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In awful senate; thither let us fly;
her fleeting form and airy train Burn in the patriot's thought, flow from his tongue Sunk in the gale; and nought but ragged rocks In fearless truth; myself, transform’d, preside, Rush'd on the broken ege; and nought was heard And shed the spirit of Britannia round.' But the rough cadence of the dashing wave.
TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS FREDERICK,
PART I. SiR—When I reflect upon that ready condescension, that preventing generosity, with which your ANCIENT AND MODERN ITALY COMPARED. Royal Highness received the following poem under your protection; I can alone ascribe it to the recommendation and influence of the subject. In you vision. Ils scene, the ruins of ancient Rome. The Goldes
The following Poem is thrown into the form of a Poetical the cause and concerns of Liberty have so zealous of Liberty, who is supposed to speak through the whole, a patron, as entitles whatever may have the least appears, characterized as British Liberty. Gives a view of
ancient Italy, and particularly of republican Rome, in all her tendency to promote them, to the distinction of magnificence and glory. This contrasted by modern Italy; your favour. And who can entertain this delight- its valleys, mountains, culture, cities, people: the difference ful reflection, without feeling a pleasure far supe- the great works of Liberty more magnificent than the bor
appearing strongest in the capital city Rome. The ruins of rior to that of the fondest author; and of which rowed pomp of Oppression; and from them revived Sculpall true lovers of their country must participate ? ture, Painting, and Architecture. The old Romans apostro
phized, with regard to the several melancholy changes in To behold the noblest dispositions of the prince, Italy: Horace, Tully, and Virgil
, with regard to their Tibur, and of the patriot, united: an overflowing benevo-Tusculum, and Naples. That once finest and most ornalence, generosity, and candour of heart, joined to This desolation of Italy applied to Britain. Address to the
part of Italy, all along the coast of Baia, how changed. an enlightened zeal for Liberty, an intimate per-Goddess of Liberty, that she would
deduce from the first wes, suasion that on it depends the happiness and glory her chief establishments the description of which constitute
the subject of the following parts of this Poem. She assenta, both of king and people: to see these shining out and commands what she says to be sung in Britain; whose in public virtues, as they have hitherto smiled in happiness
, arising from freedom, and a limited monarchy,
she marks. An immediate Vision attends and painits her all the social lights and private accomplishments
words. Invocation. of life, is a prospect that can not but inspire a general sentiment of satisfaction and gladness, more O my lamented Talbot! while with thee easy to be felt than expressed.
The Muse gay roved the glad Hesperian round, If the following attempt to trace Liberty, from And drew the inspiring breath of ancient arts; the first ages down to her excellent establishment Ah! little thought she her returning verse in Great Britain, can at all merit your approba- Should sing our darling subject to thy Shade. tion, and prove an entertainment to your Royal
And does the mystic veil, from mortal beam, Highness; if it can in any degree answer the dig. And all thy Father's candid spirit shone ?
Involve those eyes where every virtue smiled, nity of the subject, and of the name under which The light of reason, pure, without a cloud; I presume to shelter it; I have my best reward: Full of the generous heart, the mild regard; particularly as it affords me an opportunity of de- Honour disdaining blemish, cordial faith, claring that I am, with the greatest zeal and re- And limpid truth, that looks the very soul. spect,
But to the death of mighty nations turn
My strain; be there absorpt the private tear.
Musing, I lay; warm from the sacred walks, most obedient
Where at each step imagination burns: and most devoted servant, While scatter'd wide around, awful, and hoar,
JAMES THOMSON. Lies, a vast monument, once glorious Rome
The tomb of empire! Ruins! that efface Behold her demigods, in senate met;
With fervent eloquence, unbribed, and bold;
To rank obedient to a master's voice. Still in the mind's pure eye more solemn dress'd: “Her Forum see, warm, popular, and loud, When straight, methought, the fair majestic Power In trembling wonder hush'd, when the two Sires, * Of Liberty appear’d. Not, as of old,
As they the private father greatly quell’d, Extended in her hand the cap, and rod, Stood up the public fathers of the state. Whose slave-enlarging touch gave double life: See Justice judging there, in human shape. But her bright temples bound with British oak, Hark! how with freedom's voice it thunders high, And naval honours nodded on her brow. Or in soft murmurs sinks to Tully's tongue. Sublime of port: loose o'er her shoulder flow'd “Her tribes, her census, see; her generous Her sea-green robe, with constellations gay.
