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There was no covert, no retired cave
Unhaunted by the murmurous noise of waves,
Though scarcely heard in many a green recess.
He listen'd, and he wept, and his bright tears
Went trickling down the golden bow he held.
Thus with half-shut suffused eyes he stood,
While from beneath some cumbrous boughs hard
With solemn step, an awful Goddess came,
And there was purport in her looks for him,
Which he with eager guess began to read,
Perplex'd, the while melodiously he said :
" How cam'st thou over the unfooted sea ?
Or hath that antique mien and robed form
Moved in these vales invisible till now?
Sure I have heard those vestments sweeping o'er
The fallen leaves, when I have sat alone
In cool mid-forest. Surely I have traced
The rustle of those ample skirts about
These grassy solitudes, and seen the flowers
Lift up their heads, as still the whisper pass'd.
Goddess ! I have beheld those eyes before,
And their eternal calm, and all that face,
Or I have dream'd.”—“ Yes,” said the supreme
" Thou hast dream'd of me; and awaking up,
Didst find a lyre all golden by thy side,
Whose strings touch'd by thy fingers, all the vast
Unwearied ear of the whole universe
Listen'd, in pain and pleasure, at the birth
Of such new tuneful wonder. Is't not strange
That thou shouldst weep, so gifted ? Tell me,
youth, What sorrow thou canst feel ; for I am sad
When thou dost shed a tear : explain thy griefs
To one who in this lonely isle hath been
The watcher of thy sleep and hours of life,
From the young day when first thy infant hand
Pluck'd witless the weak flowers, till thine arm
Could bend that bow heroic to all times.
Show thy heart's secret to an ancient Power
Who hath forsaken old and sacred thrones
For prophecies of thee, and for the sake
Of loveliness new born."-Apollo then,
With sudden scrutiny and gloomless eyes,
Thus answer'd, while his white melodious throat
Throbb’d with the syllables " Mnemosyne!
Thy name is on my tongue, I know not how ;
Why should I tell thee what thou so well seest ?
Why should I strive to show what from thy
Would come no mystery ? For me, dark, dark,
And painful vile oblivion seals my eyes :
I strive to search wherefore I am so sad,
Until a melancholy numbs my limbs ;
And then upon the grass I sit, and moan,
Like one who once had wings.--O! why should I
Feel cursed and thwarted, when the liegeless air
Yields to my step aspirant? Why should I
Spurn the green turf as hateful to my feet ?
Goddess benign, point forth some unknown thing :
Are there not other regions than this isle ?
What are the stars ? There is the sun, the sun!
And the most patient brilliance of the moon !
And stars by thousands ! Point me out the way
To any one particular beauteous star,
And I will flit into it with my lyre,
And make its silvery splendour pant with bliss.
I have heard the cloudy thunder : Where is
power ? Whose hand, whose essence, what divinity Makes this alarum in the elements, While I here idle listen on the shores In fearless yet in aching ignorance ? O tell me, lonely Goddess, by thy harp, That waileth every morn and eventide, Tell me why thus I rave, about these groves ! Mute thou remainest-Mute! yet I can read A wondrous lesson in thy silent face: Knowledge enormous makes a God of me. Names, deeds, gray legends, dire events, rebel
lions, Majesties, sovran voices, agonies, Creations and destroyings, all at once Pour into the wide hollows of my brain, And deify me, as if some blithe wine Or bright elixir peerless I had drunk, And so become immortal.”—Thus the God, While his enkindled eyes, with level glance Beneath his white soft temples, steadfast kept Trembling with light upon Mnemosyne.
BORN IN LONDON 1788—DIED AT MISSOLONGHI 1824.
DESCRIPTION OF ROME.
THE Niobe of nations! there she stands,
Childless and crownless, in her voiceless wo;
An empty urn within her wither'd hands,
Whose holy dust was scatter'd long ago;
The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now;
The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers : dost thou flow,
Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness ?
Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her dis.
The Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood,
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 site :Chaos of ruins ! who shall trace the void,
O’er the dim fragments cast a lunar light, And say, “ Here was, or is,” where all is doubly
The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and
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, “ Eureka!” it is clearWhen but some false mirage of ruin rises near.
Alas! the lofty city! and, alas !
The trebly hundred triumphs! and 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 pictured page !--but these shall be
Her resurrection; all beside-decay.
Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome
Oh thou, whose chariot rolld on Fortune's
wheel, Triumphant Sylla! Thou, who didst subdue Thy country's foes ere thou wouldst pause to
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
Annihilated senates-Roman, too,
With all thy vices, for thou didst lay down With an atoning smile a more than earthly
The dictatorial wreath,—couldst thou divine
To what would one day dwindle that which
made Thee more than mortal ? and that so supine By aught than Romans Rome should thus be
laid ? She who was named Eternal, and array'd Her warriors but to conquer ; she who veil'd