« AnteriorContinuar »
Rome shall perish—write that word
In the blood that she has spilt;
Perifh, hopeless and abhorred,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Rome, for empire far renowned,
Tramples on a thousand states; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates!
Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms fhall win the prize, Harmony the path to fame.
Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land,
Armed with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
VIII. Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway;
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.
Such the bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow:
Rushed to battle, fought, and died;
Dying hurled them at the foe.
XI. Ruffians, pitilefs as proud,
Heaven awards the vengeance due; Empire is on us bestowed,
Shame and ruin wait for you.
There was a time when Ætna's filent fire
Slept unperceived, the mountain yet entire;
When, conscious of no danger from below,
She towered a cloud-capt pyramid of snow.
No thunders shook with deep intestine found
The blooming groves, that girdled her around.
Her unđuous olives, and her purple vines
(Unfelt the fury of those bursting mines)
The peasant's hopes, and not in vain, assured,
In peace upon her Noping fides matured.
When on a day, like that of the last doom,
A conflagration labouring in her womb,
She teemed and heaved with an infernal birth,
That shook the circling seas and solid earth.
Dark and voluminous the vapours rise,
And hang their horrors in the neighbouring skies,
While through the stygian veil, that blots the day,
In dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play.
But oh! what muse, and in what powers of song,
Can trace the torrent as it burns along?
Havoc and devastation in the van,
It marches o'er the proftrate works of man.
Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear,
And all the charms of a Sicilian year.
Revolving seasons, frnitless as they pass,
See it an uninformed and idle mass;
Without a soil to invite the tiller's care,
Or blade, that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time achieve?)
Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live.
Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
Oh bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
Oh charming paradise of thort-lived sweets!
The self-fame gale, that wafts the fragrance round,
Brings to the distant ear a sullen found :
Again the mountain feels the imprisoned foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below.
Ten thousand swains the wasted scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws,' Who write in blood the merits of your cause, Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence, Glory your aim, but justice your pretence,
Behold in Ætna's emblematic fires
The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires !
Fast by the stream, that bounds your just domain,
And tells you were ye have a right to reign,
A nation dwells, not envious of your throne,
Studious of peace, their neighbours', and their own.
Ill-fated race ! how deeply must they rue
Their only crime, vicinity to you !
The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad,
Through the ripe harvest lies their destined road;
At every step beneath their feet they tread
The life of multitudes, a nation's bread!
Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress
Before them, and behind a wilderness.
Famine, and pestilence, her first-born son,
Attend to finish what the sword begun;
And echoing praises, such as fiends might earn,
And folly pays, resound at your return.
A calm succeeds—but plenty, with her train
Of heart felt joys, succeeds not soon again,
And years of pining indigence must show
What scourges are the gods that rule below.
Yet man, laborious man by flow degrees, (Such is his thirst of opulence and ease)