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And groves, unvisited by bard or sage.
Amid the towery ruins, huge, supreme,
Th' enormous amphitheatre behold,
Mountainous pile! o'er whose capacious womb
Pours the broad firmament its varied light;
While from the central floor the seats ascend
Round above round, slow-widening to the verge
A circuit vast and high; nor less had held
Imperial Rome, and her attendant realms,
When drunk with rule she will'd the fierce delight,
And op'd the gloomy caverns, whence out-rush'd
Before th' innumerable shouting crowd
The fiery, madded, tyrants of the wilds,
Lions and tygers, wolves and elephants,
And desperate men, more fell. Abhorr'd intent!
By frequent converse with familiar death,
To kindle brutal daring apt for war;


To lock the breast, and steel th' obdurate heart
Amid the piercing cries of sore distress
Impenetrable. But away thine eye;
Behold yon steepy cliff; the modern pile
Perchance may now delight, while that *, rever'd
In ancient days, the page alone declares,
Or narrow coin through dim cerulean rust.
The fane was Jove's, its spacious golden roof,
O'er thick-surrounding temples beaming wide,
Appear'd, as when above the morning hills
Half the round Sun ascends; and tower'd aloft,
Sustain❜d by columns huge, innumerous
As cedars proud on Canaan's verdant heights

* The Capitol.

Darkening their idols, when Astarte lur'd
Too-prosperous Israel from his living strength.
And next regard yon venerable dome,
Which virtuous Latium, with erroneous aim,
Rais'd to her various deities, and nam'd
Pantheon; plain and round; of this our world
Majestic emblem; with peculiar grace
Before its ample orb, projected stands
The many-pillar'd portal: noblest work
Of human skill: here, curious architect,
If thou essay'st, ambitious, to surpass
Palladius, Angelus, or British Jones,
On these fair walls extend the certain scale,
And turn th' instructive compass: careful mark
How far in hidden art, the noble plain
Extends, and where the lovely forms commence
Of flowing sculpture: nor neglect to note
How range the taper columns, and what weight
Their leafy brows sustain: fair Corinth first
Boasted their order, which Callimachus
(Reclining studious on Asopus' banks
Beneath an urn of some lamented nymph)
Haply compos'd; the urn with foliage curl'd
Thinly conceal'd, the chapiter inform'd.

See the tall obelisks from Memphis old,
One stone enormous each, or Thebes convey'd;
Like Albion's spires they rush into the skies.
And there the temple *, where the summon'd state
In deep of night conven'd: e'en yet methinks

* The Temple of Concord, where the senate met on Catiline's conspiracy.

The vehement orator in rent attire
Persuasion pours, Ambition sinks her crest;
And lo the villain, like a troubled sea,

That tosses up her mire! Ever disguis'd,
Shall Treason walk? Shall proud Oppression yoke
The neck of Virtue? Lo the wretch, abash'd,
Self-betray'd Catiline! O Liberty,

Parent of Happiness, celestial-born;

When the first man became a living soul,
His sacred genius thou; -be Britain's care;
With her, secure, prolong thy lov'd retreat;
Thence bless mankind; while yet among her sons,
E'en yet there are, to shield thine equal laws,
Whose bosoms kindle at the sacred names
Of Cecil, Raleigh, Walsingham, and Drake.
May others more delight in tuneful airs;
In masque and dance excel; to sculptur'd stone
Give with superior skill the living look;
More pompous piles erect, or pencil soft
With warmer touch the visionary board :
But thou, thy nobler Britons teach to rule;
To check the ravage of tyrannic sway;
To quell the proud; to spread the joys of peace,
And various blessings of ingenious trade.
Be these our arts; and ever may we guard,
Ever defend thee with undaunted heart!
Inestimable good! who giv'st us Truth,
Whose hand upleads to light, divinest Truth,
Array'd in every charm: whose hand benign
Teaches unwearied Toil to clothe the fields,
And on his various fruits inscribes the name
Of Property: O nobly hail'd of old

By thy majestic daughters, Judah fair,

And Tyrus and Sidonia, lovely nymphs,
And Libya bright, and all-enchanting Greece,
Whose numerous towns and isles, and peopled seas,
Rejoic'd around her lyre; th' heroic note
(Smit with sublime delight) Ausonia' caught,
And plann'd imperial Rome. Thy hand benign
Rear'd up her towery battlements in strength;
Bent her wide bridges o'er the swelling stream
Of Tuscan Tiber; thine those solemn domes
Devoted to the voice of humbler prayer!
And thine those piles* undeck'd, capacious, vast,
In days of dearth where tender Charity
Dispens'd her timely succours to the poor.
Thine too those musically falling founts,
To slake the clammy lip; adown they fall,
Musical ever; while from yon blue hills
Dim in the clouds, the radiant aqueducts
Turn their innumerable arches o'er

The spacious desert, brightening in the Sun,
Proud and more proud in their august approach:
High o'er irriguous vales and woods and towns,
Glide the soft whispering waters in the wind,
And here united pour their silver streams
Among the figur'd rocks, in murmuring falls,
Musical ever. These thy beauteous works:
And what beside felicity could tell
Of human benefit: more late the rest;
At various times their turrets chanc'd to rise,
When impious Tyranny vouchsaf'd to smile.

* The public granaries.

Behold by Tiber's flood, where modern Rome Couches beneath the ruins: there of old With arms and trophies gleam'd the field of Mars: There to their daily sports the noble youth Rush'd emulous; to fling the pointed lance; To vault the steed; or with the kindling wheel In dusty whirlwinds sweep the trembling goal; Or, wrestling, cope with adverse swelling breasts, Strong grappling arms, close heads, and distant feet; Or clash the lifted gauntlets: there they form'd ́ Their ardent virtues: in the bossy piles,

The proud triumphal arches; all their wars,
Their conquests, honours, in the sculptures live.
And see from every gate those ancient roads,
With tombs high verg'd, the solemn paths of Fame:
Deserve they not regard? O'er whose broad flints
Such crowds have roll'd, so many storms of war;
So many pomps; so many wondering realms :
Yet still through mountains pierc'd, o'er valleys

In even state, to distant seas around,

[Peace †, They stretch their pavements. Lo, the fane of Built by that prince, who to the trust of power Was honest, the delight of human-kind.

Three nodding aisles remain; the rest a heap
Of sand and weeds; her shrines, her radiant roofs,
And columns proud, that from her spacious floor,
As from a shining sea, majestic rose

* Modern Rome stands chiefly on the old Campus Martius.

+ Begun by Vespasian, and finished by Titus.

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