Perchance she died in youth: it may be, bow'd With woes far heavier than the ponderous tomb That weigh’d upon her gentle dust, a cloud Might gather o'er her beauty, and a gloom In her dark eye, prophetic of the doom Heaven gives its favourites—early death; yet shed” A sunset charm around her, and illume With hectic light, the Hesperus of the dead, Of her consuming cheek the autumnal leaf-like red.


Perchance she died in age—surviving all, Charms, kindred, children—with the silver gray On her long tresses, which might yet recall, It may be, still a something of the day When they were braided, and her proud array And lovely form were envied, praised, and eyed By Rome—But whither would Conjecture stray? Thus much alone we know—Metella died, The wealthiest Roman's wife: Behold his love or pride!


I know not why—but standing thus by thee
It seems as if I had thine inmate known,
Thou Tomb and other days come back on me
With recollected music, though the tone
Is changed and solemn, like the cloudy groan
Of dying thunder on the distant wind;
Yet could I seat me by this ivied stone
Till I had bodied forth the heated mind

Forms from the floating wreck which Ruin leaves


[ocr errors]

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


[ocr errors]

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.


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 7 Pronounce who can ; for all that Learning reap'd From her research hath been, that these are walls— Behold the Imperial Mount!’tis thus the mighty falls."

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]
« ForrigeFortsett »