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LXXXIX. Thon dost;- but all thy foster-babes are deadThe men of iron; and the world hath rear'd Cities from out their sepulchres: men bled In imitation of the things they fear’d, And fought and conquer'd, and the same course
steer'd, At apish distance; but as yet none have, Nor could, the same supremacy have near’d,
Save one vain man, who is not in the grave, But, vanquish'd by himself, to his own slaves a slave
Alcides with the distaff now he seem'd
xc. And came-and saw-and conquer'd! But the man Who would have tamed his eagles down to flee. Like a train'd falcon, in the Gallic van, Which he, in sooth, long led to victory, With a deaf heart which never seem'd to be A listener to itself, was strangely framed; With but one weakest weakness - vanity,
Coquettish in ambition- still he aim'd At what? can he avouch — or answer what he claim'd ?
XCII. And would be all or nothing - nor could wait For the sure grave to level him : few years Had fix'd him with the Caesars in his fate, On whom we tread: For this the conqueror rears The arch of triumph! and for this the tears And blood of earth flow on as they have flow'd, An universal deluge, which appears
Without an ark for wretched man's abode, And ebbs but to reflow!- Renew thy rainbow, God!
XCIII. What from this barren being do we reap? Our senses narrow, and our reason frail, 48) Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep, And all things weigh'd in custom's falsest scale; Opinion an omnipotence, whose veil Mantles the earth with darkness, nntil right And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale Lest their own judgments should become too bright, And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have too much light.
xcIv. And thus they plod in sluggish misery, Rotting from sire to son, and age to age, Proud of their trampled nature, and so die, Bequeathing their hereditary rage To the new race of inborn slaves, who wage War for their chains, and rather than be Bleed gladiator - like, and still engage
Within the same arena where they see Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same tree.
| xcv. I speak not of men's creeds -- they rest between Man and his Maker - but of things allow'd, Averr'd, and known, - and daily, hourly seen The yoke that is upon us doubly bow'd, And the inte.it of tyranny avow'd, The edict of Earth's rulers, who are grown The apes of him who humbled once the proud, And shook them from their slumbers on the throne; Too glorious, were this all his mighty arm had done.
XCVI. Can tyrants but by tyrants conquer'd be, And Freedom find no champion and no child Such as Columbia saw arise when she Sprung forth a Pallas, arm'd and undefiled? Or must such minds be nourish'd in the wild, Deep in the unpruned forest, 'midst the roar Of cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled
On infant Washington ? Has Earth no more Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no such shore?
XCVII. But France got drunk with blood to vomit crime, And fatal have her Saturnalia been To Freedom's cause, in every age and clime: Because the deadly days which we have seen, And vile Ambition, that built up between Man and his hopes an adamantine wall, And the base pageant last upon the scene,
Are grown the pretext for the eternal thrall Which nips life's tree, and dooms man's worsthis second fall.
XCVII. Yet, Freedom! yet thy banner, torn, but flying, Streams like the thunder-storm against the wind; Thy trumpet voice, though broken now and dying. The loudest still the tempest leaves behind : Thy tree hath lost its blossoms, and the rind, Chopp'd by the axe, looks rough and little worth, But the sap lasts, -- and still the seed we find
Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North: So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth.
XCIX. There is a stern round tower of other days, 19) Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone, Such as an army's baffled strength delays, Standing with half its battlements alone, And with two thousand years of ivy grown, The garland of eternity, where wave The green leaves over all by time o'erthrown:
What was this tower of strength ? within its cart What treasure lay so lock’d, so hid? - A woman's
But who was she, the lady of the dead,
Where meaner relics must not dare to rot, Placed to commemorate a more than mortal lot?
To the soft side of the heart, or wisely bar
With hectic light, the Hesperus of the dead,
Thus much alone we know - Metella died,
Till I had bodied forth the heated mind
CV. And from the planks, far shatter'd o’er the rocks, Built me a little bark of hope, once more To battle with the ocean and the shocks Of the loud breakers, and the ceaseless roar Which rushes on the solitary shore Where all lies founder'd that was ever dear: But could I gather from the wave - worn store
Enough for my rude boat, where should I steer? There woos no home, nor hope, nor life, save what is here.
+ GVI. Then let the winds howl on! their harmony Shall henceforth be my music, and the night The sound shall temper with the owlets' cry, As I now hear them, in the fading light Dim o'er the bird of darkness' native site, Answering each other on the Palatine, With their large eyes,all glistening gray and bright,
And sailing pinions.-Upon such a shrine What are our petty griefs ? — let me not number mine.
CVII. Cypress and ivy, weed and wallflower grown Matted and mass'd together, hillocks heap'd On what were chambers, arch crush’d, column
strown In fragments, choked up vaults, and frescos steep'd In subterranean damps, where the owl peep'd Deeming it midnight :- Temples, baths, or halls Pronounce who can; for all that Learning reap'i
From her research hath been, that these are wallsBehold the Imperial Mount!''tis thus the mighty falls. 51)
CVIII. There is the moral of all human tales; 59) 'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past, First Freedom, and then Glory - when that fails. Wealth, vice, corruption, barbarism at last And history, with all her volumes vast, Hath but one page, - 'tis better written here, Where gorgeous Tyranny had thus amass'd
All treasures, all delights, that eye or ear, Heart, soul could seek, tongue ask - Away with
words! draw near,