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Yet down his cheeks the gems of pity fell,
ANCIENT AND MODERN ITALY And spreading wide their hands they meek repent
COMPARED: ance feign'd.
BEING THE FIRST PART OF
The Contents of Part I.
to speak through the whole, appears, characterized Whilst Phæbus smote them sore, and fir'd the cloud as British Liberty. Gives a view of ancient
Italy, and particularly of republican Rome, in Then, varying to a joyless land of bogs,
all her magnificence and glory. This contrasted The sadden'd country a grey waste appear’d; by modern Italy; its valleys, mountains, culture, Where nought but putrid streams and noisome fogs cities, people : the difference appearing strongest For ever hung on drizzly Auster's beard;
in the capital city, Rome. The ruins of the great Or else the ground, by piercing Caurus sear'd, works of Liberty more magnificent than the borWas jagg'd with frost, or heap'd with glazed | rowed pomp of Oppression; and from them resnow;
(steer'd, vived Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture, Through these extremes a ceaseless round they The old Romans apostrophized, with regard to
By cruel fiends still hurry'd to and fro, (moe. the several melancholy changes in Italy: Horace, Gaunt Beggary, and Scorn, with many hell-hounds Tully, and Virgil, with regard to their Tibur,
Tusculum, and Naples. That once finest and The first was with base dunghill rags yclad,
most ornamented part of Italy, all along the Tainting the gale, in which they flutter'd light; coast of Baiæ, how changed. This desolation of Of morbid hue his features, sunk, and sad; Italy applied to Britain. Address to the goddess His hollow eyne shook forth a sickly light; of Liberty, that she would deduce from the first And o'er his lank jaw-bone, in piteous plight, ages, her chief establishments, the description of His black rough beard was matted rank and vile; which constitute the subject of the following parts Direful to see! an heart-appalling sight!
of this poem. She assents, and commands what Meantime foul scurf and blotches him defile; she says to be sung in Britain; whose happiness, And dogs, where'er he went, still barked all the arising from freedom, and a limited monarchy, while.
she marks. An immediate vision attends, and
paints her words. Invocation. The other was a fell despightful fiend : Hell holds none worse in baleful bower below: O my lamented Talbot! while with thee By pride, and wit, and rage, and rancour keen'd; The Muse gay rov'd the glad Hesperian round, Of man alike, if good or bad, the foe:
And drew th' inspiring breath of ancient arts; With nose up-turn'd, he always made a show
Ah! little thought she her returning verse
Involve those eyes where every virtue smil'd,
And all thy father's candid spirit shone?
The light of reason, pure, without a cloud; Ev'n so through Brentford town, a town of mud, Full of the generous heart, the mild regard; An herd of brisly swine is prick'd along; | Honour disdaining blemish, cordial faith, The filthy beasts, that never chew the cud, And limpid truth, that looks the very soul. Still grunt, and squeak, and sing their troublous But to the death of mighty nations turn, song,
My strain; be there absorpt the private tear. And oft they plunge themselves the mire among : Musing, I lay; warm from the sacred walks, But ay the ruthless driver goads them on, Where at each step imagination burns: And ay of barking dogs the bitter throng While scatter'd wide around, aweful, and hoar, Makes them renew their unmelodious moan;
Lies, a vast monument, once glorious Rome,
Whate'er, of finish’d, modern pomp can boast.
But her bright temples bound with British oak, | Her circus, ardent with contending youth;
Her streets, her temples, palaces, and batis,
While sculpture lives around, and Asian hills
All that to Roman strength the softer touch
A land in all, in government, in arts,
“ The great republic see! that glow'd, sublime, Of doubting modern life; who but, inflam'd
“ Are these the vales, that, once, exulting states
Where, mean, and sordid, life can scarce subsist, In lively prospect; -- by the secret lapse
The scenes of ancient opulence, and pomp?. Of brooks now lost and streams renown'd in song: “Come! by whatever sacred name disguis do In Umbria's closing vales, or on the brow
Oppression, come! and in thy works rejoice! Of her brown hills that breathe the scented gale : See Nature's richest plains to putrid fens On Baïæ's viny coast; where peaceful seas, Turn'd by thy fury. From their cheerful bounds, Fann'd by kind zephyrs, ever kiss the shore ; See raz’d th' enlivening village, farm, and seat. And suns unclouded shine, through purest air : First, rural toil, by thy rapacious hand Or in the spacious neighbourhood of Rome; Robb’d of his poor reward, resign'd the plough; Far-shining upward to the Sabine hills,
| And now he dares not turn the noxious glebe. To Anio's roar, and Tibur's olive shade;
'Tis thine entire. The lonely swain himself, To where Præneste lifts her airy brow;
Who loves at large along the grassy downs
“ See distant mountains leave their valleys dry, | 'Tis all one desert, desolate, and grey,
And where the rank uncultivated growth Deep, massy, firm, diverging every way,
Of rotting ages taints the passing gale. With tombs of heroes sacred, see her roads : Beneath the baleful blast the city pines, By various nations trod, and suppliant kings; Or sinks enfeebled, or infected hurns. With legions Alaming, or with triumph gay. Beneath it mourns the solitary road,
“ Full in the centre of these wondrous works, Roll'd in rude mazes o'er th' abandon'd waste; The pride of Earth! Rome in her glory see ! While ancient ways, ingulph'd, are seen no more. Behold her demigods, in senate met;
“ Such thy dire plains, thou self-destroyer ! foe All head to counsel, and all heart to act :
To human-kind! Thy mountains too, profuse, . The common-weal inspiring every tongue
Where savage nature blooms, seem their sad plaint With fervent eloquence, unbrib'd, and bold; To raise against thy desolating rod. Ere tame corruption taught the servile herd There on the breezy brow, where thriving states, To rank obedient to a master's voice.
And famous cities, once, to the pleas'd Sun, " Her forum see, warm, popular, and loud, Far other scenes of rising culture spread, In trembling wonder hushed, when the two sires*, Pale shine thy ragged towns. Neglected round, As they the private father greatly quell'd,
Each harvest pines; the livid, lean produce
Of heartless labour : while thy hated joys,
“ Her tribes, her census, see; her generous troops, Hence drooping Art alınost to Nature leaves Whose pay was glory, and their best reward, The rude unguided year. Thin wave the gifts Free for their country and for me to die ;
Of yellow Ceres, thin the radiant blush Ere mercenary murder grew a trade.
Of orchard reddens in the warmest ray. “ Mark, as the purple triumph waves along, | To weedy wildness run, no rural wealth The highest pomp and lowest fall of life.
(Such as dictators fed) the garden pours. “ Her festive games, the school of heroes, see;
Crude the wild olive flows, and foul the vine;
Nor juice Cæcubian, nor Falernian, more, * L. J. Brutus, and Virginius.
Streams life and joy, save in the Muse's bowl
Unseconded by art, the spinning race
| Beyond the weak repair of modern toil; Draw the bright thread in vain, and idly toil. These fractur'd arches, that the chiding streain In vain, forlorn in wilds, the citron blows;
No more delighted hear; these rich remains And flowering plants perfume the desert gale. Of marbles now unknown, where shines imbib'd Through the vile thorn the tender myrtle twines, Each parent ray; these massy columns, hew'd Inglorious droops the laurel, dead to song, From Afric's farthest shore : one granite all, And long a stranger to the hero's brow. [fields, These obelisks high-towering to the sky,
“ Nor half thy triumph this : cast, from brute Mysterious mark'd with dark Egyptian lore; Into the haunts of men thy ruthless eye.
These endless wonders that this sacred way There buxom Plenty never turns her horn;
Illumine still, and consecrate to fame; The grace and virtue of exterior life,
These fountains, vases, urns, and statues, charg'd No clean convenience reigns; ev'n Sleep itself, With the fine stores of art-completing Greece. Least delicate of powers, reluctant, there,
Mine is, besides, thy every later boast: Lays on the bed impure his heavy head.
Thy Buonarotis, thy Palladios mine t; Thy horrid walk! dead, empty, unadorn'd, And mine the fair designs, which Raphael's soul See streets whose echoes never know the voice O'er the live canvass, emanating, breath'd. Of cheerful Hurry, Commerce many-tongu’d, “ What would you say, ye conquerors of Earth! And Art mechanic at his various task,
Ye Romans! could you raise the laurel'd head; Pervent, employ'd. Mark the desponding race, Could you the country see, by seas of blood, Of occupation void, as void of hope;
And the dread toil of ages, won so dear; Hope, the glad ray, glanc'd from Eternal Good, Your pride, your triumph, and supreme delight! That life enlivens, and exalts its powers,
For whose defence oft, in the doubtful hour, With views of fortune madness all to them! You rush'd with rapture down the gulph of fate, By thee relentless seiz'd their better joys,
Of death ambitious! till by aweful deeds, To the soft aid of cordial airs they fly,
Virtues, and courage, that amaze mankind, Breathing a kind oblivion o'er their woes,
The queen of nations rose ; possest of all And love and music melt their souls away. Which Nature, Art, and Glory could bestow : From feeble Justice see how rash Revenge, What would you say, deep in the last abyss Trembling, the balance snatches; and the sword, Of slavery, vice, and unambitious want, Fearful himself, to venal ruffians gives.
| Thus to behold her sunk? Your crowded plains, See where God's altar, nursing murder, stands, Void of their cities; unadorn'd your hills; With the red touch of dark assassins stain'd. Ungrac'd your lakes; your ports to ships unknown;
“ But chief let Rome, the mighty city! speak Your lawless floods, and your abandon'd streams : The full-exerted genius of thy reign.
These could you know? these could you love Behold her rise amid the lifeless waste,
again? Expiring Nature all corrupted round;
Thy Tibur, Horace, could it now inspire, While the lone Tyber, through the desert plain, Content, poetic ease, and rural joy, Winds his waste stores, and sullen sweeps along. Soon bursting into song; while through the groves Patch'd from my fragments, in unsolid pomp, Of headlong Anio, dashing to the vale, Mark how the temple glares; and, artful drest, In many a tortur'd stream, you mus'd along? Amusive, draws the superstitious train.
Yon wild retreat, where Superstition dreams, Mark bow the palace lifts a lying front,
Could, Tully, you your Tusculum $ believe ? Concealing often, in magnific jail,
And could you deem yon naked hills, that form, Proud Want; a deep unanimated gloom!
Fam'd in old song, the ship-forsaken bay S, And oft adjoining to the drear abode
Your Formian shore ? Once the delight of Earth, Of Misery, whose melancholy walls
Where Art and Nature, ever smiling, join'd Seem its voracious grandeur to reproach.
On the gay land to lavish all their stores. Within the city bounds, the desert see.
How chang'd, how vacant, Virgil, wide around, See the rank vine o'er subterranean roofs,
Would now your Naples seem! Disaster'd less Indecent, spread; beneath whose fretted gold By black Vesuvius thundering o'er the coast It once, exulting, flow'd. The people mark, His midnight earthquakes, and his mining fires, Matchless, while fir'd by me; to public good Than by despotic rage || : that inward gnaws, Inexorably firm, just, generous, brave,
A native foe: a foreign, tears without. Afraid of nothing but unworthy life,
First from your flatter'd Cæsars this began : Elate with glory, an heroic soul
Till, doom'd to tyrants an eternal prey,
That the dire soul of Hannibal disarm'd;
* Via Sacra. In guile ingenious, and in murder brave.
+ M. Angelo Buonaroti, Palladio, and Raphael Such in one land, beneath the same fair clime, d'Urbino; the three great modern masters in sculpThy sons, Oppression, are; and such were mine. ture, architecture, and painting. "Ev'n with thy labour'd pomp, for whose vain | Tusculum is reckoned to have stood at a place show
now called Grotto Ferrata, a convent of monks Deluded thousands starve; all age begrim'd, § The bay of Mola (anciently Formiæ), into Jorn, robb'd, and scatter'd in unnumber'd sacks, 1 which Homer brings Ulysses and his companions. And by the tempest of two thousand years
Near Formiæ Cicero had a villa. Continual shaken, let my ruins vie.
|| Naples then under the Austrian governmente These roads, that yet the Roman hand assert, 1 Campagna Felice, adjoining to Capua.
And wrapt in weeds the shore of Venus lies. * | Through narrow life her lot, and private shade;
Vermin of state! to thy o'erflowing light
Return'd:-“ What here, suggested by the scene, From the calm station, roll resounding back. I slight unfold, record and sing at home, An almost total desolation sits,
In that best isle, where (so we spirits move) A dreary stillness, saddening o'er the coast; With one quick effort of my will I am. Where, when soft suns and tepid winters rose +, | There Truth, unlicens'd, walks; and dares accost Rejoicing crowds inhal'd the balm of peace; Evn kings themselves, the monarchs of the free! Where city'd hill to hill reflected blaze;
Fix'd on my rock, there, an indulgent race And where with Ceres, Bacchus wont to hold O'er Britons wield the sceptre of their choice; A genial strife. Her youthful form, robust, And there, to finish what his sires began, Ev’n Nature yields ; by fire and earthquake rent: A prince behold! for me who burns sincere, Whose stately cities in the dark abrupt
Ev'n with a subject's zeal. He my great work Swallow'd at once, or vile in rubbish laid,
Will parent-like sustain ; and added give A nest for serpents; from the red abyss
The touch, the Graces and the Muses owe. New hills, explosive, thrown; the Lucrine lake For Britain's glory swells his panting breast; A reedy pool; and all to Cuma's point,
| And ancient arts he emulous revolves : The sea recovering his usurp'd domain,
His pride to let the smiling heart abroad, And pour'd triumphant o'er the bury'd dome. Through clouds of pomp, that but conceal the man;
“ Hence, Britain, learn; my best-established, last, To please, his pleasure; bounty, his delight; And more than Greece, or Rome, my steady reign; | And all the soul of Titus dwells in him." The land where, king and people equal bound Hail, glorious theme ! But how, alas ! shall verse, By guardian laws, my fullest blessings flow; From the crude stores of mortal language drawn, And where my jealous unsubmitting soul,
How faint and tedious, sing, what, piercing deep, The dread of tyrants ! burns in every breast: The goddess flash'd at once upon my soul. Learn hence, if such the miserable fate
For, clear precision all, the tongue of gods,
Is harmony itself; to every ear
In long succession pour'd their empires forth; To higher powers; in spite of happy soils,
Scene after scene, the human drama spread; That, but by labour's slightest aid impellid, And still th' embodied picture rose to sight. With treasures teem to thy cold clime unknown; Oh thou, to whom the Muses owe their flame; If there desponding fail the common arts,
Who bidd'st, beneath the Pole, Parnassus rise, And sustenance of life: could life itself,
And Hippocrené flow; with thy bold ease,
| Aspiring, thy commands to Britons bear. To plow the dreadful all-producing wave ?”.
Here paus'd the goddess. By the pause assurd, In trembling accents thus I mov'd my prayer :
BEING THE SECOND PART OF
The Contents of Part II.
Liberty traced from the pastoral ages, and the And great inspirer be! then will she joy,
first uniting of neighbouring families into civil
government. The several establishments of Li• The coast of Baiæ, which was formerly berty, in Egypt, Persia, Phænicia, Palestine, adorned with the works mentioned in the following slightly touched upon, down to her great establishlines; and where, amidst many magnificent ruins, ment in Greece. Geographical description of those of a temple erected to Venus are still to be Greece. Sparta and Athens, the two principal seen.
states of Greece, described. Influence of Liberty † All along this coast the ancient Romans had over all the Grecian states; with regard to their their winter retreats ; and several populous cities government, their politeness, their virtues, their Hood.
