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The softer spirit of the Sapphic muse. 225
With equal rays immortal Tully shone, The Roman rostra decked the consul's throne:
as another which follows, to
“Exegi monumentum ære perennius." The action of the doves hints at a passage in the fourth ode of his third book :
“Me fabulosæ Vulture in Apulo
Fronde nova puerum palumbes
Non sine dis animosus infans.”
“ While yet a child, I chanced to stray,
And crowned your infant poet's head,
Gathering his flowing robe, he seemed to stand
240 In act to speak, and graceful stretched his hand. Behind, Rome's genius waits with civic crowns, And the great father of his country owns.
These massy columns in a circle rise, 244 O’er which a pompous dome invades the skies: Scarce to the top I stretched my aching sight, So large it spread, and swelled to such a height. Fall in the midst proud Fame's imperial seat With jewels blazed, magnificently great; The vivid emeralds there revive the eye, 250 The flaming rubies show their sanguine dye, Bright azure rays from lively sapphires stream, And lucid amber casts a golden gleam. With various-coloured light the pavement
shone, And all on fire appeared the glowing throne; 255 The dome's high arch reflects the mingled
blaze, And forms a rainbow of alternate rays. When on the goddess first I cast my sight, Scarce seemed her stature of a cubit's height;' But swelled to larger size, the more I gazed, 260 Till to the roof her towering front she raised. With her, the temple every moment grew, And ampler vistas opened to my view : Upward the columns shoot, the roofs ascend, And arches widen, and long aisles extend. 265 Such was her form, as ancient bards have told,
1 « Methought that she was so lite,
That the length of a cubite
Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet infold; A thousand busy tongues the goddess bears, And thousand open eyes, and thousand listen
ing ears. Beneath, in order ranged, the tuneful Nine 270 (Her virgin handmaids) still attend the shrine: With eyes on Fame for ever fixed, they sing : For Fame they raise the voice, and tune the
string : With Time's first birth began the heavenly lays, And last, eternal, through the length of days.
Around these wonders as I cast a look,' 276 The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook, And all the nations, summoned at the call, From different quarters fill the crowded hall : Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard ;
280 In various garbs promiscuous throngs appeared ; Thick as the bees, that with the spring renew Their flowery toils, and sip the fragrant dew, When the winged colonies first tempt the sky, O’er dusky fields and shaded waters fly, 285 Or settling, seize the sweets the blossoms yield,
1“ I heard about her throne y-sung
That all the palays walles rung;
And her eighte sisters eke "--P.
That fared as bees done in a hive,
And a low murmur runs along the field.
same: For good and bad alike are fond of fame. Some she disgraced, and some with honours
crowned; ? Unlike successes equal merits found. 295 Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns, And, undiscerning, scatters crowns and chains.
First at the shrine the learned world appear, And to the goddess thus prefer their prayer. “Long have we sought to instruct and please
mankind, With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind; But thanked by few, rewarded yet by none, We here appeal to thy superior throne : On wit and learning the just prize bestow, For fame is all we must expect below.” 305
The goddess heard, and bade the Muses raise The golden trumpet of eternal praise : From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound, That fills the circuit of the world around; Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud; 310 The notes at first were rather sweet than loud : By just degrees they every moment rise, Fill the wide earth, and gain upon the skies. At every breath were balmy odours shed, 314 Which still grew sweeter as they wider spread;
1 “And some of them she granted sone,
| Less fragrant scents the unfolding rose exhales, Or spices breathing in Arabian gales. Next these the good and just, an awful
train,' Thus on their knees address the sacred fane. “Since living virtue is with envy cursed, 320 And the best men are treated like the worst, Do thou, just goddess, call our merits forth, And give each deed the exact intrinsic worth.” “Not with bare justice shall your act be
crowned, (Said Fame), but high above desert renowned : Let fuller notes the applauding world amaze, And the loud clarion labour in your praise.”
This band dismissed, behold another crowd Preferred the same request, and lowly bowed; The constant tenor of whose well spent days No less deserved a just return of praise. 331 But straight the direful trump of slander sounds; Through the big dome the doubling thunder
bounds; Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies,
1 - Tho came the thirde companye,
And gan up to the dees to hye,
I grant, (quoth she,) for now me list