Imágenes de páginas

And vases boss'd, and huge inscriptive stones,
And intermingling vines, and figur'd nymphs, 80
Fioras and Chloes of delicious mould,
Cheering the darkness; and deep empty tombs,
And dells, and mould'ring shrines, with old decay
Rustic and green, and wide-embow'ring shades,
Shot froin the crooked clefts of nodding towers; 85
A solemn wilderness ! with error sweet
I wind the lingering steep, where'er the path
Mazy conducts me, which the vulgar foot
O’er sculptures maim'd has made; Anubis, Sphinx,
Idols of antique guise, and horned Pan,

Terrific, monstrous shapes! prepost'rous gods
Ot fear and ignorance, by the sculptor's hand
Hewn into form, and worshipp'd; as ev'n now
Blindly they worship at their breathless mouths*
In varied appellations : men to these.

95 (From depth to depth in dark’ning error fallin) At length ascrib'd th’ Inapplicable Name.

How doth it please and fill the memory
With deeds of brave renown, while on each hand
Historic urns and breathing statues rise,
And speaking busi! Sweet Scipio, Marius stern,
Pompey superb, the spirit-stirring form
Of Cæsar, raptur'd with the charın of rule
And boundless fame; impatient for exploits,
His eager eyes upcast, he soars in thought

105 Above all height: and his own Brutus see,


* Several statues of the Pagan gods have been converted into images of


Desponding Brutus ! dubious of the right,
In evil days of faith, of public weal,
Solicitous and sad. Thy next regard
Be Tully's graceful attitude ; uprais’d,
His outstretch'd arm he waves, in act to speak
Before the silent masters of the world,
And eloquence arrays hinı. There behold,
Prepar'd for combat in the front of war,
The pious brothers; jealous Alba stands

In fearful expectation of the strife,
And youthful Rome intent; the kindred foes
Fall on each other's neck in silent tears;
In sorrowful benevolence embrace
Howe'er they soon unsheath the flashing sword, 120
Their country calls to arms; now all in vain
The mother clasps the knee, and ev'n the fair
weeps in vain;

their country calls to arms. Such viriue Clelia, Cocles, Manlius, rouz'd; Such were the Fabii, Decii; so inspir’d 125 The Scipios battled, and the Gracchi spoke : So rose the Roman state. Me now of these Deep-musing, high ambitious thoughts inflame Greatly to serve my country, distant land, And build me virtuous fame; nor shall the dust 130 Of these fall'n piles with shew of sad decay Avert the good resolve, mean argument, The fate alone of matter .--Now the brow We gain enraptur’d; beauteously distinct *

The num'rous porticos and domes upswell, 135
With obelisks and columns interpos’d,
And pine, and fir, and oak; so fair a scene
Sees not the dervise from the spiral tomb
Of ancient Chammos, while his eye beholds
Proud Memphis'relics o'er th’Egyptian plain; 140
Nor hoary hermit from Hymettus' brow,
Tho' graceful Athens in the vale beneath.
Along the windings of the Muse's stream,
Lucid Ilyssus weeps her silent schools
And groves, unvisited by bard or sage. 145
Amid the tow’ry ruins, huge, supreme,
Th’enormous amphitheatre behold,
Mountainous pile! o’er whose capacious womb
Pours the broad firmament its vary'd light,
While from the central floor the seats ascend 150
Round above round, slow-wid’ning to the verge,
A circuit vast and high ; nor less had held
Imperial Rome and her attendant realms,
When, drunk with rule, she will’d the fierce delight,
And op'd the gloomy caverns, whence out rushid,
Before th’innumerable shouting crowd,
The fiery madded tyrants of the wilds,
Lions and tigers, wolves and elepharts,
And desp’rate men, more fell. Abhorr`d intent!
By frequent converse with familiar death 160
To kindle brutal daring apt for war;
To lock the breast, and steel th' obilurate heart,
Amid the piercing cries of sore distress
Impenetrable. But away thine eye !



Behold yon' steepy cliff; the modern pile 165
Perchance may now delight, while that rever'd *
In ancient days the page alone declares,
Or narrow coin thro' dim cerulean rust.
The fane was Jove's, its spacious golden roof,
O’er thick-surrounding temples beaming wide, 170
Appear’d, as when above the morning hills
Half the round sun ascends, and tower'd aloft,
Sustain'd by columns hugt, innumerous
As cedars proud on Canaan’s verdant heights
Dark’ning their idols, when Astarte iur'd
Too-prosp'rous Israel from his living Strength.

And next regard yon' venerable dome
Which virtuous Latium, with erroneous aim,
Rais’d to her various deities, and nam'd
Pantheon; plain and round, of this our world 180
Majestic emblem; with peculiar grace
Before its ample orb projected stands
The many-pillar'd portal ; noblest work
Of human skill! Here, curious Architect,
If thou essay’st, ambitious, to surpass
Palladius, Angelus, or British Jones,
On these fair walls extend the certain scale,
And turn th' instructive compass : careful mark
How far in hidden are the noble plain
Extends, and where the lovely forms commence 190
Of flowing sculpture; nor neglect to note
How range the taper columns, and what weight


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Their leafy brows sustain : fair Corinth first
Boasted their order, with Callimachus
(Reclining studious on Asopus’banks 195
Beneath an urn of some lamented nymph)
Haply compos’d; the urn with foliage curld
Thinly conceald the chapiter inform’d.

See the tali obelisks from Memphis old,
One stone enormous each, or Thebes, convey'd; 200
Like Albion's spires they rush into the skies :
And there the temple where the summon'd state*
In deep of night conven’d: ev’n yet methinks
The veh'ment orator in rent attire
Persuasion pours; Ambition sinks her crest; 205
And, lo! the villain, like a troubled sea
That tosses up her mire! Ever disguis’d
Shall treason walk ? shall proud Oppression yoke
The neck of virtue ? Lo! the wretch abashid,
Self-betray'd Catiline! O Liberty!
Parent of happiness, celestial born;
When the first man became a living soul
His sacred genius thou : be Britain's care;
With her secure prolong thy lov'd retreat ;
'Thence bless mankind ; while yet among her sons,
E’en yet there are, to shield thine equal laws, 216
Whose bosoms kindle at the sacred names
Of Cecil, Raleigh, Walsingham, and Drake.
May others more delight in tuneful airs,


The temple of Concord, where the Senate met on Catiline's conspiracy

« AnteriorContinuar »