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Tem. me, thou dust beneath my feet,
Thou dust that once hadst breath!

Tell me how many mortals meet
In this small hill of death!

The Mole, that scoops with curious toil

Her subterranean bed,
Thinks not she ploughs a human soil,

And mines among the dead.

But, O! where'er she turns the ground

My kindred earth I see; Once every atom of this mound

Lived, breathed, and felt, like me!

Like me, these elder-born of clay

Enjoy'd the cheerful light, Bore the brief burden of a day,

And went to rest at night.

Ear in the regions of the morn,

The rising sun surveys Palmyra's palaces forlorn,

Empurpled with his rays.

The spirits of the desert dwell
Where Eastern grandeur shone,

And vultures scream, hyamas yell
Round Beauty's mouldering throne

There the pale pilgrim, as he stands,

Sees, from the broken wall,
The shadow tottering on the sands,

Ere the loose fragment fall.

Destruction joys, amid those scenes,
To watch the sport of Fate,

While Time between the pillars leans,
And bows them with his weight.

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But towers and temples cmsh'd by Time,

Stupendous wrecks! appear To me less mournfully sublime

Thau the poor Molehill here.

Through all this hillock's crumbling mould

Once the warm life-blood ran; Here thine original behold,

And here thy ruins, Man!

Methinks this dust yet heaves with breath •

Ten thousand pulses beat;
Tell me,—in this small hill of death,

How many mortals meet?

By wafting winds and flooding rains,

From ocean, earth and sky, Collected here, the frail remains

Of slumbering millions lie.

What scene of terror and amaze
Breaks through the twilight gloom?

What hand invisible displays
The secrets of the tomb?

All ages and all nations rise,

And every grain of earth Beneath my feet, before mine eyes,

Is startled into birth.

Like gliding mists the shadowy forms
Through the deep valley spread,

And like descending clouds in storms
Lower round the mountain's head.

O'er the wide champaign while they pass,

Their footsteps yield no sound,
Nor shake from the light trembling grass

A dewdrop to the ground.

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Among the undistinguish'd hosts,

My wondering eyes explore Awful, sublime, terrific ghosts,

Heroes and kings of yore:—

Tyrants, the comets of their kind,
Whose withering influence ran

Through all the promise of the mind,
And smote and mildew'd man :—

Sages, the Pleiades of earth,

Whose genial aspects smiled,
And flowers and fruitage sprang to birth

O'er all the human wild.

Yon gloomy ruffian, gash'd and gored,

Was he whose fatal skill
First beat the ploughshare to a sword,

And taught the art to kill.

Behind him skulks a shade, bereft

Of fondly-worshipp'd fame; He built the Pyramids, but left

No stone to tell his name.

Who is the chief, with visage dark
As tempests when they roar!

The first who push'd his daring bark
Beyond the timid shore.

Through storms of death and seas of graves

He steer'd with stedfast eye; His path was on the desert waves,

His compass in the sky.

The youth who lifts his graceful hand.

Struck the unshapen block,
And Beauty leap'd, at his command,

A Venus from the rock!

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Trembling with ecstacy of thought,

Behold the Grecian maid,
Whom love's enchanting impulse taught

To trace a slumberer's shade.


Sweet are the thefts of love; she stole

His image while he lay, Kindled the shadow to a soul,

And breathed that soul through clay.

Yon list'ning nymph, who looks behind,

With countenance of fire,
Heard midnight music in the wind,

And framed the jEolian lyre.

All hail!—The Sire of Song appears,

The Muse's eldest born;
The skylark in the dawn of years,

The poet of the morn.

He from the depth of caveru'd woods,

That echoed to his vr'ce, Bade mountains, valleys, winds, and floods,

And earth and heaven rejoice.

Though charm'd to meekness while he sung.
The wild beasts round him ran,

This was the triumph of his tongue,—
It tamed the heart of man.



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With moonlight softness Helen's charms

Dissolve the spectred gloom,
The leading star of Greece in arms,

Portending Uion's doom.

But Homer;—see the bard arise;

And hark!—he strikes the lyre;
The Dardan warriors lift their eyes,

The Argive chiefs respire.

And while his music rolls along,

The towers of Troy sublime,
Raised by the magic breath of song,

Mock the destroyer Time.

For still around the eternal walls

The storms of battle rage:
And Hector conquers, Hector falls,

Bewept in every age!

Genius of Homer! were it mine

To track thy fiery car,
And in thy sunset course to shine

A radiant evening star,—

What theme, what laurel might the Muse

Reclaim from ages fled?
What realm-restoriDg hero choose

To summon from the dead?

Yonder his shadow flits away:

Thou shalt not thus depart;
Stay, thou transcendent spirit, stay,

And tell me who thou art!

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