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The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell; he
Too swept off senates while he hew'd the throne And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
Down to a block - immortal rebel ! See Where the car climbid the Capitol; far and wide What crimes it costs to be a moment free Temple and tower went down, nor left a site : And famous through all ages! but beneath Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,
His fate the moral lurks of destiny; O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
His day of double victory and death (breath. And say, “ here was, or is,” where all is doubly night? Beheld him win two realms, and, happier, yield his
Orosius gives 320 for the number of triumphs. He is followed by Panvinius; and Panvinius by Mr. Gibbon and the modern writers.
? Certainly, were it not for these two traits in the life of Sylla, alluded to in this stanza, we should regard him as a Monster woredeemed by any admirable quality. The alone. ment of his voluntary resignation of empire may perhaps be accepted by us, as it seems to have satisfied the Romans, who I they had not respected must have destroyed him. There could be no mean. no division of opinion ; they must have all thought, like Eucrates, that what had appeared ambition was a love of glory, and that what had been mistaken for pride #a a real grandeur of soul, -("Scigneur, vous changez
toutes mes idées de la façon dont je vous vois agir. Je croyais que vous aviez de l'ainbition, mais aucune amour pour la gloire : je voyais bien que votre ime était haute ; mais je ne soupçonnais pas qu'elle fut grande." - Dialogues de Sylla et d'Eucrate.)
3 On the 3d of September Cromwell gained the victory of Dunbar: a year afterwards he obtained “his crowning mercy" of Worcester; and a few years after, on the sadne day, which he had ever esteemed the most furtumuite for him, died.
4,' See Appendix, “ Historical Notes," Nos. XXIV. XXV.
The edict of Earth's rulers, who are grown The apes of him who humbled once the proud,
And shook them from their slumbers on the throne: Too glorious, were this all his mighty arm had done.
Alcides with the distaff now he seem'd
On infant Washington ? Has Earth no more Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no such
XCI. And came –and saw-and conquer'd! But the man Who would have tamed his eagles down to flee, Like a traind falcon, in the Gallic van, Which he. in sooth, long led to victory, With a deaf heart which never seem'ů to be A listener to itself, was strangely framed; With but one weakest weakness - vanity,
Coquettish in ambition — still he aim'd At what ? can he arouch - or answer what he claim'd ?
XCII. And would be all or nothing - nor could wait For the sure grave to level him ; few years Had fix'd him with the Cæsars in his fate, On whom we tread : For this the conqueror rears The arch of triumph ! and for this the tears And blood of earth flow on as they have flow'd, An universal deluge, which appears
Without an ark for wretched man's abode, And ebbs but to reflow ! – Renew thy rainbow, God !
XCVII. But France got drunk with blood to vomit crint.e, And fatal have her Saturnalia been To Freedom's cause, in every age and clime; Because the deadly days which we have seen, And vile Ambition, that built up between Man and his hopes an adamantine wall, And the base pageant last upon the scene,
Are grown the pretext for the eternal thrall Which nips life's tree, and dooms man's worst — his
XCIII. What from this barren being do we reap ? Our senses narrow, and our reason frail, 2 Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep, And all things weigh'd in custom's falsest scale ; Opinion an omnipotence, — whose veil Mantles the earth with darkness, until right And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale
Lest their own judgments should become too bright, And their free thoughts Le crimes, and earth wave
too much light.
XCVIII. Yet, Freedom ! yet thy banner, torn, but aying, Streams like the thunder-storm against the wind ; Thy trumpet voice, though broken now and dying, The loudest still the tempest leaves behind ; Thy tree hath lost its blossoms, and the rind, Chopp'd by the axe, looks rough and little worth, But the sap lasts, - and still the sced we find
Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North ; So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth.
Within the same arena where they see
XCIX. There is a stern round tower of other days, 3 Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone, Such as an army's baffled strength delays, Standing with half its battlements alone, And with two thousand years of ivy grown, The garland of eternity, where ware The green leaves over all by time o'erthrown ;What was this tower of strength ? within its cave What treasure lay so lock'd, so hid? – A woman's
XCV. I speak not of men's creeds -- they rest between Man and his Maker - but of things allow'd, Averr'd, and known, - and daily, hourly seen The yoke that is upon us doubly bow'd, And the intent of tyranny avow'd,
To the soft side of the heart, or wisely bar Love from amongst her griefs ? - for such the affections are.
CII. Perchance she died in youth: it may be, bow'd With woes far heavier than the ponderous tomb That weigh'd upon her gentle dust, a cloud Might gather o'er her beauty, and a gloom In her dark eye, prophetic of the doom Heaven gives its favourites — early death ; yet A sunset charm around her, and illume
With hectic light, the Hesperus of the dead, Of her consuming check the autumnal leaf-like red.
Where all lies founder'd that was ever dear :
Enough for my rude boat, where should I steer ? There woos no horje, nor hope, nor life, save what is here.
CVI. Then let the winds howl on! their harmony Shall henceforth be my music, and the niglit The sound shall temper with the owlets' cry, As I now hear them, in the fading light Dim o'er the bird of darkness' native site, Answering cach other on the Palatine, (bright, With their large eyes, all glistening gray and
And sailing pinions. — Upon such a shrine What are our petty griefs?-let me not number mine.
CIII. Perchance she died in age — surviving all, Charms, kindred, children - with the silver gray On her long tresses, which might yet recall,
may be, still a something of the day When they were braided, and her proud array And lovely form were envied, praised, and eyed By Rome – But whither would Conjecture stray ?
Thus much alone we know-Metella died, The wealthiest Roman's wife: Behold his love or pride!
Till I had bodied forth the heated mind Forms from the floating wreck which Ruin leaves behind ;2
CV. And from the planks, far shatter'd o'er the rocks, Built me a little bark of hope, once more To battle with the ocean and the shocks Of the loud breakers, and the ceaseless roar Which rushes on the solitary shore
CVII. Cypress and ivy, weed and wallflower grown Matted and mass'd together, hillocks heap'd On what were chambers, arch crush'd, column strown In fragments, choked up vauits, and frescos steep'd In subterranean damps, where the owl peep'd, Deeming it midnight :- Temples, baths, or halls ? Pronounce who can; for all that Learning reap'd
From her research hath been, that these are walls Behold the Imperial Mount! 'tis thus the mighty falls. 3
CVIII. There is the moral of all human tales ; "Tis but the same rehearsal of the past, First Freedom, and then Glory — when that fails, Wealth, vice, corruption, - barbarism at last. And History, with all her volumes vast, Hath but one page, - 't is better written here Wiere gorgeous Tyranny hath thus amass'd
All treasures, all delights, that eye or ear, Heart, soul could seek, tongue ask — Away with
words ! draw near,
CLX. 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 shining in the van
Till the sun's rays with added flame were fill'd! Where are its golden roofs ? where those who dared
to build ?
10, οι θεοί φιλουσιν, άτοθνήσκει νέος
Το γιο ταγέιν ουκ αισχρών, αλλ' αισχρώς θαν:in. Rich. Franc. Phil. Brunck. Poetæ Gnomici, p. 231. ed. 1784. ? Pour words, and two initials, compose the whole of the Inscription which, whatever was its ancient position, is now placed in front of this towering sepulchre: CECILIÆ. Q. CreTICI. F. METELLE . CRASSI. It is more likely to have been the pride than the love of Crassus, which raised so superb a norial to a wise, whose name is not mentioned in history, less she be supposed to be that lady whose intimacy with Dolabella pas so offensive to Tullia, the daughter of Cicero ; or she who w33 divorced by Lentulus Spinther; or she, per. haps the same person, from whose ear the son of Æsopus ansferred a precious jewel to enrich his daughter. – HOB
broken shrines and fallen statues of her subduer." — Sir Walter Scott.]