troops, An island-goddess now; and her high care Whose pay was glory, and their best reward The Queen of Isles, the mistress of the main. Free for their country and for me to die; My heart beat filial transport at the sight; Ere mercenary murder grew a trade. And, as she moved to speak, the awaken'd Muse ""Mark, as the purple triumph waves along, Listen'd intense. Awhile she look'd around, The highest pomp and lowest fall of life. With mournful eye the well known ruins mark’d, “Her festive games, the school of heroes, see: And then, her sighs repressing, thus began: Her Circus, ardent with contending youth:
“ Mine are these wonders, all thou seest is mine; Her streets, her temples, palaces, and baths, But ah, how changed the falling poor remains Full of fair forms, of Beauty's eldest born, Of what exalted once the Ausonian shore. And of a people cast in virtue's mould: Look back through time: and, rising from the While sculpture lives around, and Asian hills gloom,
Lend their best stores to heave the pillar'd dome. Mark the dread scenē, that paints whate’er I say. All that to Roman strength the softer touch
“ The great Republic see! that glow'd, sublime, Of Grecian art can join. But language fails With the mix'd freedom of a thousand states; To paint this sun, this centre of mankind; Raised on the thrones of kings her curule chair, Where every virtue, glory, treasure, art, And by her fasces awed the subject world. Attracted strong, in heighten'd lustre meet. See busy millions quiekening all the land,
“Need I the contrast mark? udjoyous view! With cities throng'd, and teeming culture high:
A land in all, in government and arts,
Soar'd far above the little selfish sphere
With classic zeal, these consecrated scenes
In their warm bosom fed? The mountains these, Or in the spacious neighbourhood of Rome;
On whose high-blooming sides my sons, of old, Far shining upward to the Sabine hills, I bred to glory? These dejected towns, To Anio's roar, and Tibur's olive shade;
Where, mean and sordid, life can scarce subsist, To where Prenestè lifts her airy brow:
The scenes of ancient opulence and pomp? Or downward spreading to the sunny shore,
“Come! by whatever sacred name disguised, Where Alba breathes the freshness of the main. Oppression, come! and in thy works rejoice!
“See distant mountains leave their valleys dry, See nature's richest plains to putrid fens And o'er the proud Arcade their tribute pour,
Turn'd by thy fury. From their cheerful bounds, To lave imperial Rome. For ages laid, See razed the enlivening village, farm, and seat. Deep, massy, firm, diverging every way,
First, rural toil, by thy rapacious hand With tombs of heroes sacred, see her roads;
Robb’d of his poor reward, resign'd the plough; By various nations trod, and suppliant kings;
And now he dares not turn the noxious glebe. With legions flaming, or with triumph gay.
'Tis thine entire. The lonely swain himself, "Full in the centre of these wondrous works, The pride of earth! Rome in her glory see!
'Lucius Junius Brutus, and Virginius.
Who loves at large along the grassy downs
| To the soft aid of cordial airs they fly, His flocks to pasture, thy drear champaign flies. Breathing a kind oblivion o'er their woes, Far as the sickening eye can sweep around,
And love and music melt their souls away. 'Tis all one desert, desolate, and gray,
From feeble Justice, see how rash Revenge, Grazed by the sullen buffalo alone;
Trembling, the balance snatches; and the sword, And where the rank uncultivated growth Fearful himself, to venal ruffians gives. Of rotting ages taints the passing gale. See where God's altar, nursing murder, stands, Beneath the baleful blast the city pines,
With the red touch of dark assassins stain'd. Or sinks enfeebled, or infected burns.
“But chief let Rome, the mighty city! speak Beneath it mourns the solitary road,
The full-exerted genius of thy reign. Roll'd in rude mazes o'er the abandon'd waste; Behold her rise amid the lifeless waste, While ancient ways, ingulf'd, are seen no more. Expiring nature all corrupted round;
Such thy dire plains, thou self-destroyer! foe While the lone Tiber, through the desert plain, To human kind! thy mountains too, profuse, Winds his waste stores, and sullen sweeps Where savage nature blooms, seem their sad plaint along. To raise against thy desolating rod.
