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Which gathers shadow, substance, life, and all .
That we inherit in its mortal shroud,
And spreads the dim and universal pall
Through which all things grow phantoms; and the cloud
Between us sinks, and all which ever glowed,
Till Glory's self is twilight, and displays
A melancholy halo scarce allowed
To hover on the verge of darkness ; rays
Sadder than saddest night, for they distract the gaze,
And send us prying into the abyss,
To gather what we shall be when the frame
Shall be resolv'd to something less than this
Its wretched essence, and to dream of fame,
And wipe the dust from off the idle name
We never more shall hear,--but never more,
Oh happier thought! can we be made the same
It is enough in sooth that once we bore
These fardels of the heart the heart whose sweat was gore.
. CLXVII. Hark! forth from the abyss a voice proceeds, A long low distant murmur of dread sound, Such as arises when a nation bleeds, With some deep and immedicable wound; Through storm and darkness yawns the rending ground, The gulf is thick with phantoms ; but the chief Seems royal still, though with her head discrown'd,
And pale, but lovely, with maternal grief She clasps a babe, to whom ber breast yields no relief.
Scion of chiefs and monarchs, where art thou ?
Fond hope of many nations, art thou dead ?
Could not the grave forget thee, and lay low
Some less majestic, less beloved head
In the sad midnight, while thy heart still bled,
The mother of a moment, o'er thy boy,
Death hush'd that pang for ever : with thee fled
The present happiness and promised joy
Which fillid the imperial isles so full it seem'd to cloy.
CLXIX. Peasants bring forth in safety.-Can it be, Oh thou that wert so happy, so adored! Those who weep not for kings shall weep for thee, And Freedom's heart, grown heavy, cease to hoard Her many griefs for One; for she had pour’d Her orisons for thee, and o'er thy head Beheld her Iris.-Thou, too, lonely lord,
And desolate consort-vainly wert thou wed! The husband of a year! the father of the dead !
Of sackcloth was thy wedding garment made ;
Thy bridal's fruit is ashes : in the dust
The fair-haired Daughter of the Isles is laid,
The love of millions! How we did entrust
Futurity to her! and, though it must
Darken above our bones, yet fondly deem'd
Our children should obey her child, and bless'd
Her and her hoped-for seed, whose promise seem'd Like stars to shepherds' eyes :'twas but a meteor beam'd.
Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps well :
The fickle reek of popular breath, the tongue
Of hollow counsel, the false oracle,
Which from the birth of monarchy hath rung
Its knell in princely ears, till the o'erstung
Nations have arm'd in madness, the strange fate
Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns, and hath flung
Against their blind omnipotence a weight
Within the opposing scale, which crushes soon or late,
These might have been her destiny; but no,
Our hearts deny it : and so young, so fair,
Good without effort, great without a foe;
But now a bride and mother—and now there!
How many ties did that stern moment tear!
From thy Sire's to his humblest subject's breast
Is linked the electric chain of that despair,
Wbose shock was as an earthquake's, and opprest
The land which loved thee so that none could love thee best.
Lo, Nemi! navelled in the woody hills
So far, that the uprooting wind which tears
The oak from his foundation, and which spills
The Ocean o’er its boundary, and bears
Its foam against the skies, reluctant spares
The oval mirror of thy glassy lake;
And, calm as cherish'd bate, its surface wears
A deep cold settled aspect nought can shake,
All coiled into itself and round, as sleeps the snakc.
And near Albano's scarce divided waves
Shine from a sister valley ;-and afar
The Tiber winds, and the broad Ocean laves
The Latian coast where sprung the Epic war, :
« Arms and the Man, » whose re-ascending star
Rose o'er an empire; but beneath thy right
Tully reposed from Rome;-and where yon bar
Of girdling mountains intercepts the sight,
The Sabine farm was till’d, the weary bard's delight.
But I forget.—My Pilgrim's shrine is won,
And he and I must part,--so let it be,-
His task and mine alike are nearly done ;
Yet once more let us look upon the sea;
The midland Ocean breaks on him and me,
And from the Alban Mount we now behold
Our friend of youth, that Ocean, which when we
Beheld it last by Calpe's rock unfold
Those waves, we followed on till the dark Euxine roll'd
CLXXVI. Upon the blue Symplegades : long years~ Long, though not very many, since have done Their work on both; some suffering and some tears Have left us nearly where we had begun : Yet not in vain our mortal race hath run, We have had our reward-and it is here; That we can yet feel gladden'd by the sun,
And reap from earth, sea, joy almost as dear. As if there were no man to trouble what is clear.
Oh! that the Desart were my dwelling place,
With one fair Spirit for my minister,
That I might all forget the human race,
And, hating no one, love but only her!
Ye Elements!—in whose ennobling stir
I feel myself exalted-Can ye not
Accord me such a being? Do I err
In deeming such inhabit many a spot ?
Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.
There is a pleasure in the paibless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar :
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I sleal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean--roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ryin-his control
Stops with the shore ;-upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelld, uncollin'd, and unknown.