Imágenes de páginas


In mask and dance excel; to sculptur'd stone
Give with superior skill the living look;
More pompous piles erect, or pencil soft
With warmer touch the visionary board:
But thou thy nobler Britons teach to rule,
To check the ravage of tyrannic sway, 125
To quell the proud, to spread the joys of peace,
And various blessings of ingenious trade.
Be these our arts; and ever may we guard,
Ever defend thee with undaunted heart.
Inestimable good! who giv'st us truth, 230
Whose hands upleads to light, divinest Truth!
Array’d in ev'ry charm; whose hand benign
Teaches unweary'd Toil to clothe the fields,
And on his various fruits inscribes the name
Of Property : O nobly hail'd of old
By thy majestic daughters, Judah fair,
And Tyrus and Sidonia, lovely nymphs,
And Libya bright, and all-enchanting Greece,
Whose num'rous towns, and isles, and peopled seas,
Rejoic'd around her lyre; th' heroic note 240
(Smit with sublime delight) Ausonia caught,
And plann’d imperial Rome. Thy hand benign
Rear d up her tow’ry battleinents in strength,
Bent her wide bridges o'er the swelling stream
Of Tuscan Tiber; thine those solemn domes 245
Devoted to the voice of humbler pray'r;
And thine these piles * undeck’d, capacious, vast,
In days of dearth, where tender Charity


Dispens’d her timely succours to the poor.
Thine, too, those musically-falling founts, 250
To slake the clammy lip; adown they fall,
Musical ever, while from yon' blue hills,
Dim in the clouds, the radiant aqueducts
Turn their innumerable arches o’er
The spacious desert, bright’ning in the sun, 255
Proud and more proud in their august approach :
High o'er irriguous vales, and woods, and towns,
Glide the soft-whisp’ring waters in the wind,
And, here united, pour their silver streams
Among the figur'd rocks, in murm’ring falls, 260
Musical ever. These thy beauteous works ;
And what beside felicity could tell
Of human benefit: more late the rest ;
At various times their turrets chanc'd to rise,
When impious Tyranny vouchsaf ’d to smile. 265

Behold by Tiber's food, where modern Rumet
Couches beneath the ruins; there of old
With arms and trophies gleam'd the field of Mars :
There to their daily sports the noble youth
Rush’demulous, to Aing the pointed lance, 270
To vault the steed, or with the kindling wheel
In dusty whirlwinds sweep the trembling goal;
Or, wrestling, cope with adverse swelling breast,
Strong grappling arms, close heads, and distant feet;
Or clash the lifted gauntlets: there they form d 275
Their ardent virtues: in the bossy piles,
The proud triumphal arches, all their wars,
+ Modern Rome stands chiefly on the old Cars pus Martius.

[ocr errors]



Their conquests, honours, in the sculptures live.
And see from ev'ry gate those ancient roads,
With tombs high verg'd, the solemn paths of Fame!
Deserve they not regard ? o'er whose broad flints
Such crowds have roll’d, so many storms of war,
So many pomps, so many wond'ring realms :
Yet still thro’ mountains pierc'd, or vallies rais'd,
In even state to distant seas around
They stretch their pavements. Lo! the fane of Peace,
Built by that prince who to the trust of pow'r
Was honest, the delight of human-kind.
Three nodding aisles remain, the rest an heap
Of sand and weeds; her shrines, her radiant roofs,
And columns proud, that from her spacious floor,
As from a shining sea, majestic rose

An hundred foot aloft, like stately beech
Around the brim of Dion's glassy lake,
Charming the mimic painter : on the walls 295
Hung Salem's sacred spoils; the golden board
And golden trumpets, now conceal'd, entomb’d
By the sunk roof.-O’er which, in distant view,
Th' Etruscan mountains swell, with ruins crown'd
Of ancient towns; and blue Soracte spires,
Wrapping his sides in tempests. Eastward hence,
Nigh where the Cestian pyramid † divides
The mould'ring wall, behold yon' fabric huge,
Whose dust the solemn antiqnarian turns,

Begun hy Vespasian and finished by Titus. + The torb i Cestius, partly within an i partly without the walls.


And thence, in broken sculptures cast abroad, 305
Like Sybil's leaves, collects the builder's name
Rejoic'd, and the green medals frequent found
Doom Caracalla to perpetual fame :
The stately pines, that spread their branches wide
In the dun ruins of its ample halls *,

310 Appear but tufts, as may whate'er is high Sink in comparison, minute and vile.

These, and unnumber'd, yet their brows uplift, Rent of their graces; as Britannia's oaks On Merlin's mount, or Snowden's rugged sides, 315 Stand in the clouds, their branches scatter'd round After the tempest; Mausoleums, Cirques, Naumachios, Forums; Trajan's column tall, From whose low base the sculptures wind aloft, And lead thro’ various toils up the rough steep 320 Its hero to the skies; and his dark tow'rt Whose execrable hand the City fir'd, And while the dreadful conflagration blaz’d Play'd to the flames; and Phæbus' letter'd domeli And the rough relics of Carinz's street, 325 Where now the shepherd to his nibbling sheep, Sits piping with his oaten reed, as erst There pip'd the shepherd to his nibbling sheep, When th’humble roof Anchises’ son explor'd Of good Evander, wealth-despising king! 330 Amid the thickets : so revolves the scene;

* The baths of Caracalla, a vast ruin. + Nero's. ♡ The Palatine library.


So Time ordains, who rolls the things of pride
From dust again to dust. Behold that heap
Of mould'ring urns (their ashes blown away,
Dust of the mighty!) the same story tell ; 335
And at its base, from whence the serpent glides
Down the green desert street, yon' hoary monk
Laments the same, the vision as he views,
The solitary, silent, solemn scene,
Where Cæsars, heroes, peasants, hermits, lie, 540
Blended in dust together; where the slave
Rests from his labours ; where th’insulting proud
Resigns his pow'r; the miser drops his hoard;
Where human folly sleeps.—There is a mood,
(I sing not to the vacant and the young) 345
There is a kindly mood of melancholy
That wings the soul, and points her to the skies :
When tribulation clothes the child of man,
When age descends with sorrow to the grave,
'Tis sweetly-soothing sympathy to pain, 350
A gently-wak’ning call to health and ease.
How musical! when all-devouring Time,
Here sitting on his throne of ruins hoar,
While winds and tempests sweep his various lyre,
How sweet thy diapason, Melancholy ! 355
Cool ev’ning comes; the setting sun displays
His visible great round between yon' tow'rs,
As thro' two shady cliffs : away, my Muse !
Tho' yet the prospect pleases, ever new
In vast variety, and yet delight


« AnteriorContinuar »