Numidian,t
So soon to say, stript of his cumbrous robe,
Stript to the skin, and in his nakedness
Thrust under ground, “How cold this bath of
yours "
And thy proud queen, Palmyra, through the sands;
Pursued, o'ertaken on her dromedary;
Whose temples, palaces, a wondrous dream
That passes not away, for many a league
Illumine yet the desert. Some invoked
Death, and escaped; the Egyptian, when her asp
Came from his covert under the green leaf;S
And Hannibal himself; and she who said,
Taking the fatal cup between her hands,
“Tell him I would it had come yesterday;
For then it had not been his nuptial gift.”
Now all is changed; and here, as in the wild,
The day is silent, dreary as the night;
None stirring, save the herdsman and his herd,
Savage alike ; or they that would explore.
Discuss and learnedly; or they that come,
(And there are many who have cross'd the earth,)
That they may give the hours to meditation,
And wander, often saying to themselves,
“This was the Roman Forum !”


“WHENce this delay 2" “Along the crowded street

A funeral comes, and with unusual pomp.”
So I withdrew a little, and stood still,
While it went by. “She died as she deserved,”
Said an abate, gathering up his cloak,
And with a shrug retreating as the tide
Flow’d more and more.—“But she was beautiful '''
Replied a soldier of the pontiff’s guard.
“And innocent as beautiful '' exclaim’d
A matron sitting in her stall, hung round
With garlands, holy pictures, and what not
Her Alban grapes and Tusculan figs display'd
In rich profusion. From her heart she spoke;
And I accosted her to hear her story.
“The stab,” she cried, “was given in jealousy;
But never fled a purer spirit to heaven,
As thou wilt say, or mind misleads,
When thou hast seen her face. Last night at dusk
When on her way from vespers—None were near,
None save her serving boy, who knelt and wept,
But what could tears avail him, when she fell—
Last night at dusk, the clock then striking nine,
Just by the fountain—that before the church,
The church she always used, St. Isidore's—

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Alas,I knew her from her earliest youth,
That excellent lady. Ever would she say,
Good even, as she pass'd, and with a voice
Gentle as theirs in heaven "-But now by fits
A dull and dismal noise assail'd the ear,
A wail, a chant, louder and louder yet;
And now a strange fantastic troop appear'd '
Thronging, they came—as from the shades below;
All of ghostly white! “O say,” I cried,
“Do not the living here bury the dead?
Do spirits come and fetch them 2 What are these
That seem not of this world, and mock the day;
Each with a burning taper in his hand *—
“It is an ancient brotherhood thou seest.
Such their apparel. Through the long, long line,
Look where thou wilt, no likeness of a man;
The living mask'd, the dead alone uncover'd.
But mark”—And, lying on her funeral couch,
Like one asleep, her eyelids closed, her hands
Folded together on her modest breast,
As 'twere her nightly posture, through the crowd
She came at last—and richly, gayly clad,
As for a birth-day feast ! But breathes she not?
A glow is on her cheek—and her lips move
And now a smile is there—how heavenly sweet!
“O no '" replied the dame, wiping her tears,
But with an accent less of grief than anger,
“No, she will never, never wake again!”

Death, when we meet the spectre in our walks,
As we did yesterday, and shall to-morrow,
Soon grows familiar—like most other things,
Seen, not observed; but in a foreign clime,
Changing his shape to something new and strange,
(And through the world he changes as in sport,
Affect he greatness or humility)
Knocks at the heart. His form and fashion here
To me, I do confess, reflect a gloom,
A sadness round ; yet one I would not lose;
Being in unison with all things else
In this, this land of shadows, where we live
More in past time than present, where the ground,
League beyond league, like one great cemetery,
Is cover'd o'er with mouldering monuments;
And, let the living wander where they will,
They cannot leave the footsteps of the dead.

Oft, where the burial rite follows so fast, The agony, oft coming, nor from far, Must a fond father meet his darling child, (Him who at parting climb'd his knees and clung) Clay cold and wan, and to the bearers cry, “Stand, I conjure ye!”

Seen thus destitute,

What are the greatest ? They must speak beyond
A thousand homilies. When Raphael went,
His heavenly face the mirror of his mind,
His mind a temple for all lovely things
To flock to and inhabit—when he went,
Wrapt in his sable cloak he wore,
To sleep beneath the venerable dome,"
By those attended, who in life had loved,
Had worshipp'd, following in his steps to fame,
('Twas on an April day, when nature smiles.)
All Rome was there. But, ere the march began,
Ere to receive their charge the bearers came,

* The Fantheon.

