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A hundred foot aloft, like stately beech
Around the brim of Dion's glassy lake,
Charming the mimic painter: on the walls
Hung Salem's sacred spoils; the golden board,
And golden trumpets, now conceal'd, entomb'd
By the sunk roof. — O'er which in distant view
Th' Etruscan mountains swell, with ruins crown'd
Of ancient towns; and blue Soracte spires,
Wrapping his sides in tempests. Eastward hence,
Nigh where the Cestian pyramid * divides
The mouldering wall, beyond yon fabric huge,
Whose dust the solemn antiquarian turns,
And thence, in broken sculptures cast abroad,
Like Sibyl's leaves, collects the builder's name
Rejoic'd, and the green medals frequent found 、
Doom Caracalla to perpetual fame :

The stately pines, that spread their branches wide
In the dun ruins of its ample halls †,

Appear but tufts; as may whate'er is high
Sink in comparison, minute and vile.

These, and unnumber'd, yet their brows uplift,

Rent of their graces; as Britannia's oaks

On Merlin's mount, or Snowdon's rugged sides,
Stand in the clouds, their branches scatter'd round,
After the tempest; Mausoleums, Cirques,
Naumachios, Forums; Trajan's column tall,
From whose low base the sculptures wind aloft,
And lead through various toils, up the rough steep,

*The tomb of Cestius, partly within and partly without the walls.

+ The baths of Caracalla, a vast ruin.

Its hero to the skies: and his dark tower *
Whose execrable hand the city fir'd,

And while the dreadful conflagration blaz❜d,

Play'd to the flames; and Phœbus' letter'd dome † ;
And the rough reliques of Carina's street,
Where now the shepherd to his nibbling sheep
Sits piping with his oaten reed; as erst
There pip'd the shepherd to his nibbling sheep,
When th' humble roof Anchises' son explor'd
Of good Evander, wealth-despising king,
Amid the thickets: so revolves the scene;
So Time ordains, who rolls the things of pride
From dust again to dust. Behold that heap
Of mouldering urns (their ashes blown away,
Dust of the mighty) the same story tell;
And at its base, from whence the serpent glides
Down the green desert street, yon hoary monk
Laments the same, the vision as he views,
The solitary, silent, solemn scene,

Where Cæsars, heroes, peasants, hermits lie,
Blended in dust together; where the slave
Rests from his labours; where th' insulting proud
Resigns his power; the miser drops his hoard;
Where human folly sleeps. There is a mood,
(I sing not to the vacant and the young,)
There is a kindly mood of melancholy,

That wings the soul, and points her to the skies;
When tribulation clothes the child of man,
When age descends with sorrow to the grave,
'T is sweetly-soothing sympathy to pain,

* Nero's.

+ The Palatin library.



A gently-wakening call to health and ease.
How musical! when all-devouring Time,
Here sitting on his throne of ruins hoar,
While winds and tempests sweep his various lyre,
How sweet thy diapason, Melancholy !

Cool evening comes; the setting Sun displays
His visible great round between yon towers,
As through two shady cliffs; away, my Muse,
Though yet the prospect pleases, ever new
In vast variety, and yet delight

The many-figur'd sculptures of the path
Half beauteous, half effac'd; the traveller
Such antique marbles to his native land
Oft hence conveys; and every realm and state
With Rome's august remains, heroes and gods,
Deck their long galleries and winding groves;
Yet miss we not th' innumerable thefts,
Yet still profuse of graces teems the waste.
Suffice it now th' Esquilian mount to reach
With weary wing, and seek the sacred rests
Of Maro's humble tenement; a low
Plain wall remains; a little sun-gilt heap,
Grotesque and wild; the gourd and olive brown
Weave the light roof: the gourd and olive fan
Their amorous foliage, mingling with the vine,
Who drops her purple clusters through the green.
Here let me lie, with pleasing fancy sooth'd:
Here flow'd his fountain; here his laurels grew;
Here oft the meek good man, the lofty bard
Fram'd the celestial song, or social walk'd
With Horace and the ruler of the world:
Happy Augustus! who, so well inspir'd,

Couldst throw thy pomps and royalties aside,
Attentive to the wise, the great of soul,
And dignify thy mind. Thrice glorious days,
Auspicious to the Muses! then rever'd,
Then hallow'd was the fount, or secret shade,
Or open mountain, or whatever scene

The poet chose, to tune th' ennobling rhyme
Melodious; e'en the rugged sons of war,
E'en the rude hinds rever'd the poet's name:
But now - another age, alas! is ours -
Yet will the Muse a little longer soar,
Unless the clouds of care weigh down her wing,
Since Nature's stores are shut with cruel hand,
And each aggrieves his brother; since in vain
The thirsty pilgrim at the fountain asks
Th' o'erflowing wave — Enough

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-the plaint disSee'st thou yon fane? * e'en now incessant time Sweeps her low mouldering marbles to the dust; And Phoebus' temple, nodding with its woods, Threatens huge ruin o'er the small rotund. 'T was there beneath a fig-tree's umbrage broad, Th' astonish'd swains with reverend awe beheld Thee, O Quirinus, and thy brother-twin,

Pressing the teat within a monster's grasp

Sportive; while oft the gaunt and rugged wolf Turn'd her stretch'd neck and form'd your tender

limbs ;

So taught of Jove e'en the fell savage fed

Your sacred infancies, your virtues, toils,

*The temple of Romulus and Remus under Mount Palatin.

The conquests, glories, of th' Ausonian state,
Wrapp'd in their secret seeds. Each kindred soul,
Robust and stout, ye grapple to your hearts,
And little Rome appears. Her cots arise,

Green twigs of osier weave the slender walls,
Green rushes spread the roofs; and here and there
Opens beneath the rock the gloomy cave.
Elate with joy Etruscan Tiber views
Her spreading scenes enamelling his waves,
Her huts and hollow dells, and flocks and herds,
And gathering swains; and rolls his yellow car
To Neptune's court with more majestic train.

Her speedy growth alarm'd the states around,
Jealous; yet soon, by wondrous virtue won,
They sink into her bosom. From the plough
Rose her dictators; fought, o'ercame, return'd,
Yes, to the plough return'd, and hail'd their peers;
For then no private pomp, no household state,
The public only swell'd the generous breast.
Who has not heard the Fabian heroes sung?
Dentatus' scars, or Mutius' flaming hand?
How Manlius sav'd the Capitol? the choice
Of steady Regulus? As yet they stood,
Simple of life; as yet seducing wealth
Was unexplor'd, and shame of poverty
Yet unimagin'd. Shine not all the fields

With various fruitage? murmur not the brooks
Along the flowery valleys? They, content,
Feasted at Nature's hand, indelicate,

Blithe, in their easy taste; and only sought
To know their duties; that their only strife,
Their generous strife, and greatly to perform.

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