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When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men, Then may'st thou be restored; but not till then. A thousand years scarce serve to form a state ; An hour may lay it in the dust: and when
Can man its shatter'd splendour renovate, Recall its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate?
LXXXV. And yet how lovely in thine age of wo, Land of lost gods and godlike men ! art thou! Thy vales of ever-green, thy hills of snow (37) Proclaim thee Nature's varied favourite now: Thy fanes, thy temples to thy surface bow, Commingling slowly with heroic earth, Broke by the share of every rustic plough:
So perish monuments of mortal birth, so perish all in turn, save well-recorded Worth ;
LXXXVI. Save where some solitary column mourns Above its prostrate brethren of the cave ; (38) Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave; Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave, Where the gray stones and unmolested grass Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave,
While strangers only not regardless pass, Lingering like me, perchange, to gaze, and sigh
“ Alas !
LXXXVII. Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild ; Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields, Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smil'd, And still his honied wealth Hymettus yields; There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds, The freeborn wanderer of thy mountain-air ;
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
Still in his beam Mendeli's marbles glare; . Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.
LXXXVIII. Where'er we tread ?tis haunted, holy ground; No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould, But one vast realm of wonder spreads around, And all the Muse's tales seem truly told, Till the sense aches with gazing to behold The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon : Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold
Defies the power which crush'd thy temples gone; Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Ma.
The sun, the soil, but not the slave, the same ;
Which utter'd, to the hearer's eye appear The camp, the host, the fight, the conqueror's career.
• XC. The flying Mede, his shaftless broken bow; The fiery Greek, his red pursuing spear; Mountains above, Earth's, Ocean's plain below ; Death in the front, Destruction in the rear! Such was the scene-what now remaineth here? What sacred trophy marks the hallow'd ground, Recording Freedom's smile and Asia's tear?
The rifled urn, the violated mound, The dust thy courser's hoof, rude stranger! spurns
Which sages venerate and bards adore,
The parted bosom clings to wonted home,
When wandering slow by Delphi's sacred side, Or gazing o'er the plains where Greek and Persian
XCIII. Let such approach this consecrated land, And pass in peace along the magic waste : But spare its relics-let no busy hand Deface the scenes, already how defaced ! Not for such purpose were these altars placed : Revere the remnants nations once rever'd : So may our country's name be undisgraced, So may'st thou prosper where thy youth was
réar'd, By every honest joy of love and life endear'd!
cooth'd thine idlesse with inglorious lays,.
praise; Since cold each kinder heart that might approve, And none are left to please when none are left to
Xcy. Thou too art gone, thou loved and lovely one! Whom youth and youth's affection bound to me; Who did for me what none beside have done, Nor shrank from one albeit unworthy thee. What is my being? thou hast ceased to be! Nor staid to welcome here thy wanderer home, Who mourns o'er hours which we no more shall
seeWould they had never been, or were to come! Would he had ne'er return'd to find fresh cause to
XCVI. . . . Oh! ever loving, lovely, and beloved! How selfish Sorrow ponders on the past, And clings to thoughts now better far removed ! But Time shall tear thy shadow from me last. All thou could'st have of mine, stern Death!
* thou hast ; The parent, friend, and now the more than friend: Ne'er yet for one thine arrows flew so fast,
And grief with grief continuing still to blend, Hath snatch'd the little joy that life had yet to lend.
XCVII. Then must I plunge again into the crowd, And follow all that Peace disdains to seek? Where Revel calls, and Laughter, vainly loud, False to the heart, distorts the hollow cheek, To leave the flagging spirit doubly weak; Still 'o'er the features, which perforce they
cheer, To feign the pleasure or conceal the pique ;
Smiles form the channel of a future tear, Or raise the writhing lip with ill-dissembled sneer.
XCVIII. What is the worst of woes that wait on age? What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow? To view each loved one blotted from life's page, And be alone on earth, as I am now. Before the Chastener humbly let me bow, O’er hearts divided and o'er hopes destroy'd : Roll on, vain days ! full reckless may ye flow,
Since Time hath reft whate'er my soul enjoy'd, And with the ills of Eld mine earlier years alloy'd.
END OF CANTO IL