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The Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood, and Fire,
Have dealt upon the seven-hill'd city's pride;
She saw her glories star by star expire,
And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
Where the car climb'd the capitol; far and wide
Temple and tower went down, nor left a sitc:-
Chaos of ruins! who will trace the void,
O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
And say, "here was, or is,” where all is doubly night?
The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, have wrapt and wrap
All round us : we but feel our way to err:
The ocean hath his chart, the stars their map,
And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap;
But Rome is as the desert, where we steer
Stumbling o'er recollections; now we clap
Our hands, and cry“ Euraka!” it is clear
When but some false miragc of ruin rises near.
Alas! the lofty city! and alas!
The trebly hundred triumphs! (39) snd the day
When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away!
Alas, for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay,
And Livy's pictur'd page!_but these shall be
Her resurrection; all besides-decay.
Alas for Earth, for never shall we see
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!
Oh thou, whose chariot rolld on Fortune's wheel (40)
Triumphant Sylla! Thou who didat subdue
Thy country's foes ere thou would pause to feel
The wrath of thy own wrongs, or reap the due
Of hoarded vengeance till thine eagles flew
O'er prostrate Asia ;-thou, who with thy frown
Apnihilated senates-Roman, too,
With all thy vices, for thou didst lay down
With an atoning smile a more than earthly crown-
The dictatorial wreath,-couldst thou divine
To what would one day dwindle that which made
Thee more than mortal? and that so supive
By aught than Romans Rome should thus be laid ?
She who was named Eternal, aud array'd
Her warriors but to conquer-she who veil'd
Earth with her haughty shadow, and display'd
Until the o'er-canopied horizon fail'd,
Her rushing wings---Oh! she who was Almighty hailed!
Sylla was first of victors ; but our own
The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell; he
Too swept off senates while he hewed the throne
Down to a block-immortal rebel! See
What time it cost to be a moment free
And famous through all ages! but beneath
His fate the moral Turks of destiny ;
His day of double victory and death
Beheld him win two realms, aud, happier, yield his breath
The third of the same moon whose former course
Had all but crown'd him, on the selfsame day
Deposed him gently from his throne of force,
And laid hiin with the earth's preceding clay: (41)
And showed not Fortune thus how fame and sway,
And all we deem delightful, and consume
Our souls to compass through each arduous way,
Are in her eyes less happy than the tomb ?
Were they but so in man's, how different were his doom !
And thou, too, dread statue ! yet existent in (42)
The austerest form of naked majesty
Thou who beheldst, 'mid the assassins' din,
At thy bath'd base the bloody Cæsar lie,
Folding his robe in dyiug dignity,
An offering to thine altar from the queen
Of gods and men, great Nemesis ! did he die
And thou, too, perish, Pompey ? have ye been
Victors of countless kings, or puppets of a scene?
LXXXVIII. And thou, the thunder-stricken nurse of Rome !(43) She-wolf! whose brazen-imaged dugs impart The milk of conquest yet within the dome Where, as a monument of antique art, Thou standest :-Mother of the mighty heart, Which the great founder suck'd from thy wild teat, Scorch'd by the Roman Jove's etherial dart,
And thy limbs black with lightning-dost thou yet Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond charge forget ?
LXXXIX. Thou dost;- but all thy foster babes are deadThe men of iron ? and the world hath rear'd Cities from out their sepulchres : men bled In imitation of the things they fear'd, And fought and conquer'd, and the same course steer'd At apish distance ; but as yet none have, Nor could, the same supremacy have near'd,
Save one vain man, who is not in the grave,
But, vanquish'd by himself, to his own slaves a slave-
The fool of false dominion-and a kind
Of bastard Cæsar, following him of old
With steps unequal ; for the Roman's mind
Was modellid in a less terrestrial mould, (44)
With passion's fiercer, yet a judgment cold,
And an immortal instinct which redeem'd
The frailties of a heart so soft, yet bold,
Alcides with the distaff pow he seem'd
At Cleopatra's feet, and now himself he beam'd,
And came and saw-and conquer'd ! But the man
Who would have tamed his eagles down to flee,
Like a train'd falcon, in the Gallic van,
Which he, in sooth, long led to victory,
With a deaf heart which never seem'd to be
A listeper to itself, was strangely fram'd ;
With but one weakest weakuess-vanity,
Coquettish in ambition still he aim'd
And what can he avouch- or answer what lie claim'd ?
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 fowed,
Ap universal deluge, which appears
Without an ark for wretched man's abode,
And ebbe but to reflow !--Renew thy rainbow, God!
What from this barren being do we reap ?
Our senses narrow, and our reason frail. (45)
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 dark pess, until right
And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale
Lest their own judgments should become too brigbt, And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth hav
(much light. And thus they plod in sluggish misery, Rotting from sire to son, and
Prond of their trampled nature, and so die,
Bequeathing their hereditary rage
To the new race of inborn slaves, who'wage
War for their chains, and rather than be free,
Bleed gladiator-like, and still engage
Within the same arena where they see
Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same tree.
I speak rot of men's creeds--they rest between
Man and his Maker-but of things allowed,
Averr'd, and known,-and daily, hourly, seen
The yoke that is upon us doubly bowed,
And the intent of tyranny avowed,
The edict of Earth's rulers, who are grown
The apes of him who bumbled once the proud,
And shook them from their slumbers on the throne; Too glorious, were this all his mighty arm had done.
Cau tyrants but by tyrants conquered be,
And Freedom find no champion and no child
Such as Columbia saw arise when she
Sprung forth a Pallas, armed and undefiled ?
Or must such minds be pourished in the wild,
Deep in the unpruned forest, 'midst the roar
Of cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled
On infant Washington ? Has Earth no more
Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no such shore ?
But France got drunk with blood to vomit crime,
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-bis
Yet, Freedom ! yet thy banner, torn, but flying,
Streams like the thunder-storm against the wind ;
Thy trumpet voice, though broken now and dying,
The loudest still the tempest leaves behind 9
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 seed we find
Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North ;
So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth.
There is a stern round tower of other days, (46)
Firun 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 wave
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 grave.