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Thou, o'er the shrines of fallen gods
On classic plains dost mantling spread, And veil the desolate abodes
And cities of the dead. Deserted palaces of kings,
Arches of triumph, long o'erthrown, And all once glorious earthly things,
At length are thine alone.
Oh! many a temple, once sublime,
Beneath the blue, Italian sky, Hath nought of beauty left by time,
Save thy wild tapestry : And, reared 'midst crags and clouds, 'tis thine
To wave where banners waved of yore ; O'er mould'ring towers, by lovely Rhine,
Cresting the rocky shore.
High from the fields of air look down
Those eyries of a vanished race,
Hath passed, and left no trace.
Unchanged the mountain-storm can brave, Thou that wilt climb the loftiest height,
And deck the humblest grave.
The breathing forms of Parian stone,
That rise round grandeur's marble halls, The vivid hues, by painting thrown
Rich o'er the glowing walls ;
Th’ Acanthus, on Corinthian fanes,
In sculptured beauty waving fair ; These perish all-and what remains ?
Thou, thou alone, art there!
'Tis still the same where'er we tread,
The wrecks of human pow'r we see,
Left to decay and thee !
August in beauty, grace and strength,
And all is thine at length!
ODE ON THE DEATH OF NAPOLEON.
NOBLE spiriti hast thou fled,
Soul of dread sublimity!
Hast thou burst thy prison bands,
Where thou must-thou wilt be free:
Tyrants ! cowards ! mark the day,
Shall live with endless infamy!
Hark, 'tis victory's deathless knell! -
Of his glorious chivalry !
Tell his deeds by field and flood !
That burned behind him gloriously!
Alas! that hero's life should close
On mortals immortality.
Alas! that he, the great, the brave, Should fill a hermit's bloodless grave, Where never rolled the hallowing wave
Of battle and of victory!
He should have died on bloody field, Where column after column wheeled, Where cannon roared and charger reeled,
Amid destruction's revelry.
He should have laid his glorious head
The flow'r of all his enemy.
Spirit of undying name,
Whilst thy foes, unknown to fame,
Shall weep in cold obscurity!
Glory's hallowed light divine
Thy portion vast futurity!
ADDRESS TO THE OCEAN.
O Thou vast Ocean! ever-sounding sea ! Thou symbol of a drear immensity! Thou thing that windest round the solid world Like a huge animal, which, downward hurl'd From the black clouds, lies weltering and alone, Lashing and writhing till its strength be gone. Thy voice is like the thunder, and thy sleep Is like a giant's slumber, loud and deep. Thou speakest in the east and in the west At once, and on thy heavily laden breast Fleets come and go, and shapes that have no life Or motion, yet are moved and meet in strife. The earth hath nought of this; nor chance nor change Ruffles its surface, and no spirits dare Give answer to the tempest-woken air ; But o'er its wastes, the weakly tenants range At will, and wound his bosom as they go. Ever the same, it hath no ebb, no flow;
But in their stated round the seasons come
-Thou only, terrible Ocean, hast a power,
Thou trackless and immeasurable main !