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descends with sorrow to the grave,
'Tis sweetly-soothing sympathy to pain,
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-figured sculptures of the path
Half beauteous, half effaced; 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 the 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 soothed:
Here flowed his fountain; here his laurels grew;
Here oft the meek good man, the lofty bard
Frained the celestial song, or social walked
With Horace and the ruler of the world:
Happy Augustus! who, so well inspired,
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 revered,
Then hallowed was the fount, or secret shade,
Or open mountain, or whatever scene
The poet chose to tune the ennobling rhyme
Melodious; even the rugged sons of war,
Even the rude hinds revered 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
The o'erflowing wave-Enough—the plaint disdain. --
See'st thou yon fane? even now incessant timel
Sweeps her low mouldering marbles to the dust; 400
And Phæbus' temple, nodding with its woods,
Threatens huge ruin o'er the small rotund.
'Twas there beneath a fig-tree's umbrage broad,
Th' astonished swains with reverend awe beheld
Thee, 0 Quirinus, and thy brother-twin,
Pressing the teat within a monster's grasp,
Sportive; while oft the gaunt and rugged wolf
Turned her stretched neck and formed your tender
limbs : So taught of Jove, even the fell savage fed Your sacred infancies, your virtues, toils, The conquests, glories, of the Ausonian state, Wrapp'd in their sacred 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, 420
And gathering swains; and rolls his yellow car
To Neptune's court with more majestic train.
Her speedy growth alarmed the states around
Jealous; yet soon by wondrous virtue won,
They sink into her bosom. From the plough
Rose her dictators; fought, o'ercame, returned,
Yes, to the plough returned, and hailed their peers;
For then no private pomp, no household state,
The public only swelled the generous breast.
Who has not heard the Fabian heroes sung?
Dentatus' scars, or Mutius' flaming hand?
How Manlius saved the capitol? the choice
Of steady Regulus? As yet they stood,
Simple of life; as yet seducing wealth
Was unexplored, and shame of poverty
Yet unimagined—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.
They through all shapes of peril and of pain,
Intent on honour, dared in thickest death
To snatch the glorious deed. Nor Trebia quell’d,
Nor Thrasymene, nor Canna's bloody field,
Their dauntless courage; storming Hannibal
In vain the thunder of the battle rolled,
The thunder of the battle they returned
Back on his Punic shores; till Carthage fell,
And danger fled afar. The city gleamed
With precious spoils: alas prosperity!
Ah baneful state! yet ebbed not all their strength
In soft luxurious pleasures; proud desire
Of boundless sway, and feverish thirst of gold,
Roused them again to battle. Beauteous Greece,
Torn from her joys, in vain with languid arm
Half raised her rusty shield; nor could avail
The sword of Dacia, nor the Parthian dart;
Nor yet the car of that famed British chief,
Which seven brave years beneath the doubtful wing
Of victory dreadful rolled its grinding wheels
Over the bloody war: the Roman arms
Triumphed, till Fame was silent of their foes.
And now, the world unrivalled they enjoyed
In proud security: the crested helm,
The plated greave and corslet hung unbraced;
Nor clanked their arms, the spear and sounding shield,
But on the glittering trophy to the wind.
Dissolved in ease and soft delights they lie,
'Till every sun annoys, and every wind
Has chilling force, and every rain offends:
For now the frame no more is girt with strength
Masculine, nor in lustiness of heart
Laughs at the winter storm and summer beam,
Superior to their rage: enfeebling vice
Withers each nerve, and opens every pore
To painful feeling: flowery bowers they seek
(As ether prompts, as the sick sense approves)
Or cool Nymphean grots, or tepid baths
(Taught by the soft Ionians); they, along
The lawny vale, of every beauteous stone,
Pile in the roseate air with fond expense:
Through silver channels glide the vagrant waves,
And fall on silver beds crystalline down,
Melodious murmuring; while luxury
Over their naked limbs, with wanton hand,
Sheds roses, odours, sheds unheeded bane.
Swift is the flight of wealth; unnumbered wants,
Brood of voluptuousness, cry out aloud
Necessity, and seek the splendid bribe.
The citron board, the bowl embossed with gems,
And tender foliage wildly wreathed around
Of seeming ivy, by that artful hand,
Corinthian Thericles; whate'er is known
Of rarest acquisition; Tyrian garbs,
Neptunian Albion's high testaceous food,
And flavoured Chian wines with incense fumed
To slake Patrician thirst: for these, their rights
In the vile streets they prostitute to sale;
Their ancient rights, their dignities, their laws,
Their native glorious freedom. Is there none,
Is there no villain, that will bind the neck
Stretched to the yoke? they come, the market throngs.
But who has most by fraud or force amassed ?
Who most can charm corruption with his doles ?
He be the monarch of the state; and lo!
Didius, vile usurer, through the crowd he mounts,
Beneath his feet the Roman eagle cowers,
And the red arrows fill his
O Britons, O my countrymen, beware,
Gird, gird your hearts; the Romans once were free,
Were brave, were virtuous.-Tyranny howe'er
Deigned to walk forth awhile in pageant state
And with licentious pleasures fed the rout,