Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

But 'tis the dim sepulchral light

That sheds a faint and feeble ray,
As moon-beams on the brow of night,

When tempests sweep upon their way.

Lost land! where genius made his reign,

And reared his golden arch on high ;
Where science raised her sacred fane,

Its summit peering to the sky :
Upon thy clime the midnight deep

Of ignorance hath brooded long,
And in the tomb, forgotten, sleep

The sons of science and of song.

The sun has set,--the evening storm

Hath passed in giant fury by,
To blast the beauty of thy form,

And spread its pall upon thy sky;
Gone is thy glory’s diadem,

And freedom never more shall cease
To pour her mournful requiem
O'er blighted, lost, degraded Greece!

CLVIII.-SPEECH OF CATILINE BEFORE THE ROMAN SENATE,

IN REPLY TO THE CHARGES OF CICERO.

Extract from Croly's Catiline.

-CONSCRIPT Fathers!
I do not rise to waste the night in words:
Let that plebian talk ; 'tis not my trade ;
But here I stand for right-Let him show proofs;
For Roman right; though none, it seems, dare stand
To take their share with me. Ay, cluster there,
Cling to your masters ; judges, Romans-slaves !
His charge is false ; I dare him to his proofs ;
You have my answer ;

Let
my

actions speak.
But this I will avow, that I have scoried,
And still do scorn, to hide my sense of wrong ;

***

Who brands me on the forehead, breaks my sword,
Or lays the bloody scourge upon my back,
Wrongs me not half so much as he who shuts
The gates of honour on me,-turning out
The Roman from his birthright; and for what?
To fling your offices to every slave ; (~Looking around him.)
Vipers, that creep where man disdains to climb;
and having wound their loathsome track to the top
Of this huge mouldering monument of Rome,
Hang hissing at the nobler man below.
Come, consecrated lictors ! from

your

(To the Senate.) Fling down your sceptres ;-take the rod and axe, And make the murder, as you make the law.

thrones ;

CLIX.SPEECH OF CATILINE BEFORE THE ROMAN SINATE, ON

HEARING HIS SENTENCE OF BANISHMENT.

Extract from Croly's Catiline.

BANISHED from Rome! what's banished, but set free
From daily contact of the things I loathe ?
“ Tried and convicted traitor !"-Who says this !
Who'll prove it, at his peril, on my head ?
Banished ?-I thank you for't. It breaks my chain !
I held some slack allegiance till this hour-
But now my sword's my own. Smile on, my lords ;
I scorn to count what feelings, withered hopes,
Strong provocations, bitter, burning wrongs,
I have within my heart's hot cells shut up,
To leave you in your lazy dignities.
But here I stand and scoff you :-here I fing
Hatred and full defiance in your face.
Your Consul's merciful. For this all thanks.
He dares not touch a hair of Catiline.
Traitor !” I go--but I return. This-trial !
Here I devote your senate! I've had wrongs,
To stir a fever in the blood of age,
Or make the infant's sinew strong as steel,

܀

This day's the birth of sorrows !—This hour's work
Will breed proscriptions.—Look to your hearths, my lords.
For there henceforth shall sit, for household gods,
Shapes hot from Tartarus !-all shames and crimes ;-
Wan Treachery, with his thirsty dagger drawn!
Suspicion, poisoning his brother's cup;
Naked Rebellion, with the torch and axe,
Making his wild sport of your blazing thrones ;
Till Anarchy comes down on you like Night,
And Massacre seals Rome's eternal grave.

CLX.LVELLUM AND BUTLER.

From the Comedy of “The Drummer," by Addison. Act 4-Scene 1.

Vel. John, I have certain 0 1.fers to give you---and therefore be attentive. But. Attentive! Ay, let me alone for that I suppose

he means being sober.-['Aside.]

Vel. You know I have always recommended to you a method in your business; I. would have your knives and forks, your spoons and napkins, your plate and glasses, laid in a method.

But. Ah, master Vellum, you are such a sweet-spoken man, it does one's heart good to receive your orders.

Vel. Method, John, makes business easy; it banishes all perplexity and confusion out of families.

But. How he talks! I could hear him all day.

Vel. And now, John, let me know whether your table. linen, your side-board, your cellar, and every thing else within your province, are properly and methodically disposed for an entertainment this evening.

But. Master Vellum, they shall be ready at a quarter of an hour's warning.

But pray, sir, is this entertainment to be made for the conjuror ?

Vel. It is, John, for the conjuror, and yet it is not for the conjuror.

But. Why, look you, master Vellum, if it be for the con. juror, the cook-maid should have orders to get him some dishes to his palate. Perhaps he may like a little brimstone in his sauce. But. Then I'll away, or it will be my turn next : she, I am sure, speaks plain English ; one may easily understand every word she

Vel. This conjuror, John, is a complicated creature, an amphibious animal, a person of a twofold nature; but he eats and drinks like other men.

But. Marry, master Vellum, he should eat and drink as much as two other men, by the account you give of him.

Vel. Thy conceit is not amiss; he is indeed a double man; ha, ha, ha!

But. Ha! I understand you; he's one of your hermaphro- . dites, as they call them.

Vel. He is married, and he is not married-he hath a beard, and he hath no beard; he is old, and he is young.

But. How charmingly he talks ! I fancy, master Vellum, you could make a riddle. The same man old and young! how do you make that out, master Vellum ?

Vel. Thou hast heard of a snake casting his skin, and re. covering his youth. Such is his sage person.

But. Nay, 'tis no wonder a conjuror should be like a sarpent.

Vel. When he has thrown aside the old conjuror's slough that hangs about him, he'll come out as fine a young gentle. man as ever was seen in this house.

But. Does he intend to sup in his slough? Vel. That time will show. But. Well, I have not a head for these things. Indeed, Mr. Vellum, I have not understood one word you have said this half hour.

Vel. I did not intend thou shouldst-But to our business. Let there be a table spread in the great hall. Let your pots and glasses be washed, and in a readiness. Bid the cook provide a plentiful supper, and see that all the servants be in their best liveries.

But. Ay, now I understand every word you say. But I would rather hear you talk a little in that t’other way.

Vel. I shall explain to thee what I have said by and by. Bid Susan lay two pillows upon your lady's bed.

But. Two pillows! Madam won't sleep upon them both! She is not a double woman too!

Vel. She will sleep upon neither. But hark! Mrs. Abi. gail ; I think I hear her chiding the cook-maid.

[ocr errors]

says.

CLXI. ODE TO NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.

By Lord Byron.
"Tis done-but yesterday a king!

And arm’d with kings to strive-
And now thou art a nameless thing-

So abject--yet alive !
Is this the man of thousand thrones,
Who strewed our earth with hostile bones,

And can he thus survive ?
Since he, miscalled the Morning Star,
Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.

Thanks for that lesson- it will teach

To after-warriors more
Than high philosophy can preach,

And vainly preached before.
That spell, upon the minds of men,
Breaks never to unite again,

That led them to adore
Those Pagod things of sabre-sway,
With fronts of brass, and feet of clay.

The desolator desolate !

The victor overthrown!
The arbiter of others' fate,

A suppliant for his own!
Is it some yet imperial hope,
That with such change can calmly cope

Or dread of death alone?
To die a prince-or live a slave-
Thy choice is most ignobly brave!

Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
Nor written thus in vain

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »