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LXXXV. Sylla was first of victors; but our own The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell; he Too swept off senates while he hew'd the throne Down to a block - inmortal rebel! See What crimes it costs to be a monient free And famous through all ages! but beneath His fate the moral lurks of destiny;
His day of double victory and death Beheld him win two realms, and, happier, yield his breath.
LXXXVI. The third of the same moon whose former course Had all but crown'd him, on the selfsame day Deposed him gently from his throne of force, And laid him with the earth's preceding clay. 44) And show'd not Fortune thus how fame and sway And all we deem delightful, and consume Our souls to compass through each arduous way, Are in her eyes less happy than the tomb ? Were they but so in man's, how different were his doom!
LXXXVII. And thou, dread statute! yet existent in 45) The austerest form of naked majesty, Thou who beheldest, ’nid the assassins' din, At thy bathed base the bloody Caesar lie, Folding his robe in dying dignity, An offering to thine altar from the queen Of goods and men, great Nemesis ! did he die
And thou, too, perish, Pompey? have ye been Victors of countless kings, or puppets of a scene?
LXXXVIII. And thou, the thunder-striken nurse of Rome! 46) She-wolf! whose brazen-imaged dugs impart The milk of conquest yet within the dome Where, as a monument of antiquc art, Thou standest :- Mother of the mighty heart, Which the great founder suck'd from thy wild teat, Scorch'd by the Roman Jove's etherial dart,
And thy limbs black with lightning-dost thou yet Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond charge
LXXXIX. Thou dost;- bnt all thy foster-babes are deadThe men of iron; and the world hath rear'd Cities from out their sepulchres: men bled In imitation of the things they fear'd, And fought and conquerd, and the same course
steerd, At apish distance; but as yet none have, Nor could, the same supremacy have near’d,
Save one vaia man, who is not in the grave, But, vanquish'd by himself, to his own slaves a slave
Alcides with the distaff now he seem'd
XCI. And cameand saw-and conquer'd! But the man Who would have tamed bis eagles down to flee, Like a train'd falcon, in the Gallic van, Which he, in sooth, long led to victory, With a deaf heart which never secm'd to be A listener to itself, was strangely framed; With but one weakest weakness - vanity,
Coquettish in ambition- still he aim'dAt what? can he avouch — or answer what he claim'd?
XCII. And would be all or nothing - nor could wait For the sure grave to level him; few years Had fix'd him with the Caesars in his fate, On whom we tread: For this the conqueror rears The arch of triumph! and for this the tears And blood of earth flow on as they have flow'd, An universal deluge, which appears
Without an ark for wretched man's abode, And ebbs but to reflow!-- Renew thy rainbow, God!
Within the same arena where they see
And shook them from their slumbers on the throne;
On infant Washington? Has Earth no more Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no such shore ?
XCVII. But France got drunk with blood to vomit crime, And fatal have her Saturnalia been To Freedom's cause, in every age and clime; Because the deadly days which we have seen, And vile Ambition, that built up between Man and his hopes an adamantine wall, And the base pageant last upon the scene, Are grown the pretext for the eternal thrall Which nips life's tree, and dooms man's worsthis second fall.
XCVIII. Yet, Freedom! yet thy banner, torn, but flying, Streams like the thunder-storm against the wind; Thy trumpet voice, though broken now and dying The loudest still the tempest leaves behind : Thy tree hath lost its blossoms, and the rind, Chopp'd by the axe, looks rough and little worth, But the sap lasts, -- and still the seed we find
Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North; So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth.
XCIX. There is a stern round tower of other days, ") Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone, Such as an army's baffled strength delays, Standing with half its battlements alone,
with two thousand years of ivy grown, The garland of eternity, where wave The green leaves over all by time o'erthrown;
What was this tower of strength ? within its care What treasure lay so lock’d, so hid ? — A womani
grave. But who was she, the lady of the dead, Tomb’d in a palace? Was she chaste and fair? Worthy a king's - or more -a Roman's bed? What race of chiefs and heroes did she bear? What daughter of her beauties was the heir ? How lived how loved - how died she? Was
she not So honour'd- and conspicuously there,
Where meaner relics must not dare to rot, Placed to commemorate a more than mortal lot?
Was she as those who love their lords, or they
To the soft side of the heart, or wisely bar
- for such the af. fections are.
Perchance she died in age — surviving all,
Thus much alone we know - Metella died,
Till I had bodied forth the heated mind