« AnteriorContinuar »
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand | Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though
To shame the meanness of his humble shed, Man seems the only growth that dwindles here. No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal Contrasted faults through all his manners reign ; To make him loathe his vegetable meal ; Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain; But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil, Though grave, yet trifling ; zealous, yet untrue ; Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil. And e'en in penance planning sins anew. Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose, All evils here contaminate the mind,
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes ; That opulence departed leaves behind;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep, For wealth was theirs; not far removed the date or drives his venturous ploughshare to the steep; When commerce proudly flourished through the Or seeks theden where snow-tracks mark the way, state;
And drags the struggling savage into day. At her command the palace learnt to rise, At night returning, every labor sped, Again the long-fallen column sought the skies; He sits him down the monarch of a shed : The canvas glowed beyond e'en Nature warm, Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys The pregnant quarry teemed with human form. His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze ; Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, While his loved partner, boastful of her hoard, Commerce on other shores displayed her sail; Displays her cleanly platter on the board; While naught remained of all that riches gave, And haply too some pilgrim, thither led, But towns unmanned, and lords without a slave : With many a tale repays the nightly bed. And late the nation found with fruitless skill
OLIVER GOLDSMITH. Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet still the loss of wealth is here supplied
O Italy, how beautiful thou art !
As we admire the beautiful in death. A mistress or a saint in every grove.
Thine was a dangerous gift, the gift of beauty. By sports like these are all their cares beguiled, Would thou hadst less, or wert as once thou wast, The sports of children satisfy the child ; Inspiring awe in those who now enslave thee! Each nobler aim, represt by long control, But why despair ? Twice hast thou lived already, Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul ; Twice shone among the nations of the world, While low delights succeeding fast behind,. As the sun shines among the lesser lights In happier meanness occupy the mind;
Of heaven; and shalt again. The hour shall come, As in those domes where Cæsars once bore sway, When they who think to bind the ethereal spirit, Defaced by time and tottering in decay, | Who, like the eagle cowering o'er his prey, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead,
Watch with quick eye, and strike and strike again The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed, If but a sinew vibrate, shall confess And, wondering man could want the larger pile, Their wisdom folly. Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.
My soul, turn from them, turn we to survey,
The Sea is in the broad, the narrow streets,
Yet still, e'en here, content can spread a charm, As to a floating City, - steering in, Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm, And gliding up her streets as in a dream,
So smoothly, silently, — by many a dome
I am in Rome! Oft as the morning ray
And from within a thrilling voice replies, Still glowing with the richest hues of art, Thou art in Rome ! A thousand busy thoughts As though the wealth within them had run o'er. Rush on my mind, a thousand images;
And I spring up as girt to run a race !
A few in fear, Flying away from him whose boast it was
Thou art in Rome! the City that so long That the grass grew not where his horse haul trod, Reigned absolute, the mistress of the world; Gave birth to Venice. Like the water-fowl, The mighty vision that the prophets saw, They built their nests among the ocean waves; And trembled ; that from nothing, from the least, And where the sands were shifting, as the wind The lowliest village (what but here and there Blew from the north, the south ; where they that A reed-roofed cabin by a river-side?) came,
Grew into everything; and, year by year, Had to make sure the ground they stood upon, | Patiently, fearlessly working her way Rose, like an exhalation, from the deep, O'er brook and field, o'er continent and sea, A vast Metropolis, with glittering spires, Not like the merchant with his merchandise, With theatres, basilicas adorned ;
Or traveller with staff and scrip exploring, A scene of light and glory, a dominion,
But hand to hand and foot to foot through hosts, That has endured the longest among men.
among men. ' Through nations numberless in battle array,
Each behind each, each, when the other fell, And whence the talisman by which she rose Up and in arms, at length subdued them all.
SAMUEL ROGERS. Towering ? 'T was found there in the barren sea. Want led to Enterprise ; and, far or ncar, Who met not the Venetian? — now in Cairo; Ere yet the Califa came, listening to hear THE GRECIAN TEMPLES AT PÆSTUM. Its bells approaching from the Red Sea coast; Now on the Euxine, on the Sea of Azoph,
Ix Pæstum's ancient fanes I trod,
Whose dark religion could infold
Did they to human feelings own,
And had they human souls indeed, Treasures from unknown climes, away he went,
Or did the sternness of their creed And, travelling slowly upward, drew erelong
Frown their faint spirits into stone ?
The southern breezes fan my face; --
I hear the hum of bees arise,
That shrine the secret of the place!
