Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Nothing to loathe in Nature, save to be A link reluctant in a fleshly chain, 685 Classed among creatures, when the soul

can flee, And with the sky, the peak, the heav

ing plain Of ocean, or the stars, mingle, and not in

vain.

But soon in me shall loneliness renew 650 Thoughts hid, but not less cherished

than of old, Ere mingling with the herd had penned me

in their fold. To fly from, need not be to hate, man

kind; All are not fit with them to stir and toil, Nor is it discontent to keep the mind 655 Deep in its fountain, lest it overboil In the hot throng, where we become the

spoil Of our infection, till too late and long We may deplore and struggle with the

coil, In wretched interchange of wrong for wrong

660 'Midst contentious world, striving

where none are strong. There, in a moment, we may plunge our

years In fatal penitence, and in the blight Of our own soul turn all our blood to

tears, And color things to come with hues of night:

665 The race of life becomes a hopeless

flight To those that walk in darkness; on the

And thus I am absorbed, and this is

life: I look upon the peopled desert past, 690 As on a place of agony and strife, Where, for some sin, to sorrow I was

cast, To act and suffer, but remount at last With a fresh pinion; which I feel to

spring, Though young, yet waxing vigorous as the blast

695 Which it would cope with, on delighted

wing, Spurning the clay-cold bonds which round

our being cling.

a

sea

And when, at length, the mind shall be

all free From what it hates in this degraded

form, Reft of its carnal life, save what shall be

700 Existent happier in the fly and worm,When elements to elements conform, And dust is as it should be, shall I

not Feel all I see, less dazzling, but more

warm? The bodiless thought? the Spirit of each spot?

705 Of which, even now, I share at times the

immortal lot?

The boldest steer but where their ports

invite, But there are wanderers o'er Eternity Whose bark drives on and on, and anchored ne'er shall be.

670
Is it not better, then, to be alone,
And love Earth only for its earthly sake?
By the blue rushing of the arrowy

Rhone,
Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake,
Which feeds it as a mother who doth

make
A fair but froward infant her own care,
Kissing its cries away as these awake;-

Is it not better thus our lives to wear, Than join the crushing crowd, doomed to

inflict or bear?
I live not in myself, but I become 680
Portion of that around me; and to me,
High mountains are a feeling, but the

hum
Of human cities torture; I can see

675

Are not the mountains, waves, and

skies, a part Of me and of my soul, as I of them? Is not the love of these deep in my

heart With a pure passion? should I not contemn

710 All objects, if compared with these? and

stem A tide of suffering rather than forego Such feelings for the hard and worldly

phlegm

are

805

Of those whose eyes are only turned Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven! below,

If in your bright leaves we would read Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts the fate

825 which dare not glow?

715 Of men and empires,—'tis to be for

given,

That in our aspirations to be great, Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted Our destinies o'erleap their mortal lake,

797

state, With the wild world I dwelt in, is a

And claim a kindred with you; for ye thing Which warns me, with its stillness, to A beauty and a mystery, and create 830 forsake

In us such love and reverence from Earth's troubled waters for a purer afar, spring.

800 That fortune, fame, power, life, have This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing named themselves a star. To waft me from distraction; once I loved

All heaven and earth are still—though Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft mur- not in sleep, muring

But breathless, as we grow when feeling Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice re- most; proved

And silent, as we stand in thoughts too That I with stern delights should e'er deep

835 have been so moved.

All heaven and earth are still: from the

high host It is the hush of night, and all between Of stars, to the lulled lake and mounThy margin and the mountains, dusk, tain-coast, yet clear,

All is concentered in a life intense, Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is seen,

lost, Save darkened Jura, whose capped But hath a part of being, and a sense 840 heights appear

Of that which is of all Creator and DePrecipitously steep; and drawing near, fence. There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,

811 Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on In solitude, where we are least alone;

A truth which through our being then Drops the light drip of the suspended

doth melt, oar,

And purifies from self: it is a tone, 845 Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night The soul and source of music, which carol more.

makes known

Eternal harmony, and sheds a charm, He is an evening reveller, who makes 815 Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone, His life an infancy, and sings his fill; Binding all things with beauty; 'twould At intervals, some bird from out the disarm brakes

The spectre Death, had he substantial Starts into voice a moment, then is still.

power to harm.

850 There seems a floating whisper on the hill,

Not vainly did the early Persian make But that is fancy, for the starlight dews His altas the high places and the peak All silently their tears of love instil, 821 Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and Weeping themselves away, till they thus take infuse

A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of The Spirit, in whose honor shrines are her hues.

weak,

855

the ear

[blocks in formation]

THE COLISEUM

The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now;
The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,

Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness? Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle

her distress.

IIן

The Goth, the Christian, Time, War,

Flood, and Fire, Have dealt upon the seven-hilled city's

pride; She saw her glories star by star expire, And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,

715 Where the car climbed the Capitol; far

and wide Temple and tower went down, nor left

a site: Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,

O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light, And say, “Here was, or is,” where all is doubly night?

720

Arches on arches! as it were that Rome, Collecting the chief trophies of her line, Would build up all her triumphs in one dome,

1146 Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams

shine As 't were its natural torches, for divine Should be the light which streams here,

to illume This long-explored but still exhaustless mine

1150 Of contemplation; and the azure gloom Of an Italian night, where the deep skies

assume

The double night of ages, and of her, Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath

wrapped and wrap All round us; we but feel our way to err: The ocean hath his chart, the stars their

map, And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap;

725 But Rome is as the desert, where we

steer Stumbling o'er recollections; now we clap Our hands, and cry "Eureka! it is

clear!”When but some false mirage of ruin rises

Hues which have words, and speak to ye

of heaven, Floats o'er this vast and wondrous

monument, And shadows forth its glory. There is given

1155 Unto the things of earth, which Time

hath bent, A spirit's feeling, and where he hath leant His hand, but broke his scythe, there is

a power
And magic in the ruined battlement,

For which the palace of the present hour Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower.

бі

near.

Alas! the lofty city! and, alas, 730 The trebly hundred triumphs; and the

day When Brutus made the dagger's edge

surpass The Conqueror's sword in bearing fame

away! Alas, for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay, And Livy's pictured page;-but these shall be

735 Her resurrection; all beside-decay.

Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see That brightness in her eye she bore when

And here the buzz of eager nations ran, In murmured pity, or loud-roared ap

plause, As man wasslaughtered by his fellow man. And wherefore slaughtered? wherefore, but because

1246 Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, And the imperial pleasure.- Wherefore

not? What matters where we fall to fill the

maws Of worms-on battle-plainsor listed spot? Both are but theaters where the chief actors rot.

1251

I see before me the Gladiator lie:
He leans upon his hand-his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his drooped head sinks gradually
low-

1255

Rome was free!

1 chariot.

now

And through his side the last drops, ebb- But when the rising moon begins to ing slow

climb From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one, Its topmost arch, and gently pauses Like the first of a thunder-shower; and there;

When the stars twinkle through the The arena swims around him-he is gone, loops of time,

1290 Ere ceased the inhuman shout which And the low night breeze waves along hailed the wretch who won. 1260 the air

The garland-forest which the gray walls He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes

wear, Were with his heart, and that was far Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar's head; away;

When the light shines serene but doth He recked not of the life he lost nor prize,

not glare, But where his rude hut by the Danubelay,

Then in this magic circle raise the dead: There were his young barbarians all at Heroes have trod this spot—'tis on their play,

1265
dust ye tread.

1296 There was their Dacian mother-he,

their sire, Butchered to make a Roman holiday

“While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall

stand; All this rushed with his blood-Shall he

When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall, expire

And when Rome falls—the World." And unavenged? Arise! ye Goths, and

From our own land glut your ire!

Thus spake the pilgrims o'er this mighty But here, where Murder breathed her

wall

1300 bloody steam;

In Saxon times, which we are wont to

1270 And here, where buzzing nations choked

call

Ancient; and these three mortal things And roared or murmured like a moun

are still tain stream

On their foundations, and unaltered all; Dashing or winding as its torrent strays;

Rome and her Ruin past Redemption's Here, where the Roman millions' blame skill, or praise

The world, the same wide den-of thieves, Was death or life, the playthings of a

or what

ye
will.

1305 crowd,

1275 My voice sounds much-and fall the

NATURE stars' faint rays

Oh that the desert were my dwelling On the arena void-seats crushed-walls

place, bowed

1585

With one fair spirit for my minister, And galleries, where my steps seem echoes

That I might all forget the human race, strangely loud.

And, hating no one, love but only her! A ruin-yet what ruin! from its mass

Ye Elements, in whose ennobling stir Walls, palaces, half-cities, have been

I feel myself exalted, can ye not 1590 reared;

1280

Accord me such a being? Do I err Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass,

In deeming such inhabit many a spot, And marvel where the spoil could have | Though with them to converse can rarely appeared.

be our lot? Hath it indeed been plundered, or but cleared?

There is a pleasure in the pathless Alas! developed, opens the decay, 1284 woods,

1594 When the colossal fabric's form is neared: There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

It will not bear the brightness of the day, There is society where none intrudes, Which streams too much on all, years, By the deep sea, and music in its

the ways,

man have reft away.

roar:

« AnteriorContinuar »