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CLXI.

Or view the Lord of the unerring bow,
The God of life, and poesy, and light -
The Sun in human limbs array'd, and brow
All radiant from his triumph in the fight;
The shaft hath just been shot - the arrow bright
With an immortal's vengeance ; in his eye
And nostril beautiful disdain, and might

And majesty, flash their full lightnings by,
Developing in that one glance the Deity.

CLXII.

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But in his delicate form a dream of Love,
Shaped by some solitary nymph, whose breast
Long'd for a deathless lover from above,
And madden'd in that vision are exprest
All that ideal beauty ever bless'd
The mind with in its most unearthly mood,
When each conception was a heavenly guest –

A ray of immortality — and stood,
Starlike, around, until they gather'd to a god!

CLXIII.
And if it be Prometheus stole from Heaven
The fire which we endure, it was repaid
By him to whom the energy was given
Which this poetic marble hath array'd
With an eternal glory

which if made,
By human hands, is not of human thought;
And Time himself hath hallow'd it, nor

laid One ringlet in the dust - nor hath it caught A tinge of years, but breathes the flame with which 'twas

foil wrought.

CLXIV.

But where is he, the Pilgrim of my song,
The being who upheld it through the past ?
Methinks he cometh late and tașries long.
He is no more

these breathings are his last; His wanderings done, his visions ebbing fast, And he himself as nothing :

if he was Aught but a phantasy, and could be class'd

With forms which live and suffer
Ilis shadow fades away into Destruction's mass,

let that pass

CLXV.

Which gathers shadow, substance, life, and all
That we inherit in its mortal shroud,
And spreads the dim and universal pall
Through which all things grow phantoms; and the cloud
Between us sinks and all which ever glow'd,
Till Glory's self is twilight, and displays
A melancholy halo scarce allow'd

To hover on the verge of darkness ; rays
Sadder than saddest night, for they distract the gaze,

CLXVI.

And send us prying into the abyss,
To gather what we shall be when the frame
Shall be resolved to something less than this
Its wretched essence; and to dream of fame,
And wipe the dust from off the idle name
We never more shall hear, — but never more,
Oh, happier thought! can we be made the same :

It is enough in sooth that once we bore
These fardels of the heart - the heart whose sweat was gore.

CLXVII.

Hark! forth from the abyss a voice proceeds,
A long low distant murmur of dread sound,
Such as arises when a nation bleeds
With some deep and immedicable wound;
Through storm and darkness yawns the rending ground,
The gulf is thick with phantoms, but the chief
Seems royal still, though with her head discrown'd,

And pale, but lovely, with maternal grief
She clasps a babe, to whom her breast yields no relief.

CLXVIII.

Scion of chiefs and monarchs, where art thou ?
Fond hope of many nations, art thou dead ?
Could not the grave forget thee, and lay low
Some legs majestic, less beloved head ?
In the sad midnight, while thy heart still bled,
The mother of a moment, o'er thy boy,
Death hush'd that pang for ever: with thee fled

The present happiness and promised joy
Which fillid the imperial isles so full it seem'd to cloy.

CLXIX.

Peasants bring forth in safety. — Can it be,
Oh thou that wert so happy, so adored !
Those who weep not for kings shall weep for thee,
And Freedom's heart, grown heavy, cease to hoard
Her many griefs for One ; for she had pour'd
Her orisons for thee, and o'er thy head
Beheld her Iris. Thou, too, lonely lord,

And desolate consort — vainly wert thou wed !
The husband of a year! the father of the dead !

CLXX.

Of sackcloth was thy wedding garment made ;
Thy bridal's fruit is ashes : in the dust
The fair-hair'd Daughter of the Isles is laid,
The love of millions! How we did intrust
Futurity to her! and, though it must
Darken above our bones, yet fondly deem'd
Our children should obey her child, and bless'd

Her and her hoped-for seed, whose promise seem'd
Like stars to shepherds' eyes :--

- 'twas but a meteor beam'd.

CLXXI.

Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps well :
The fickle reek of popular breath, the tongue
Of hollow counsel, the false oracle,
Which from the birth of monarchy hath rung
Its knell in princely ears, till the o'erstung
Nations have arm'd in madness, the strange fate (*)
Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns, and hath flung

Against their blind omnipotence a weight
Within the opposing scale, which crushes soon or late,

CLXXII.

These might have been her destiny; but no,
Our hearts deny it: and so young, so fair,
Good without effort, great without a foe;
But now a bride and mother - and now there!
How
many

ties did that stern moment tear!
From thy Sire's to his humblest subject's breast
Is link'd the electric chain of that despair,

Whose shock was as an earthquake's, and opprest The land which loved thee so that none could love thee best.

(1) Mary died on the scaffold ; Elizabeth of a broken heart; Charles V. a hermit; Louis XIV. a bankrupt in means and glory : Crornwell of anxiety; and, the greatest is behind," Napoleon lives a prisoner. To these sovereigns a long but superfluous list might be added of names equally illustrious and unhappy.

CLXXIII.

Lo, Nemi! (") navelld in the woody hills
So far, that the uprooting wind which tears
The oak from his foundation, and which spills
The ocean o'er its boundary, and bears
Its foam against the skies, reluctant spares
The oval mirror of thy glassy lake ;
And, calm as cherish'd hate, its surface wears

A deep cold settled aspect nought can shake,
All coil'd into itself and round, as sleeps the snake.

CLXXIV.

And near Albano's scarce divided waves
Shine from a sister valley ; and afar
The Tiber winds, and the broad ocean laves
The Latian coast where sprang the Epic war,
“ Arms and the Man," whose re-ascending star
Rose o’er an empire but beneath thy right
Tully reposed from Rome; — and where yon bar

Of girdling mountains intercepts the sight
The Sabine farm was till’d, the weary bard's delight. (*)

CLXXV.

.

the sea ;

But I forget. — My Pilgrim's shrine is won,
And he and I must part, - so let it be,
His task and mine alike are nearly done ;
Yet once more let us look

upon
The midland ocean breaks on him and me,
And from the Alban Mount we now behold
Our friend of youth, that ocean,

which when we
Beheld it last by Calpe's rock unfold
Those waves, we follow'd on till the dark Euxine rollid

CLXXVI.

Upon the blue Symplegades : long years —
Long, though not very many, since have done
Their work on both ; some suffering and some tears
Have left us nearly where we had begun :
Yet not in vain our mortal race hath run,
We have had our reward — and it is here ;
That we can yet feel gladden'd by the sun,
And

reap from earth, sea, joy almost as dear As if there were no man to trouble what is clear.

(?) The village of Nemi was near the Arician retreat of Egeria, and, from the shades which embosomed the temple of Diana, has preserved to this day its distinctive appellation of The Grove. Nemi is but an evening's ride from the comfortable

(2) See“ Historical Notes," at the end of this Canto, No. XXXI.

inn of Albano.

CLXXVII.

Oh! that the Desert were my dwelling-place,
With one fair Spirit for my

minister,
That I might all forget the human race,
And, hating no one, love but only her!
Ye Elements ! — in whose ennobling stir
I feel myself exalted Can

ye

not Accord me such a being? Do I err

In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.

CLXXVIII.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar :
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,

To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.

CLXXIX.

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean - roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ;
Man marks the earth with ruin his control
Stops with the shore ; - upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,

He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelld, uncoffin'd, and unknown.

CLXXX.

His steps are not upon thy paths,

thy fields
Are not a spoil for him, thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray
And howling, to his Gods, where haply lies

His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth : there let him lay.

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