Who had not sought him And when all beheld
Him, where he lay, how changed from yesterday,
Him in that hour cut off, and at his head
His last great work; when, entering in, they look'd
Now on the dead, then on that master-piece,
Now on his face, lifeless and colourless,
Then on those forms divine that lived and breathed,
And would live on for ages—all were moved;
And sighs burst forth, and loudest lamentations.


“Another assassination' This venerable city,” I exclaimed, “what is it, but as it began, a nest of robbers and murderers * We must away at sunrise, Luigi.” But before sunrise I had reflected a little, and in the soberest prose. My indignation was gone; and, when Luigi undrew my curtain, crying, “Up, signor, up! The horses are at the door.”—“Luigi,” I replied, “if thou lovestme, draw the curtain.” It would lessen very much the severity with which men judge of each other, if they would but trace effects to their causes, and observe the progress of things in the moral as accurately as in the physical world. When we condemn millions in the mass as vindictive and sanguinary, we should remember that wherever justice is ill administered, the injured will redress themselves. Robbery provokes to robbery; murder to assassination. Resentments become hereditary; and what began in disorder, ends as if all hell had broke loose. Laws create a habit of self-restraint, not only by the influence of fear, but by regulating in its exercise the passion of revenge. If they overawe the bad by the prospect of a punishment certain and well defined, they console the injured by the infliction of that punishment; and, as the infliction is a public act, it excites and entails no enmity. The laws are offended; and the community, for its own sake, pursues and overtakes the offender; often without the concurrence of the sufferer, sometimes against his wishes. Now those who were not born, like ourselves, to such advantages, we should surely rather pity than hate; and, when at length they venture to turn against their rulers,t we should lament, not wonder at their excesses; remembering that nations are naturally patient, and long-suffering, and seldom rise in rebellion till they are so degraded by a bad government as to be almost incapable of a good one. “Hate them, perhaps,” you may say, “we should not; but despise them we must, if enslaved, like the people of Rome, in mind as well as body; if their religion be a gross and barbarous superstition.”

* A dialogue, which is said to have passed many years ago at Lyons, (Mem. de Granmont, I. 3,) and which may still be heard in almost every hôtellerie at daybreak.

t As the descendants of an illustrious people have lately done. Can it be believed there are many among us, who, from a desire to be thought superior to commonplace sentiments and vulgar feelings, affect an indif. ference to their cause ! “If the Greeks,” they say, “had the probity of other nations—but they are false to a proverb!” And is not falsehood the characteristic of slaves 1 Man is the creature of circumstances. Free, he has the qualities of a freeman; enslaved, those of a slave.

—I respect knowledge; but I do not despise ignorance. They think only as their fathers thought, worship as they worshipped. They do no more ; and, if ours had not burst their bondage, braving imprisonment and death, might not we at this very moment have been exhibiting, in our streets and our churches, the same processions, ceremonials, and mortifications 2

Nor should we require from those who are in an earlier stage of society, what belongs to a later 2 They are only where we once were ; and why hold them in derision * It is their business to cultivate the inferior arts before they think of the more refined; and in many of the last what are we as a nation, when compared to others that have passed away 2 Unfortunately, it is too much the practice of governments to nurse and keep alive in the governed their national prejudices. It withdraws their attention from what is passing at home, and makes them better tools in the hands of ambition. Hence next-door neighbours are held up to us from our childhood as natural enemies; and we are urged on like curs to worry each other."

In like manner we should learn to be just to individuals. Who can say, “In such circumstances I should have done otherwise * Who, did he but reflect by what slow gradations, often by how many strange concurrences, we are led astray; with how much reluctance, how much agony, how many efforts to escape, how many self-accusations, how many sighs, how many tears—Who, did he but reflect for a moment, would have the heart to cast a stone * Fortunately, these things are known to Him, from whom no secrets are hidden ; and let us rest in the assurance that his judgments are not as ours are.


HAve none appear'd as tillers of the ground,

None since they went—as though it still were
And they might come and claim their own again?
Was the last plough a Roman's 2
From this seat,

Sacred for ages, whence, as Virgil sings,
The Queen of Heaven, alighting from the sky
Look’d down and saw the armies in array,t
Let us contemplate; and, where dreams from Jove
Descended on the sleeper, where perhaps
Solne inspirations may be lingering still,
Some glimmerings of the future or the past,
Await their influence; silently revolving
The changes from that hour, when he from Troy
Went up the Tiber; when refulgent shields,
No strangers to the iron hail of war,
Stream’d far and wide, and dashing oars were heard

* Candour, generosity, how rare are they in the world; and how much is to be deplored the want of them! When a minister in our parliament consents at last to a measure, which, for many reasons perhaps existing no longer, he had before refused to adopt, there should be no exultation as over the fallen, no taunt, no jeer. How often may the resistance be continued lest an enemy should triumph, and the result of conviction be received as a symptom of fear !

+ £ncid, xii. 131.

Among those woods where Silvia's stag was lying, Dragg'd into slavery, with how many more

His antlers gay with flowers; among those woods
Where, by the moon, that saw and yet withdrew
Two were so soon to wander and be slain,
Two lovely in their lives, nor in their death
Then, and hence to be discern'd,
How many realms, pastoral and warlike, lay
Along this plain, each with its schemes of power,
Its little rivalships ' What various turns
Of fortune there; what moving accidents
From ambuscade and open violence " '
Mingling, the sounds came up ; and hence how oft
We might have caught among the trees below,
Glittering with helm and shield, the men of Tibur "
Or in Greek vesture, Greek their origin,
Some embassy, ascending to Praeneste;t
How oft descried without thy gates, Aricia, ;
Entering the solemn grove for sacrifice,
Senate and people ! Each a busy hive,
Glowing with life!
- But all ere long are lost
In one. We look, and where the river rolls
Southward its shining labyrinth, in her strength
A city, girt with battlements and towers,
On seven small hills is rising. Round about,
At rural work the citizens are seen,
None unemploy'd ; the noblest of them all
Binding their sheaves or on their threshing-floors,
As though they had not conquer’d. Everywhere
Some trace of valour or heroic virtue !
Here is the sacred field of the Horatii,
There are the Quintian meadows. Here the hill,S
How holy, where a generous people, twice,
Twice going forth, in terrible anger sate [way,
Arm'd; and, their wrongs redress'd, at once gave
Helmet and shield, and sword and spear thrown
And every hand uplifted, every heart
Pour’d out in thanks to heaven.
Once again
We look; and, lo, the sea is white with sails
Innumerable, wafting to the shore
Treasures untold; the vale, the promontories,
A dream of glory; temples, palaces,
Call'd up as by enchantment; aqueducts
Among the groves and glades rolling along
Rivers, on many an arch high over head;
And in the centre, like a burning sun,
The imperial city' They have now subdued
All nations. But where they who led them forth;
Who, when at length released by victory,
(Buckler and spear hung up—but not to rust,)
Held poverty no evil, no reproach,
Living on little with a cheerful mind,
The Decii, the Fabricii Where the spade
And reaping-hook, among their household things
Duly transmitted 2 In the hands of men
Made captive; while the master and his guests,
Reclining, quaff in gold, and roses swim,
Summer and winter, through the circling year,
On their Falernian—in the hands of men

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Spared but to die, a public spectacle,
In combat with each other, and required
To fall with grace, with dignity to sink,
While life is gushing, and the plaudits ring
Faint and yet fainter on their failing ear,
As models for the sculptor.

But their days,
Their hours are number'd. Hark, a yell, a shriek,
A barbarous dissonance, loud and yet louder,
That echoes from the mountains to the sea!
And mark, beneath us, like a bursting cloud,
The battle moving onward Had they slain
All, that the earth should from her womb bring

New nations to destroy them 2 From the depth
Of forests, from what none had dared explore,
Regions of thrilling ice, as though in ice
Engender'd, multiplied, they pour along,
Shaggy and huge ' Host after host, they come;
The Goth, the Vandal; and again the Goth !
Once more we look, and all is still as night,

All desolate Groves, temples, palaces,
Swept from the sight, and nothing visible,
Amid the sulphurous vapours that exhale
As from a land accurst, save here and there,
An empty tomb, a fragment like the limb
Of some dismember'd giant. In the midst
A city stands, her domes and turrets crown'd
With many a cross; but they that issue forth
Wander like strangers who had built among
The mighty ruins, silent, spiritless;
And on the road, where once we might have met
Caesar and Cato, and men more than kings,
We meet, none else, the pilgrim and the beggar.


Those ancient men, what were they, who achieved A sway beyond the greatest conquerors; Setting their feet upon the necks of kings, And, through the world subduing, chaining d wn The free, immortal spirit 2 Were they not Mighty magicians ? Theirs a wondrous spell, Where true and false were with infernal art Close interwoven; where together met Blessings and curses, threats and promises; And with the terrors of futurity, Mingled whate'er enchants and fascinates, Music and painting, sculpture, rhetoric And architectural pomp, such as none else; And dazzling light, and darkness visible! What in his day the Syracusan sought, Another world to plant his engines on, They had; and, having it, like gods, not men, Moved this world at their pleasure. Ere they came, Their shadows, stretching far and wide, were known, And two, that look'd beyond the visible sphere, Gave notice of their coming—he who saw The Apocalypse; and he of elder time, Who in an awful vision of the night Saw the Four Kingdoms. Distant as they were, Well might those holy men be fill'd with scar!



