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And thou, who never yet of human wrong
Lost the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis! (54)
Here, where the ancient paid thee homage long-
Thou, who didst call the Furies from the abyss,
And round Orestes bade them howl and hiss
For that unnatural retribution-just
Had it but been from hands less near in this
Thy former realm, I call thee from the dust! (must. Dost thou not hear my heart ?--Awake! thou shalt, and
It is not that I may not have incurr'd
For my ancestral faults or mine the wound
I bleed withal, and, had it been conferr'd
With a just weapon, it had flowed unbound;
But now my blood shall not sink in the ground;
To thee I do devote it--thou shalt take
The vengeance, which shall yet be sought and found,
Which if I have not taken for the sake-
But let that pass—I sleep, but thou shalt yet awake,
And if my voice break forth, 'tis not that now
I shrink from what is suffered : let him speak
Who hath beheld decline upon my brow,
Or seen my mind's convulsion leave it weak;
But in this page a record will I seek.
Not in the air
shall these my words disperse, Though I be ashes; a far hour shall wreak
The deep prophetic fulness of this verse,
And pile on human heads the mountain of my curse!
That curse shall be Forgiveness.--Have I not-
Hear me, my mother Earth! behold it, Heaven !
Have I not had to wrestle with my lot?
Have I not suffered things to be forgiven?
Have I not had my brain seared, my heart riven,
Hopes sapp'd, name blighted, Life's life lied away?
And only not to desperation driven,
Because not altogether of such clay
As rots into the souls of those whom I survey.
From mighty wrongs to petty perfidy
Have I not seen what human things could do?
From the loud roar of foaming calumny
To the small whisper of the as paltry few,
And subtler venom of the reptile crew,
The Janus glance of whose significant eye
Learning to lie with silence, would seem true,
And without utterance, save the shrug or sigh,
Deal round to happy fools its speechless obloquyó
But I have lived, and have not lived in vain ;
My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire,
And my frame perish even in conquering paing
But there is that within me which shall tire
Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire;
Something unearthly, which they deem not of,
Like the remembered tono of a mute lyre,
Shall on their softened spirits sink, and move
In hearts all rocky now the late remorse of love.
The seal is set-Now welcome, thou dread power
Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here
Walk'st in the shadow of the midnight hour
With a deep awe, yet all distinct from fear;
Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls roar
Their ivy mantles, and the solemn scene
Derives from thee a sense so deep and clear
That we become a part of what has been,
And grow unto the spot, all-seeing but unseen.
CXXXIX. And here the buzz of eager nations ran, In murmured pity, or loud-roared applause, As man was slaughtered by his fellow man. And wherefore slaughtered? wherefore, but because Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, And the imperial pleasure.Wherefore not? What matters where we fall to fill the maws,
Of worms-on battle plains or listed spot ? Both are but theatres where the chiefactors rot.
I see before me the Gladiator lic: (55)
He leans upon his hand-his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his drooped head sinks gradually low-
And through his side the last drops ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
The arena swims around him-he is gone, (who wo Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hail'd the wretch
He heard it, but he beeded pot—his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He reck'd not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay
There were his young Barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother-he, their sire,
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday-(56)
All this rush'd with his blood-Shall he expire
And unavenged?-Arise! Goths, and glut your ire !
CXLII. But here, where Murder breathed her bloody stream ; And here, where buzzing nations choked the ways, And roar'd or murmur'd like a mountain stream Dashing or winding as its torrent strays; Here, with the Roman million's blame or praise Was death or life, the plaything of a crowd, My voice sounds much-and fall the stars' faint ray
On the arena void-seats crush'd walls bow'd-
And galleries, where my steps seem echoes strangely loud
A ruin-yet what ruin ! from its mass
Walls, palaces, half -citiers, have been reared ;
Yet oft the enormous skeletou ye pass
And marvel where the spoil could bave appeared.
Hath it indeed been plundered, or but cleared?'.
Alas ! developed, opens the decay,
When the colossal fabric's form is neared :
It will not bear the brightness of the day,
Which streams too much on all years, man, bave reft away
CXLIV. But when the rising moon begins to climb Its topmost arch, and gently pauses there; When the stars twinkle through the loops of time, And the low night-breeze waves along the air The garland-forest, which the grey walls wear, Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar's head; When the light shines serene but doth not glare, Then in this magic circle raise the dead : Heroes have trod this spot—tis on their dunt ye tread.
CXLV. “While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand ; “When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall ; (land “And when Rome falls--the World.” From our own Thus spake the pilgrims o'er this mighty wall In Saxon times, which we are wont to call Ancient; and these three mortal things are still On their foundations and unaltered all;
Rome and her Ruin past Redemption's skill, (will The World, the same wide den-of thieves, or what ye
Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublime-
Shrine of all saints and temple of all gods,
From Jove to Jesus--spared and blessed by time ;
Looking tranquillity, while falls or nods
Arch, empire, each thing round thee, and man plods
His way through thorns to ashes--glorious dome!
Shalt thou not last ? Time's scythe and tyrant's rods
Shiver upon thee sanctuary and home
Of art and piety-Pantheon !-pride of Rome !
Relic of nobler days, and noblest arts !
Despoiled yet perfect, with thy circle spreads
A holiness appealing to all hearts
To art a model; and to him who treads
Rome for the sake of ager, Glory sheds
Her light through thy sole aperture; to those
Who worship, here are altars for their beads;
And they who feel for genius may repose
(close. Their eyes on honoured forms, whose busts around them
There is a dungeon, in whose dim drear lighs
What do I gaze on ? Nothing : Look again!
Two fornís are slowly shadowed on my sight-
Two insulated phantoms of the brain :
It is not so; I see them full and plain-
An old man, and a female young and fair,
Fresh as a nursing mother, in whose vein
The blowd is vectar: but what doth she there,
With ker ụnmantled neck, and bosom white and bare.
CXLIX. Fult swells the deep pure fountain of young life, Where on the heart and from the heart' we took Our first and sweetest nurture, when the wife, Blest into mother, in the innocent look, Or even the piping cry of lips that brook No pain and small suspense, a joy perceives Man knows not, when from out its cradled nook She sees her little bud put forth its leaves What may the fruit be yet?-I know not-Cain, was Ere's.
CL. But here youth offers to old age the food, The milk of his own gift :-it is her sire To whom she renders back the debt of blood Born with her birth. No; he shall not expire While in those warm and lovely veins the fire Of health and holy feeling can provide Great Nature's Nile, whose deep stream rises higher
Then Egypt's river: from that gentle side Prink, drink and live, old man ! Heaven's realmis holds
(no such tide. The starry fable of the milky way Has not thy story's purity; it is A constellation of a sweeter ray, And sacred Nature triumphs more in this Reverse of her decree, than in the abyss Where sparkle distant worlds :-Oh, holiest nurse! No drop of that clear stream its way'shall miss To thy sire's heart, replenishing its source With life, as our frced souls rejoin the universe.