« AnteriorContinuar »
Mournfully rolls. Yet once again, my Muse, And interrningling vines; and figur'd nymphs, Yet once again, and soar a loftier flight;
Floras and Chloes of delicious mould, Lo, the resistless theme, imperial Rome.
Cheering the darkness; and deep empty tombs, Fall'n, fall'n, a silent heap; her heroes all And dells, and mouldering shrines, with old decay Sunk in their urns ; behold the pride of pomp, Rustic and green, and wide-embowering shades, The throne of nations Callin; obscurd in dust; Shot from the crooked clefts of nodding towers. E'en yet majestical: the solemn scene
A solemn wilderness! with error sweet, Elates the soul, while now the rising Sun I wind the lingering step, where'er the path Flames on the ruins in the
Mazy conducts me, which the vulgar foot Towering aloft, upon the glittering plain,
O'er sculptures maim'd has made ; Anubis, Sphinx Like broken rocks, a vast circumference:
Idols of antique guise, and horned Pan, Rent palaces, crush'd columns, rifled moles, Terrific, monstrous shapes! preposterous gods Fanes rollid on fanes, and tombs on buried tombs. of Fear and Ignorance, by the sculptor's hand Deep lies in dust the Theban obelisk
Hewn into forin, and worshipp'd; as e'en now Immense along the waste; minuter art,
Blindly they worship at their breathless mouthst Gliconian forms, or Phidian subtly fair,
In varied appellations: men to these O'erwhelming; as th' immense Leviathan (From depth to depih in darkening error fallin) The finny brood, when near lerne's shore
At length ascrib'd th' inapplicable name. Outstretch'd, unwieldy, his island-length appears
How doth it please and fill the memory Above the foainy flood. Globose and huge, With deeds of brave renown, while on each hand Grey mouldering temples swell, and wide o'ercast Historic urns and breathing statues rise, The solitary landscape, hills and woods,
And speaking busts ! Sweet Scipio, Marius stern, And boundless wilds; while the vine-mantled brows Pompey superb, the spirit-stirring form The pendent goats unveil, regardless they Of Cæsar raptur'd with the charm of rule of hourly peril, though the clefied domes
And boundless fame ; impatient for exploits, Tremble to every wind. The pilgrim oft His eager eyes upcast, be soars in thought At dead of night, 'mid his orison hears
Above all height: and his own Brutus see, Aghast the voice of Time, disparting towers, Desponding Brutus, dubious of the right, Tumbling all precipitate down-dash'd,
In evil days, of faith, of public weal, Rattling around, loud-thundering to the Moon; Solicitous and sad. Thy next regard While murmurs soothe each awful interval Be Tully's graceful attitude; uprais'd, Of ever-falling waters; shrouded Nile,
His outstretch'd arm he waves, in act to speak Eridanus, and Tiber with his twins,
Before the silent masters of the world,
Yet here, adventurous in the sacred search In fearful expectation of the strise, of ancient arts, the delicate of mind,
And youthful Rome intent: the kindred foes Curious and modest, from all climes resort.
Fall on each other's neck in silent tears ; Grateful society! with these I raise
In sorrowful benevolence embraceThe loilsome step up the proud Palatin,
Howe'er, they soon unsheath the flashing sword, Through spiry cypress groves, and toivering pine, Their country calls 10 arms ;-now all in vain Waving aloft o'er the big ruin's brows,
The mother clasps the knee, and e'en the fair On numerous arches rear'd: and frequent stopp’d, Now weeps in vain ; their country calls to arms. The sunk ground startles me with dreadful chasm, Such virtue Clelia, Cocles, Manlius, rous'd : Breathing forth darkness from the vast profound Such were the Fabii, Decii; so inspir'd, Or aisles and halls, within the mountain's womb. The Scipios batiled, and the Gracchi spoke : Nor these the nether works; all these beneath, So rose the Roman state. Me now, of these And all beneath the vales and hills around, Deep musing, high ambitious thoughts inflame Extend the cavern'd sewers, massy, firm, Greatly to serve my courtry, distant land, As the Sibylline grot beside the dead
And build me virtuous fame ; nor shall the dust Lake of Avernus; such the sewers huge,
of these fall’n piles with show of sad decay Whither the great Tarquinian genius dooms
Avert the good resolve, mean argument,
Proud Memphis' relics o'er th' Egyptian plain :
Along the windings of the Muse's stream, Cerulean ophite, and the flowery vein
Lucid llyssus weeps her silent schools, of orient jasper, pleas'd I move along. And vases boss'd, and huge inscriptive stones, † Several statues of the Pagan gods have been convert. And groves, un visited by bard or sage.
od into images of saints. * Fountains at Rome adorned with the statues of those 1 From the Palatin hill one sees most of the remarkable
2 T 2
Parent of Happiness, celestial-born ; Amid the towery ruins, huge, supreme,
When the first man became a living soul, Th' enormous amphitheatre behold,
His sacred genius thou ;-be Britain's care; Mountainous pile! o'er whose ca pacious womb With her, secure, prolong thy lov'd retreat; Pours the broad firmament its varied light; Thence bless mankind ; while yet among her sons While from the central floor the seats ascend E’en yet there are, to shield thine equal laws, Round above round, slow-widening to the verge Whose bosoms kindle at the sacred names A circuit vast and high; nor less had held Of Cecil, Raleigh, Walsingham, and Drake. Imperial Rome, and her attendant realms,
May others more delight in tuneful airs ; When drunk with rule she will’d the fierce delight, In masque and dance excel; to sculptur'd stone And op'd the gloomy caverns, whence out-rush'd Give with superior skill the living look ; Before th' innumerable shouling crowd
More pompous piles erect, or pencil soft The fiery, madded, tyrants of the wilds,
With warmer touch the visionary board :
But thou, thy nobler Britons teach to rule ;
To quell the proud ; to spread the joys of peace, To kindle brutal daring apt for war;
And various blessings of ingenious trade. To lock the breast, and steel th' obdurate heart, Be these our arts; and ever may we guard, Amid the piercing cries of sore distress
Ever defend thee with undaunted heart! Impenetrable.—But away thine eye;
Inestimable good! who giv’st us Truth, Behold yon steepy cliff'; the modern pile
Whose hand upleads to light, divinest Truth, Perchance may now delight, while that,* rever'd Array'd in every charm : whose hand benign In ancient days, the page alone declares,
Teaches unwearied Toil to clothe the fields, Or narrow coin through dim cerulean rust.
And on his various fruits inscribes the name The fane was Jove's, its spacious golden roof, Of Property: O nobly hail'd of old O'er thick-surrounding temples beaming wide, By thy majestic daughters, Judah fair, Appear’d, as when above the morning hills And Tyrus and Sidonia, lovely nymphs, Half the round Sun ascends; and tower'd aloft, And Libya bright, and all-enchanting Greece, Sustain'd by columns huge, innumerous
Whose numerous towns and isles, and peopled soas, As cedars proud on Canaan's verdant heights Rejoic'd around her lyre; th' heroic note Darkening their idols, when Astarte lur'd
(Smit with sublime delight) Ausonia caught, Too-prosperous Israel from his living strength. And plann'd imperial Rome. Thy hand benign And next regard yon venerable dome,
Rear'd up her towery battlements in strength ; Which virtuous Latium, with erroneous aim, Bent her wide bridges o'er the swelling stream Rais'd to her various deities, and nam'd
Of Tuscan Tiber; thine those solemn domes Pantheon; plain and round; of this our world Devoted to the voice of humbler prayer! Majestic emblem ; with peculiar grace
And thine those pilesi undeck’d, capacious, vast, Before its ample orb, projected stands
In days of dearth where tender Charity The many-pillar'd portal: noblest work
Dispens'd her timely succors to the poor. Of human skill : here, curious architect,
Thine too those musically-falling founts, If thou essay’st, ambitious, to surpass
To slake the clammy lip; adown they fall,
Musical ever; while from yon blue hills,
The spacious desert, brightening in the Sun, Extends, and where the lovely forms commence Proud and more proud in their august approach: of flowing sculpture: nor neglect to note
High o'er irriguous vales and woods and towns, How range the taper columns, and what weight Glide the soft whispering waters in the wind, Their leafy brows sustain : fair Corinth first And here united pour their silver streams Boasted their order, which Callimachus
Among the figur'd rocks, in murmuring falls, (Reclining studious on Asopus' banks
Musical ever. These thy beauteous works : Beneath an urn of some lamented nymph)
And what beside felicity could tell Haply compos'd; the urn with foliage curl'd of human benefit: more late the rest; Thinly conceal’d, the chapiter inform’d.
At various times their turreis chanc'd to rise, See the tall obelisks from Memphis old, When impious Tyranny vouchsaf'd to smile. One stone enormous each, or Thebes convey'd ; Behold by Tiber's flood, where modern Romeu Like Albion's spires they rush into the skies. Couches beneath the ruins: there of old And there the temple,t where the summon'd state With arms and trophies gleam'd the field of Mars In deep of night conven’d: e'en yet methinks There to their daily sports the noble you The vehement orator in rent attire
Rush'd emulous; to fling the pointed lance; Persuasion pours, Ambition sinks her crest; To vault the steed; or with the kindling wheel And lo the villain, like a troubled sea,
In dusty whirlwinds sweep the trembling goal ; That tosses up her mire! Ever disguis'd,
Or, wrestling, cope with adverse swelling breasts, Shall Treason walk? Shall proud Oppression yoke Serong grappling arms, close heads, and distant feet; The neck of Virtue? Lo the wretch, abash'd, Or clash the lifted gauntlets: there they formd Self-betray'd Caliline! O Liberty,
Their ardent virtues: in the bossy piles,
The Capitol. f The Temple of Concord, where the senate met on Catiline's conspiracy.
1 The public granaries.
$ Modern Rome stands chiefly on the old Campus Martius.
The proud triumphal arches; all their wars, Where Cæsars, heroes, peasants, hermits, lie,
When tribulation clothes the child of man, They stretch their pavements. Lo, the fane of When age descends with sorrow to the grave, Peace,*
"Tis sweetly-soothing sympathy to pain, Built by that prince, who to the trust of power A gently-wakening call to health and ease. Was honest, the delight of human-kind.
How musical! when all-devouring Time, Three nodding aisles remain ; the rest a heap Here sitting on his throne of ruins hoar, Of sand and weeds; her shrines, her radiant roofs, While winds and tempests sweep his various lyre And columns proud, that from her spacious floor, How sweet thy diapason, Melancholy ! As from a shining sea, majestic rose
Cool evening comes; the setting Sun displays A hundred foot aloft, like stately beech
His visible great round between yon towers, Around the brim of Dion's glassy lake,
As through two shady cliffs; away, my Muse, Charming the mimic painter : on the walls Though yet the prospect pleases, ever new Hung Salem's sacred spoils; the golden board, In vast variety, and yet delight And golden trumpets, now conceal'd, entomb'd The many-figur'd sculptures of the path By the sunk roof.-O'er which in distant view Half beauteous, half effac'd ; the traveller Th'Etruscan mountains swell, with ruins crown'd Such antique marbles to his native land Of ancient towns; and blue Soracte spires, Oft hence conveys; and every realm and state Wrapping his sides in tempests. Eastward hence, With Rome's august remains, heroes and gods, Nigh where the Cestian pyramid † divides Deck their long galleries and winding groves; The mouldering wall, beyond yon fabric huge, Yet miss we not th' innumerable thefts, Whose dust the solemn antiquarian turns, Yet still profuse of graces teems the waste. And thence, in broken sculptures cast abroad, Suffice it now th’Esquilian mount to reach Like Sibyl's leaves, collects the builder's name With weary wing, and seek the sacred rests Rejoic'd, and the green medals frequent found Of Maro's humble tenement; a low Doom Caracalla to perpetual fame :
Plain wall remains; a little sun-gilt heap, The stately pines, that spread their branches wide Grotesque and wild ; the gourd and olive brown In the dun ruins of its ample halls,
Weave the light roof: the gourd and olive fan Appear but tufts; as may whate'er is high Their amorous foliage, mingling with the vine, Sink in comparison, minute and vile.
Who drops her purple clusters through the green These, and unnumber'd, yet their brows uplift, Here let me lie, with pleasing fancy sooth'd : Rent of their graces; as Britannia's oaks
Here flow'd his fountain ; here his laurels grew;
With Horace and the ruler of the world :
And dignify thy mind. Thrice-glorious days, Whose execrable hand the city fir'd,
Auspicious to the Muses! then rever'd, And while the dreadful conflagration blaz'd, Then hallow'd was the fount, or secret shade, Play'd to the flames; and Phæbus' letter'd dome ;ll Or open mountain, or whatever scene And the rough relics of Carina's street,
The poet chose, to tune th' ennobling rhyme Where now the shepherd to his nibbling sheep Melodious; c'en the rugged sons of war, Sits piping with his oaten reed; as erst
E'en the rude hinds rever'd the poet's name: There pip'd the shepherd to his nibbling sheep,
But now—another age, alas! is oursWhen th' humble roof Anchises' son explor’d
Yet will the Muse a little longer soar, Of good Evander, wealth-despising king,
Unless the clouds of care weigh down her wing Amid the thickets : so revolves the scene ;
Since Nature's stores are shut with cruel hand, So Time ordains, who rolls the things of pride And each aggrieves his brother; since in vain From dust again to dust. Behold that heap The thirsty pilgrim at the fountain asks Of mouldering urns (their ashes blown away, Th'o'erflowing wave-Enough—the plaint disdain Dust of the mighty) the same story tell ;
See'st thou yon fane ?* e'en now incessant time And at its base, from whence the serpent glides Sweeps her low mouldering marbles to the dust; Down the green desert street, yon hoary monk And Phæbus' temple, nodding with its woods, Laments the same, the vision as he views, Threatens huge ruin o'er the small rotund. The solitary, silent, solemn scene,
'Twas there beneath a fig-tree's umbrage b.oad,
Th' astonish'd swains with reverend awe beheld * Begun by Vespasian, and finished by Titus. Thee, 0 Quirinus, and thy brother-twin,
The tomb of Cestius, partly within and partly with. Pressing the teat within a monster's grasp out the walls. I The baths of Caracalla, a vast ruin.
* The temple of Romulus and Remus, under Mount $ Nero's. | The Palatin library.
Sportive; while oft the gaunt and rugged wolf Withers each nerve, and opens every pore Turn'd her stretch'd neck and form'd your tender To painful feeling: flowery bowers they seek limbs ;
(As ether prompts, as the sick sense approves) So taught of Jove e'en the fell savage fed Or cool Nymphean grots; or tepid baths Your sacred infancies, your virtues, toils,
(Taught by the soft lonians); they, along The conquests, glories, of th' Ausonian state, The lawny vale, of every beauteous stone, Wrapp'd in their secret seeds. Each kindred soul, Pile in the roseate air with fond expense : Robust and stout, ye grapple to your hearts, Through silver channels glide ihe vagrant waves, And liule Rome appears. Her cots arise, And fall on silver beds crystalline down, Green twigs of osier weave the slender walls, Melodious murmuring; while Luxury Green rushes spread the roofs; and here and there Over their naked limbs with wanton hand Opens beneath the rock the gloomy cave.
Sheds roses, odors, sheds unheeded bane. Elale with joy Etruscan Tiber views
Swist is the flight of wealth ; unnumber'd wants,
Her speedy growth alarmd the states around, Of seeming ivy, by that ariful hand,
And flavor'd Chian wines with incense fum'd
Their native glorious freedom. Is there none, How Manlius sav'd the Capitol ? the choice Is there no villain, that will bind the neck of steady Regulus ? As yet they stood,
Stretch'd to the yoke? they come; the market throngs Simple of life; as yet seducing wealth
But who has most by fraud or force amass'd ? Was unexplor'd, and shame of poverty
Who most can charm corruption with his doles ? Yet unimagin'd.-Shine not all the fields
He be the monarch of the state; and lo! With various fruitage ? murmur not the brooks Didius,* vile usurer, through the crowd he mounts, Along the flowery valleys? They, content, Beneath his feet the Roman eagle cowers, Feasted at Nature's hand, indelicate,
And the red arrows fill his grasp uncouth. Blithe, in their easy taste ; and only sought O Britons, O my countrymen, beware; To know their duties; that their only strife, Gird, gird your hearts; the Romans once were free, Their generous strife, and greatly to perform. Were brave, were virtuous.—Tyranny, howe'er, They through all shapes of peril and of pain, Deign'd to walk forth a while in pageant state, Intent on honor, dar'd in thickest death
And with licentious pleasures fed the rout, To snatch the glorious deed. Nor Trebia quell'd, The thoughtless many: to the wanton sound Nor Thrasymene, nor Canna's bloody field, of fises and drums they dancd, or in the shade Their dauntless courage ; storming Hannibal Sung Cæsar, great and terribie in war, In vain the thunder of the battle rollid,
Immortal Cæsar! Lo, a god, a god, The thunder of the battle they return'd
He cleaves the yielding skies! Cæsar meanwhile Back on his Punic shores ; till Carthage fell, Gathers the ocean pebbles; or the gnat And danger fled afar. The city gleam'd
Enrag'd pursues; or at his lonely meal With precious spoils : alas, prosperity!
Starves a wide province; tastes, dislikes, and flings Ah, baveful state! yet ebb’d not all their strength To dogs and sycophants. A god, a god ! In soft luxurious pleasures; proud desire
The Rowery shades and shrines obscene return. of boundless sway, and feverish thirst of gold, But see along the north the tempests swell Rous'd them again to battle. Beauteous Greece, O'er the rough Alps, and darken all their snows ! Torn from her joys, in vain with languid arm Sudden the Goth and Vandal, dreaded names, Half-rais d her rusty shield; nor could avail Rush as the breach of waters, whelming all The sword of Dacia, nor the Parthian dart; Their domes, their villas; down the sestive piles, Nor yet the ear of that fam'd British chief, Down fall their Parian porches, gilded baths, Which seven brave years, beneath the doubtful wing And roll before the storm in clouds of dust. Of Victory, dreadful roll'd its griding wheels Vain end of human strength, of human skill, Over the bloody war: the Roman arms
Conquest, and triumph, and domain, and pomp, Triumph’d, till Fame was silent to their foes. And ease, and luxury! O Luxury, And now the world unrival'd they enjoy'd
Bane of elated life, of amuent states,
What dreary change, what ruin is not thine ?
How dost thou lore the fortunate and great! Dissolv'd in ease and soft delights they lie, Dreadful attraction while behind thee gapes Till every sun annoys, and every wind
Th' unfathomable gulf where Asher lies Has chilling force, and every rain offends : O'erwhelm'd, forgotten; and high-hoasting Cham; For now the frame no more is girt with strength And Elam's haughty pomp; and beauteous Greece; Masculine, nor in lustiness of heart
And the great queen of Earth, imperial Rome. Laughs at the winter storm, and summer-beam, Superior to their rage : enfeebling vice
• Didius Julianus, who bought the empire.
William SHENSTONE, a popular and agreeable the life which he invariably pursued, and which poet, was born at Hales-Owen, Shropshire, in 1714. consisted in improving the picturesque beauties of His father was an uneducated gentleman farmer, the Leasowes, exercising his pen in casual effusions who cultivated an estate of his own, called the Lea- of verse and prose, and cultivating such society as
William, after passing through other in- lay within his reach. The fame of the Leasowes struction, was removed io that of a clergyman at was widely spread by an elaborale description of Solihull, from whom he acquired a fund of classical Dodsley's, which drew multitudes of visitors to the literature, together with a taste for the best English place; and the house being originally only a farm, writers. In 1732 he was entered of Pembroke Col. became inadequate to his grounds, and required enlege, Oxford, where he formed one of a set of young largement. Hence he lay continually under the men who met in the evenings at one another's cham- pressure of narrow circumstances, which preyed bers, and read English works in polite literature. upon his spirits, and rendered him by no means a He also began to exercise his poetical talent upon happy inhabitant of the little Eden he had created. some light topics; but coming to the possession of Gray, from the perusal of his letters, deduces the his paternal property, with some augmentation, he following, perhaps too satirical, account. “ Poor indulged himself in rural retirement, and forgetting man! he was always wishing for money, for fame, his calls to college residence, he took up his abode and other distinctions; and his whole philosophy at a house of his own, and commenced gentleman. consisted in living against his will in retirement, In 1737 he printed anonymously a small volume of and in a place which his faste had adorned, but juvenile poems, which was little noticed. His first which he only enjoyed when people of note came to visit to London, in 1740, introduced him to the ac- see and commend it." quaintance of Dodsley, who printed his “ Judgment Shenstone died of a fever in February, 1763, in of Hercules,” dedicated to his Hagley neighbor, Mr. his fiftieth year, and was interred in the church(afterwards Lord) Lytileton. It was followed by a yard of Hales-Owen. Monumenis to his memory work written before it, “ The School-mistress," a were erected by several persons who loved the man, piece in Spenser's style and stanza, the heroine of and esteemed his poetry. Or the latter, the general which was a village dame, supposed to have given opinion is now nearly uniform. It is regarded as him his first instruction. The vein of benevolence commonly correct, elegant, melodious, and tender and good sense, and the touches of the pathetic, by in sentiment, and often pleasing and natural in dewhich this performance is characterized, render it scription, but verging to the languid and feeble. extremely pleasing, and perhaps place it at the head His prose writings, published in a separate volume, of his compositions.
display good sense and cultivated taste, and some. After amusing himself with a few rambles to times contain new and acute observations on man. places of public resort, Shenstone now sat down to kind.
Lend me thy clarion, goddess ! let me try
To sound the praise of Merit, ere it dies,
Such as I oft have chaunced to espy,
Lost in the dreary shades of dull Obscurity.
In every village mark'd with little spire,
Embower'd in trees, and hardly known to Fame
There dwells in lowly shed, and mean allire, What particulars in Spenser were imagined most
A matron old, whom we School-mistress name; proper for the author's imitation on this occasion,
Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame; are his language, his simplicity, his manner of
They grieven sore, in piteous durance pent, description, and a peculiar tenderness of senti.
Aw'd by the power of this relentless dame; ment remarkable throughout his works.
And oft-limes, on vagaries idly bent,
For unkempt hair, or task unconn'd, are sorely shent. Au me! full sorely is my heart forlorn, To think how modest Worth neglected lies, And all in sight doth rise a birchen tree, While partial Fame doth with her blast adorn Which Learning near her liule dome did stowe, Such deeds alone, as pride and pomp disguise; Whilom a twig of small regard to see, Deeds of ill sort, and mischievous emprise : Though now so wide its waving branches flow;