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3 Princess ! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, "Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.
4 Rome shall perish-write that word
In the blood that she has spilt ;
Perish, hopeless and abhorr’d,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
5 Rome, for empire far renown'd,
Tramples on a thousand states ; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground,
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !
6 Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name ; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame.
7 Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land, Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
8 Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway ;
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.
9 Such the bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire, Bending, as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
10 She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt thein in her bosom glow;
Rush'd to battle, fought, and died ;
Dying, hurl'd them at the foe.
11 - Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heaven awards the vengeance due ;
Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for you.”
THERE was a time when Etna's silent fire
Slept unperceived, the mountain yet entire ;
When, conscious of no danger from below,
She tower'd a cloud-capp'd pyramid of snow.
No thunders shook with deep intestine sound
The blooming groves that girdled her around;
ller unctuous olives and her purple vines
(l'nfelt the fury of those bursting mines,)
The peasant's hopes, and not in vain, assured,
In peace upon her sloping sides matured.
When on a day like that of the last doom,
A conflagration labouring in her womb,
She teem'd and heaved with an infernal birth,
That shook the circling seas and solid earth.
Dark and voluminous the vapours rise,
And hang their horrors in the neighbouring skies ;
While through the Stygian veil, that blots the day,
In dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play.
But oh! what Muse, and in what powers of song,
Can trace the torrent as it burns along ?
Havoc and devastation in the van,
It marches o'er the prostrate works of man ;
Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear,
And all the charms of a Sicilian year.
Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass,
See it an uninform’d and idle mass;
Without a soil to invite the tiller's care,
Or blade that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time achieve ?)
Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live.
Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
O bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
O charming Paradise of shortlived sweets !
The self-same gale that wafts the fragrance round
Brings to the distant ear a sullen sound :
Again the mountain feels the imprison'd foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below;
Ten thousand swains the wasted scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws,
Who write in blood the merits of your cause,
Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence,
Glory your aim, but justice your pretence;
Behold in Ætna's emblematic fires
The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires !
Fast by the stream that bounds your just domain, And tells you
have a right to reign,
A nation dwells, not envious of your throne,
Studious of peace, their neighbour's and their own.
Ill-fated race ! how deeply must they rue
Their only crime, vicinity to you!
The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad;
Throzgh the ripe harvest lies their destined road;
At every step beneath their feet they tread
Tie Efe of multitudes, a nation's bread;
Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress
Before them, and behind a wilderness.
Famine, and Pestilence, her first-born son,
Attend to finish what the sword begun;
And echoing praises, such as fiends might earn,
And Folly pays, resound at your return.
I calm succeeds ;—but Plenty, with her train
Of heartfelt jors, succeeds not soon again ;
And years of pining indigence must show
What scourges are the the gods that rule below.
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees
(Sach is his thirst of opulence and ease),
Plies all the sinews of industrious toil,
Gleans up the refuse of the general spoil,
Rebuilds the towers that smoked upon the plain,
And the sun gilds the shining spires again.
Increasing commerce and reviving art
Renew the quarrel on the conqueror's part ;
And the sad lesson must be learn'd once more,
That wealth within is ruin at the door.
What are re, monarchs, laurell’d heroes, say,
But Etnas of the suffering world ye sway?
Street Nature, stripp'd of her embroider'd robe,
Deplores the wasted regions of her globe,
And stands a witness at Truth's awful bar,
To prore you there destroyers, as ye are.
O place me in some Heaven-protected isle,
Where Peace, and Equity, and Freedom smile ;
Where no volcano pours his fiery flood,
No crested warrior dips his plume in blood ;
Where Power secures what Industry has won ;
Where to succeed is not to be undone ;
A land that distant tyrants hate in vain,
In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reign.
THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND SENSITIVE
An Oyster, cast upon the shore,
Was heard, though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded,
And worthy thus to be recorded :
Ah, hapless wretch ! condemn’d to dwell
For ever in my native shell ;
Ordain'd to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease ;
But toss'd and buffeted about,
Now in the water, and now out.
'Twere better to be born a stone,
Of ruder shape, and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine!
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
Fast rooted against every rub.
The plant he meant grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough,—
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied :
(When, cry the botanists, and stare,
Did plants callid Sensitive grow there?
No matter when—a poet's Muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.)