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Haunt the encincture night and day, and work
FOR the painter's art to bear away
Piecemeal these wondrous relics! He can throw Credence about the incredible, and take The understanding, by the nearest way, The eye. How may the
pen portray this scene ? Vainly you tell me men of pith like ours Chiselled these awful masses : I have seen The wild goat browse on crags far less: say rather, In the beginning when these temples rose, Their scale was planned by giant intellects, And wrought upon by giants. Wheresoever A fragment of a column stands upright, This side how bright, on that what depth of shade! It stands a very tower; and he that climbs, Paces it like a warder to and fro; Then in some fluting stands he sentinel; Or in a hollow triglyph lies concealed. As mountaineers would scale a precipice, Let us explore the savage heap of ruin
That occupies the centre. Is it not
The battering engine, or the sulphurous mine, War, such as mortals wage, could ne'er achieve Such havoc. The great globe itself unhinged In pendulous vibration must have reeled, Swung from its inoffensive axle, then Nor sure, nor firmset: and in their despair, They of the city, mighty men of old, Not to the rocks and hills for shelter cried, But to their columns and entablatures, And said—“Fall on us, hide us from the wrath To come!” Now not a dewdrop on the corn
Ripening around, or the wild parsley-weed,
“ Arduus inde Acragas ostentat maxima longe Mônia, magnanimùm quondam generator equorum.”
Æn. iii. 703.
I JOURNEY on, and ponder
, and admire
Wonders that come so thick they make defeat Of fancy; but I touch Girgenti's seat Sublime, and cannot choose but strike the lyre. High midst the fanes which here in ruins lie, Erst dedicate to the Olympian Sire, And the swart Deity who wrought in fire, And Hercules, and Leda's progeny ; Unscathed by time, thy temple, Concord, stands, With the last touch of Grecian artists' hands Yet visible: and this enchanting tone Of living foliage gracing mellow stone, Shows concord here surviving: may her ray Shine through the world at large some blessed day!