These silent columns speak of dread,
Of lovely worship without love; From Indin, from the region of the Sun,
And yet the warm, deep heaven above Fragrant with spices, – that a way was found,
Whispers a softer tale instead! A channel opened, and the golden stream
ROSSITER W. RAYMOND Turned to enrich another. Then she felt Her strength departing, and at last she fell, Fell in au instant, blotted out and razed ; She who had stood yet longer than the longest
COLISEUM BY MOONLIGHT.
FROM “BIAN FRED."
The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
I linger yet with Nature, for the night
Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument, Hath been to me a more familiar face
And shadows forth its glory. There is given Than that of man; and in her starry shade Unto the things of earth, which Time hath bent, Of dim and solitary loveliness
A spirit's feeling, and where he hath leant I learned the language of another world.
His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power I do remember me, that in my youth,
And magic in the ruined battlement, When I was wandering, – upon such a night For which the palace of the present hour I stood within the Coliseum's wall,
Must yield its pomp, and wait tillages are its dower. Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome. The trees which grew along the broken arches And here the buzz of cager nations ran, Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars In murmured pity, or loud-roared' applause, Shone through the rents of ruin ; from afar As man was slaughtered by his fellow-man. The watch-dog bayed beyond the Tiber; and And wherefore slaughtered ? wherefore, but More near from out the Caesars' palace came
because The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly,
Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, Of distant sentinels the fitful song
And the imperial pleasure. – Wherefore not? Begun and died upon the gentle wind.
What matters where we fall to fill the maws Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach Of worms, - on battle-plains or listed spot ? Appeared to skirt the horizon, yet they stood Both are but theatres where the chief actors rot. Within a bowshot, - where the Cæsars dwelt, And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst I sec before me the Gladiator lie ; A grove which springs through levelled battle He leans upon his hand, - his manly brow ments,
Consents to death, but conquers agony, And twines its roots with the imperial hearths. | And his drooped head sinks gradually low,Ivy usurpis the laurel's place of growth ;
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow But the gladiators' bloody Circus stands,
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one, A noble wreck in ruinous perfection,
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now While Cæsar's chambers and the Augustan halls The arena swims around him, — he is gone, Grovel on earth in indistinct decay. ---, Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon
wretch who won. All this, and cast a wide and tender light, Which softened down the hoar austerity
He heard it, but he hecded not, - his eyes Of rugged desolation, and filled up,
Were with his heart, and that was far away. As 't were anew, the gaps of centuries,
He recked not of the life he lost nor prize, Leaving that beautiful which still was so,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay, And making that which was not, till the place There were his young barbarians all at play, Became religion, and the heart ran o'er
There was their Dacian mother, - he, their sire, With silent worship of the great of old !
Butchered to make a Roman holiday! — The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule
All this rushed with his blood. --- Shall he expire Our spirits from their urns.
And unavenged ? Arise, ye Goths, and glut your
FROM “CHILDE HAROLD."
Of contemplation; and the azure gloom
But here, where Murder breathed her bloody
Hues which have words, and speak to ye of heaven,
A ruin, — yet what ruin ! from its mass
ROMAN GIRL'S SONG.
We look on the dreamy Campagna,
All glowing with setting day, —
In swathings and foldings of gold,
Like a princely banner unrolled. And the smoke of each distant cottage,
And the flash of each villa white, Shines out with an opal glimmer,
Like gems in a casket of light. And the dome of old St. Peter's
With a strange translucence glows,
Floating in waves of rose.
We, gazing and yearning, behold
Whose walls were transparent gold. And, dropping all solemn and slowly,
To hallow the softening spell,
The Ave Maria bell.
With a weird and weary care,
Seems calling the nations to prayer. And the words that of old the angel
To the mother of Jesus brought Rise like a new evangel,
To hallow the trance of our thought. With the smoke of the evening incense
Our thoughts are ascending, then,
To Jesus, the Master of men.
O shrines of the sainted dead !
Once more on your towers be spread ?
Shall rule in those lordly halls,
The flock which his mercy calls, –
To picture and statue and gem, To the pageant of solemn worship,
Shall the mcaning come back again. And this strange and ancient city,
In that reign of his truth and love, Shall be what it seems in the twilight, The type of that City above.
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
“Roma, Roma, Roma!
Non è più come era prima."
As thou hast been !
Thou sat'st a queen.
Purpling the street,
Bowed at thy fect.
As gods were seen, —
As thou hast been !
Never shall rise :
Thou hast thy skies !
Gloriously bright! .
With colored light.
Rome, for thy dower,
Temple and tower !
Lovely to hear,
Rests darkly clear.
By starlight sung,
Thy wrecks among.
On thy soft air
With summer there.
Of sudden song, —
Joyous, and strong.
With queenly tread;
Thy mighty dead.
A mournful mien :-
As thou hast been!