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What is her pyramid of precious stones?
Of porphyry, jasper, agate, and all hues
Of gem and marble, to encrust the bones
Of merchant-dukes? the momentary dews
Which, sparkling to the twilight stars, infuse
Freshness in the green turf that wraps the dead,
Whose names are mausoleums of the Muse,
Are gently prest with far more reverent tread
Than ever paced the slab which paves the princely head.
There be more things to greet the heart and eyes In Arno's dome of Art's most princely shrine, Where sculpture with her rainbow sister vies; There be more marvels yet but not for mine; For I have been accustomed to entwine My thoughts with Nature rather in the fields, Than Art in galleries : though a work divine Calls for my spirit's homage, yet it yields Less than it feels, because the weapon which it wields
ls of another temper, and I roam
By Thrasimene's lake, in the defiles
Fatal to Roman rashness, more at home;
For there the Carthaginian's warlike wiles
Come back before me, as his skill beguiles
The host between the mountains and the shore,
Where courage falls in her despairing files,
And torrents, swoln to rivers with their gore,
Reek through the sultry plain, with legions scatter'd o'er,
Like to a forest felld by mountain winds;
And such the storm of battle on this day,
And such the phrenzy, whose convulsion blinds
To all save carnage, that, beneath the fray,
An earthquake reeld unheededly away! 3
None felt stern Nature rocking at his feet,
And yawning forth a grave for those who lay
Upon their bucklcrs for a winding sheet;
Such is the absorbing hate when warring nations meet!
The Earth to them was as a rolling bark
Which bore them to eternity; they saw
The Ocean round, but had no time to mark
The motions of their vessel; Nature's law,
In them suspended, reck'd not of the awe
Which reigns when mountains tremble, and the birds
Plunge in the clouds for refuge and withdraw
From their down-toppling nests; and bellowing herds Stumble o'er heaving plains, and man's dread hath no words.
Far other scene is Thrasimene now;
Her lake a sheet of silver, and her plain
Rent by no ravage save the gentle plough ;
Her aged trees rise thick as once the slain
Lay wbere their roots are ; but a brook hath ta'en-
A little rill of scanty stream and bed
A name of blood from that day's sanguine rain;
And Sanguinetto tells ye where the dead
Made the earth wet, and turn'd the unwilling waters red.
But thou, Clitumnus! in thy sweetest wave
Of the most living crystal that was e’er
The haunt of river nymph, to gaze and lave
Her limbs where nothing bid them, thou dost rear
Thy grassy banks whereon the milk-white steer
Grazes ; the purest god of gentle waters!
And most serene of aspect and most clear;
Surely that stream was unprofaned by slaughters--A mirror and a bath for Beauty's youngest daughters!
And on thy happy shore a temple still,
Of small and delicate proportion, keeps,
Upon a mild declivity of hill,
Its memory of thee; beneath it sweeps
Thy current's calmness; oft from out it leaps
The finny darter with the glittering scales,
Who dwells and revels in thy glassy deeps;
While, chance, some scatter'd water-lily sails
Down where the shallower wave still tells its bubbling tales.
Pass not unblest the Genius of the place!
If through the air a zephyr more serene
Win to the brow, 'tis his; and if ye trace
Along his margin a more eloquent green ;
If on the heart the freshness of the scene
Sprinkle its coolness, and from the dry dust
Of weary life a moment lave it clean
With Nature's baptisn,-'tis to him ye must
Pay orisons for this suspension of disgust.
The roar of waters ! - from the headlong height
Velino cleaves the wave-worn precipice;
The fall of waters! rapid as the light
The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss ;
The hell of waters ! where they howl and hiss,
And boil in endless torture ; while the sweat
Of their great agony, wrung out from this
Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet
That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set,
LXX. And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again . Returns in an unceasing shower, which round, With its unemptied cloud of gentle rain, Is an eternal April to the ground, Making it all one emerald :-how profound The gulf ! and how the giant element From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound,
Crushing the cliffs, which, downward worn and rent With his fierce footsteps, yield in chasms a fearful vent
LXXI. To the broad column which rolls on, and shows More like the fountain of an infant sea Torn from the womb of mountains by the throes Of a new world, than only thus to be Parent of rivers, which flow gushingly, . With many windings, through the vale :-Look back! Lo! where it comes like an eternity, .
As if to sweep down all things in its track, Charming the eye with dread,-a matchless cataract,
Horribly beautiful ! but on the verge,
From side to side, beneath the glittering morn,
An Iris sits, amidst the infernal surge,
Like Hope upon a death-bed, and, unworn
Its steady dyes, while all around is torn
By the distracted waters, bears serene
Its brilliant hues with all their beains unshorn :
Resembling, 'mid the torture of the scene,
Love watching Madness with unalterable mien.
LXXIII. Once more upon the woody Apennine, The infant Alps, which-had I not before Gazed on their mightier parents, where the pine Sits on more shaggy summits, and where roar The thundering lauwine-might be worshipp'd more, But I have seen the soaring Jungfrau rear Her never-trodden snow, and seen the hoar
Glaciers of bleak Mont-Blanc both far and near, And in Chimari heard the thunder-hills of fear,
Th’ Acroceraunian mountains of old name
And on Parnassus seen the eagles fly
Like spirits of the spot, as 'twere for fame,
For still they soared unutterably high :
I've look'd on Ida with a Trojan's eye ;
Athos, Olympus, Ætna, Atlas, made
These hills seem things of lesser dignity,
All, save the lone Soracte's height, displayed
Not now in snow, which asks the lyric Roman's aid.