4 The author of the Life of Cicero, speaking of the opinion entertained of Britain by that orator and his cotemporary Romans, has the following eloquent passage: -" From their railleries of this kind, on the barbarity and misery of our island, one cannot help reflecting on the surprising fate and revolutions of kingdoms; how Rome, once the mistress of the world, the seat of arts, empire, and glory, now lies sunk in sloth, ignorance, and poverty, enslaved to the most cruel as well as to the most contemptible of tyrants, superstition and religious imposture: while this remote country, anciently the jest and contempt of the polite Romans, is become the happy seat of liberty, plenty, and letters; flourishing in all the arts and refinernents of civil life; yet running perhaps the same course which Roine itself had run before it, from virtuous industry to wealth ; from wealth to luxury; from luxury to an impatience of discipline, and corruption of morals: till, hy a total degeneracy and loss of virtue, being grown ripe for destruction, it fail a prey at last to some hardy oppressor, and, with the loss of liberty, losing every thing that is valuable, sinks gradually again into its original barbarism." (See History of the Life of M. Tullius Cicero, sect. vi. vol.ii. p. 102)
The Palatine is one mass of ruins, particularly on the side towards the Circus Maximus. The very soil is formed of critabled brickwork. Nothing has been told, nothing can he told, to satisfy the belief of any but a Roman antiquary. See - Historical Illustrations," p. 266. — [" The voice of Marius could not sound more deep and solemn among the ruined attes of Carthage, than the strains of the Pilgrin amid the
CXV. Tully was not so eloquent as thou,
Egeria ! sweet creation of so ne heart Thou nameless column with the buried base ! Which found no mortal resting-place so fair What are the laurels of the Cæsar's brow ?
As thine ideal breast; whate'er thou art Crown me with ivy from his dwelling-place.
Or wert, - a young Aurora of the air, Whose arch or pillar meets me in the face,
The nympholepsy of some fond despair ; Titus or Trajan's ? No— 't is that of Time :
Or, it might be, a beauty of the earth, Triumph, arch, pillar, all he doth displace
Who found a more than common votary there Scoffing; and apostolic statues climb
Too much adoring; whatsoe'er thy birth, To crush tie imperial urn, whose ashes slept sub- Thou wert a beautiful thought, and softly died
With household blood and wine, serenely wore
The Forum, where the immortal accents glow,
Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap
The sweetness of the violet's deep blue eyes
Of an enamour'd Goddess, and the cell
Trod on the trembling senate's slavish mutes,
The forum's champion, and the people's chief-
The dull satiety which all destroy's -
The column of Trajan is surmounted by St. Peter; that objects of his fear, or of his hate; he never listened to it of Aurelius by St. Paul. See “Historical Illustrations," sormers ; he gave not way to his anger; he abstained equally
from unfair exactions and unjust punishments, he had rather
be loved as a man than bonoured as a sovereign : le *** 2. Trajan was proverbially the best of the Roman princes affable with his people, respectful to the senate, and univer. (Eutrop. I. viii. c. 5.); and it would be easier to find a sovereign uniting exactly the opposite characteristics, than one
sally beloved by both ; be inspired none with dread but the possessed of all the happy qualities ascribed to this emperor.
enemies of his country." — Hist. Rom. I. Ixiii. c. 6., 7. * When he mounted the throne," says the historian Dion, 3 The name and exploits of Ricnzi must be familiar to the * he was strong in body, he was vigorous in mind ; age bid
reader of Gibbon. Some details and Daedited manuscripts, impaired none of his faculties; he was altogether free from relative to this mhappy hero, will be seen in the " Historical envy and from detraction ; he honoured all the good, and he
Illustrations of the Fourth Canto," p. 248. advanced them; and on this account they could not be the * See Appendix, “ Historical Soces," No. XXVII.