WHEN I am inclined to be serious, I love to wander up and down before the tomb of Caius Cestius. The Protestant burial-ground is there; and most of the little monuments are erected to the young: young men of promise, cut off when on their travels, full of enthusiasm, full of enjoyment; brides, in the bloom of their beauty, on their first journey; or children, borne from home in search of health. This stone was placed by his fellow travellers, young as himself, who will return to the house of his parents without him; that, by a husband or a father, now in his native country. His heart is buried in that grave.

It is a quiet and sheltered nook, covered in the winter with violets; and the pyramid, that overshadows it, gives it a classical and singularly solemn air. You feel an interest there, a sympathy you were not prepared for. You are yourself in a foreign land, and they are for the most part your countrymen. They call upon you in your mother tongue— in English—in words unknown to a native, known only to yourselves: and the tomb of Cestius, that old majestic pile, has this also in common with them. It is itself a stranger, among strangers. It has stood there till the language spoken round about it has changed; and the shepherd, born at the foot, can read its inscription no longer.


*Tis over; and her lovely cheek is now

On her hard pillow—there, alas ! to be
Nightly, through many and many a dreary hour,
Wan, often wet with tears, and (ere at length
Her place is empty, and another comes)
In anguish, in the ghastliness of death;
Hers never more to leave those mournful walls,
Even on her bier.

'Tis over; and the rite,
With all its pomp and harmony, is now
Floating before her. She arose at home,
To be the show, the idol of the day;
Her vesture gorgeous, and her starry head—
No rocket, bursting in the midnight sky,
So dazzling. When to-morrow she awakes,
She will awake as though she still was there,
Still in her father's house; and lo, a cell
Narrow and dark, naught through the gloom dis-

Naught save the crucifix, the rosary,
And the gray habit lying by to shroud
Her beauty and grace.
When on her knees she fell,

Entering the solemn place of consecration,
And from the latticed gallery came a chant
Of psalms, most saint-like, most angelical,
Verse after verse sung out, how holily
The strain returning, and still, still returning,
Methought it acted like a spell upon her,
And she was casting off her earthly dross;
Yet was it sad as sweet, and, ere it closed,
Came like a dirge. When her fair head was shorn,
And the long tresses in her hands were laid,

That she might fling them from her, saying, “Thus,
Thus I renounce the world and worldly things!”
When, as she stood, her bridal ornaments
Were, one by one, removed, e'en to the last,
That she might say, flinging them from her, “Thus,
Thus I renounce the world !” when all was changed,
And, as a nun, in homeliest guise she knelt,
Weil'd in her veil, crown'd with her silver crown,
Her crown of lilies as the spouse of Christ,
Well might her strength forsake her, and her knees
Fail in that hour ! Well might the holy man,
He at whose feet she knelt, give as by stealth
('Twas in her utmost need; nor, while she lives,
Will it go from her, fleeting as it was)
That faint but fatherly smile, that smile of love
And pity!
Like a dream the whole is fled;
And they that came in idleness to gaze
Upon the victim dress'd for sacrifice,
Are mingling in the world; thou in thy cell
Forgot, Teresa. Yet, among them all,
None were so form'd to love and to be loved,
None to delight, adorn; and on thee now
A curtain, blacker than the night, is dropp'd
For ever! In thy gentle bosom sleep
Feelings, affections, destined now to die,
To wither like the blossom in the bud, .
Those of a wife, a mother; leaving there
A cheerless void, a chill as of the grave,
A languor and a lethargy of soul,
Death-like, and gathering more and more, till death
Comes to release thee. Ah, what now to thee,
What now to thee the treasure of thy youth
As nothing !
But thou canst not yet reflect
Calmly; so many things, strange and perverse,
That meet, recoil, and go but to return,
The monstrous birth of one eventful day,
Troubling thy spirit—from the first, at dawn,
The rich arraying for the nuptial feast,
To the black pall, the requiem.
All in turn
Revisit thee, and round thy lowly bed
Hover, uncall’d. The young and innocent heart,
How is it beating 2 Has it no regrets 2
Discoverest thou no weakness lurking there *
But thine exhausted frame has sunk to rest.
Peace to thy slumbers!


THERE is an insect, that, when evening comes,
Small though he be and scarce distinguishable,
Like evening clad in soberest livery,
Unsheaths his wings, and through the woods and

Scatters a marvellous splendour. On he wheels,
Blazing by fits as from excess of joy,
Each gush of light a gush of ecstasy;
Nor unaccompanied ; thousands that fling
A radiance all their own, not of the day,
Thousands as bright as he, from dusk till dawn,
Soaring, descending.

In the mother's lap
Well may the child put forth his little hands,
Singing the nursery-song he learnt so soon

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