arts and sciences. The vast superiority it gare them, in point of force and bravery, over the But when mysterious Superstition came, Persians, exemplified by the action of Thermo | And, with her civil sister* leagu’d, involv'd pylæ, the battle of Marathon, and the retreat of In study'd darkness the desponding mind; the ten thousand. Its full exertion, and most Then tyrant Power the righteous scourge unloos’d: beautiful effects in Athens. Liberty the source For yielded reason speaks the soul a slave. of free philosophy. The various schools which Instead of useful works, like Nature's, great, took their rise from Socrates. Enumeration of Enormous, cruel wonders crush'd the land; fine arts : eloquence, poetry, music, sculpture, And round a tyrant's tomb +, who none deserv'il, painting, and architecture; the effects of Liberty For one vile carcass perish'd countless lives, in Greece, and brought to their utmost perfection Then the great Dragon, couch'd amid his floods t, there. Transition to the modern state of Greece. Swell’d his fierce heart, and cry'd — This flood is Why Liberty declined, and was at last entirely
His phrenzy soon the proud blasphemer felt;
Suns lost their force, and Niles o'erflow'd in vain.
Of old Phænicia; first for letters fam'd, The tender state, I taught an equal sway.
That paint the voice, and silent speak to sight, Few were offences, properties, and laws.
Of arts prime source, and guardian! by fair stars, Beneath the rural portal, palm o'erspread,
First tempted out into the lonely deep; The father-senate met. There Justice dealt, To whom I first disclos'd mechanic arts, With reason then and equity the same,
The winds to conquer, to subdue the waves, Free as the common air, her prompt decree ; With all the peaceful power of ruling trade; Nor yet had stain'd her sword with subject's blood. Earnest of Britain. Nor by these retain'd; The simpler arts were all their simple wants Nor by the neighbouring land, whose palmy shore Had urg'd to light. But instant, these supply'd, The silver Jordan laves. Before me lay Another set of fonder wants arose,
The promis'd land of arts, and urg'd my flight. And other arts with them of finer aim ;
“ Hail Nature's utmost boast! unrivall’d Greece! Till, from refining want to want impellid,
My fairest reign! where every power benign
And lavish'd all that genius can inspire.
Light, airy soils. A country rich, and gay;
And, bright with purple harvest joyous vales. But when to manhood grown, and endless joys, Mountains and streams, where verse spontaneous Led on by equal toils, the bosom fir'd;
flow'd : Lewd lazy Rapine broke primeval peace,
Whence deem'd by wondering men the seat of gods, And, hid in caves and idle forests drear,
And still the mountains and the streams of song. From the lone pilgrim and the wandering swain, All that boon Nature could luxuriant pour Seiz'd what he durst not earn. Then brother's blood Of high materials, and my restless arts First, horrid, smok'd on the polluted skies.
Frame into finish'd life. How many states, Aweful in justice, then the burning youth,
And clustering towns, and monuments of fame, Led by their temper'd sires, on lawless men, And scenes of glorious deeds, in little bounds! The last, worst monsters of the shaggy wood, From the rough tract of bending mountains, beat Turn'd the keen arrow, and the sharpen'd spear. By Adria's here, there by Ægæan waves; Then war grew glorious. Heroes then arose ; To where the deep adorning Cyclade Isles Who, scorning coward self, for others liv'd,
In shining prospect rise, and on the shore Toil'd for their ease, and for their safety bled. Of farthest Crete resounds the Libyan main. West with the living day to Greece I came :
“O'er all two rival cities rear'd the brow, Earth smil'd beneath my beam : the Muse before And balanc'd all. Spread on Eurota's bank, Sonorous flew, that low till then in woods
Amid a circle of soft-rising hills,
And man-subduing city; which no shape
Of pain could conquer, nor of pleasure charm, * For Greece, my sons of Egypt I forsook : Lycurgus there built, on the solid base A boastful race, that in the vain abyss
| Of equal life, so well a temper'd state ; Of fabling ages lov'd to lose their source,
Where mix'd each government, in such just poise; And with their river trac'd it from the skies | Each power so checking, and supporting, each; While there my laws alone despotic reign'd, That firm for ages, and unmov'd, it stood, And king, as well as people, proud obey'd : I taught them science, virtue, wisdom, arts ;
* Civil tyranny. By poets, sages, legislators sought :
+ The pyramids. The school of polish'd life, and human-kind.
The tyrants of Egypt.