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The fool of false dominion—and a kind
Of bastard Cæsar, following him of old
With steps unequal; for the Roman's mind
Was modell’d in a less terrestrial mould,
With passions ficrcer, yet a judgment cold,
And an immortal instinct which redeem'd
The frailties of a heart so soft, yet bold,
Alcides with the distaff now he seem'd
At Cleopatra's feet,—and now himself he beam'd,
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 fram'd ;
With but one weakest weakness -vanity,
Coquettish in ambition-still he aim'd-
Al what? can he avouch-or answer what he claim'd ?
And would be all or nothing-nor could wait
For the sure grave to level him ; few years
Had fix'd him with the Cæsars 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 flowed,
An universal deluge, which appears
Without an ark for wretched man's abode,
And ebbs but to reflow !--Renew thy rainbow, God !
What from this barren being do we reap ?
Our senses narrow, and our reason frail,
Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep,
And all ihings weigh'd in custom's falsest scale ;
Opinion an omnipotence,-whose veil
Mantles the earth with darkness, until 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.
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 free,
Bleed gladiator-like, and still engage
Within the same arena where they sce
Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same trec.
I speak not of men's creeds—they rest between
Man and his Maker-but of things allowed,
Averr'd, and known,-and daily, hourly seena
The yoke that is upon us doubly bowed,
And the intent of tyranny avowed,
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.
Can tyrants but by tyrants conquered be,
And Freedom find no champion and no child
Such as Columbia saw arise when she
Sprung forth a Pallas, arined and undefiled ?
Or must such minds be nourished 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 ?
But France got drunk with blood to vomit crime,
And fatal bave 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 worst-his second fall.
Yet, Freedom ! yet thy banner, torn, but flyin",
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.
There is a stern round tower of other days, Firin 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 cave What treasure lay so lock'd, so hid?-A woman's grave.
But who was she, the lady of the dead,
Tombed in a palace? Was she chaste and fair?
Worthy a king's-or more-a Roman's bed?
What race of chiefs and heroes did she bear?
What daughter of her beauties was the heir?
How lived-bow loved-how died she? Was she not
So honoured-and conspicuously there,
Where meaner relics must not dare to rot,
Placed to commemorate a more than mortal lot ?.
Was she as those who love their lords, or they
Who love the lords of others ? such have been,
Even in the olden time Rome's annals say.
Was she a matron of Cornelia’s mien,
Or the light air of Egypt's graceful queen,
Profuse of joy-or 'gainst it did she war,
Inveterate in virtue? Did she lean
To the soft side of the heart, or wisely bar
Love from amongst her griefs 2- for such the affections are.
ar heaviewer gentle and a slow
Perchance she died in youth : it may be, bowed
With woes far heavier than the ponderous tomb
That weighed 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 autunnal leaf-like red.
Perchance she died in age-surviving all,
Charms, kindred, children with the silver grey
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 Roine--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 distaut wind;
Yet could I seat me by this ivied stone
Till I had bodied forth the heated miud
Forms from the floating wreck which Ruin leaves behind;