Envenom'd with irrevocable wrong ; Alas ! our young affections run to waste,
And Circumstance, that unspiritual god Or water but the desert; whence arise
And miscreator, makes and helps along But weeds of dark luxuriance, tares of haste,
Our coming evils with a crutch-like rod, Rank at the core, though tempting to the eyes, Whose touch turns Hope to dust, -- the dust we all Flowers whose wild odours breathe but agonies,
have trod. And trees whose gums are poisons; such the plants
The harmony of things, — this hard decree,
This uneradicable taint of sin,
This boundless upas, this all-blasting tree,
Whose root is earth, whose leaves and branches be Oh Love! no habitant of earth thou art
The skies which rain their plagues on men like dew An unseen seraph, we believe in thee,
Disease, death, bondage. all the woes we see, A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart,
And worse, the woes we see not which throb But never yet hath seen, nor e'er shall see
through The naked eye, thy form, as it should be ;
The immedicable soul, with heart-aches ever new.
Our right of thought - our last and only place
Of refuge; this, at least, shall still be mine :
Though from our birth the faculty divine of its own beauty is the mind diseased,
Is chain'd and tortured cabin'd, cribb'd, confined, And fevers into false creation :- where,
And bred in darkness, lest the truth should shine Where are the forms the sculptor's soul hath seized ?
Too brightly on the unprepared mind, (blind. In him alone. Can Nature show so fair ?
The beam pours in, for time and skill will couch the Where are the charms and virtues which we dare Conceive in boyhood and pursue as men,
CXXVIII. The unreach'd Paradise of our despair,
Arches on arches ! as it were that Rome, Which o'er-informs the pencil and the pen,
Collecting the chief trophies of her line, And overpowers the page where it would bloom again?
Would build up all her triumphs in one dome,
Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams shine
As 't were its natural torches, for divine
Should be the light which streams here, to illume Is bitterer still, as charm by charm unwinds
This long-explored but still exhaustless mine Which robed our idols, and we see too sure
Of contemplation; and the azure gloom For worth nor beauty dwells from out the mind's
Of an Italian night, where the deep skies assume Ideal shape of such ; yet still it binds The fatal spell, and still it draws us on,
CXXIX. Reaping the whirlwind from the oft-sown winds; Hues which have words, and speak to ye of heaven,
The stubborn heart, its alchemy begun, (undone. Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument, Seems ever near the prize, — wealthiest when most And shadows forth its glory. There is given
Unto the things of earth, which Time hath bent, CXXIV.
A spirit's feeling, and where he hath leant We wither from our youth, we gasp away — [thirst,
His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power Sick - sick; unfound the boon unslaked the
And magic in the ruin'd battlement, Though to the last, in verge of our decay,
For which the palace of the present hour Some phantom lures, such as we sought at first
Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower.
Adorner of the ruin, comforter
Time ! the corrector where our judgments err,
(loved, The test of truth, love, - sole philosopher, Few - none find what they love or could have For all beside are sophists, from thy thrift, Though accident, blind contact, and the strong Which never loses though it doth defer Necessity of loving, have removed
Time, the avenger! unto thee I lift
[gift : Antipathies — but to recur, ere long,
My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a i" At all events,” says the author of the Academical prejudices ? This is not the way to defend the cause of Questions, “ I trust, wbåtever may be the fate of my own truth. It was not thus that our fathers maintained it in the bacalations, that philosophy will regain that estimation brilliant periods of our history. Prejudice may be trusted to which it ought to possess. The free and philosophic spirit guard the outworks for a short space of time, while reason of our pation has been the theme of admiration to the world, slumbers in the citadel; but if the latter'sink into a lethargy, This was the proud distioction of Englishmen, and the lu. the former will quickly erect a standard for herself. Philo. minous source of all their glory. Shall we then forget the sophy, wisdom, and liberty support each other: he who will maaly and dignified sentiments or our ancestors, to prate in not reason is a bigot; he who cannot, is a fool; and he who the language of the mother or the nurse about our good old dares not, is a slave.' Vol. i. pref. p. 14, 15.