Patch'd from my fragments, in unsolid pomp, There on the breezy brow, where thriving states Mark how the temple glares; and artful dress'd, And famous cities, once, to the pleased sun, Amusive, draws the superstitious train. Far other scenes of rising culture spread, Mark how the palace lifts a lying front, Pale shine thy ragged towns. Neglected round, Concealing often, in magnific jail, Each harvest pines; the livid, lean produce Proud want; a deep unanimated gloom! Of heartless labour: while thy hated joys, And oft adjoining to the drear abode Not proper pleasure, lift the lazy hand.
Of misery, whose melancholy walls Better to sink in sloth the woes of life,
Seem its voracious grandeur to reproach. Than wake their rage with unavailing toil. Within the city bounds the desert see. Hence, drooping art almost to nature leaves See the rank vine o'er subterranean roofs, The rude unguided year. Thin wave the gifts Indecent, spread; beneath whose fretted gold Of yellow Ceres, thin the radiant blush
It once, exulting, flow'd. The people mark, Of orchard reddens in the warmest ray. Matchless, while fired by me; to public good To weedy wildness run, no rural wealth Inexorably firm, just, generous, brave, (Such as dictators fed) the garden pours. Afraid of nothing but unworthy life, Crude the wild olive flows, and foul the vine; Elate with glory, an heroic soul Nor juice Cæcubian, or Falernian, more, Known to the vulgar breast: behold them now Streams life and joy, save in the Muse's bowl. A thin despairing number, all-subdued, Unseconded by art, the spinning race
The slaves of slaves, by superstition foolid, Draw the bright thread in vain, and idly toil. By vice unmann'd and a licentious rule; In vain, forlorn in wilds, the citron blows; In guile ingenious, and in murder brave; And flowering plants perfume the desert gale. Such in one land, beneath the same fair clime, Through the vile thorn the tender myrtle twines: Thy sons, Oppression, are; and such were mine. Inglorious droops the laurel, dead to song,
“E'en with thy labour'd Pomp, for whose vain And long a stranger to the hero's brow.
show "Nor half thy triumph this: cast, from brute Deluded thousands starve; all age-begrimed, fields,
Torn, robb’d, and scatter'd in unnumber'd sacks, Into the haunts of men thy ruthless eye. And by the tempest of two thousand years There buxom Plenty never turns her horn; Continual shaken, let my ruins vie. The grace and virtue of exterior life,
These roads that yet the Roman hand assert, No clean convenience reigns; e'en sleep itself, Beyond the weak repair of modern toil, Least delicate of powers, reluctant, there, These fractured arches, that the chiding stream Lays on the bed impure his heavy head. No more delighted hear; these rich remains Thy horrid walk! dead, empty, unadorn'd, Of marbles now unknown, where shines imbibed See streets whose echocs never know the voice Each parent ray; these massy columns, hew'd Of cheerful hurry, commerce many-tongued,
From Afric's farthest shore; one granite all, And art mechanic at his various task,
These obelisks high-towering to the sky, Fervent, employ’d. Mark the desponding race, Mysterious mark'd with dark Eg. tian lore; Of occupation void, as void of hope;
These endless wonders that this sacred* way Hope, the glad ray, glanced from Eternal Good, Illumine still, and consecrate to fame; That life enlivens, and exalts its powers, These fountains, vases, urns, and statues, charged With views of fortune--madness all to them! By thee relentless seized their better joys,
• Via Sacra.
With the fine stores of art-completing Greece. And wrapt in weeds the shore* of Venus lies. Mine is, besides, thy every later boast :
There Baiæ sees no more the joyous throng;. Thy Buonarotis, thy Palladios mine;
Her bank all beaming with the pride of Rome: And mine the fair designs, which Raphael's* soul No generous vincs now bask along the hills, O'er the live canvass, emanating, breathed. Where sport the breczes of the Tyrrhene main:
" What would ye say, ye conquerors of earth! With baths and temples mix’d, no villas rise; Ye Romans, could you raise the laurels head; Nor, art sustain'd amid reluctant waves, Could you the country see, by scas of blood, Draw the cool murmurs of the breathing deep: And the dread toil of ages, won so dear; No spreading ports their sacred arms extend: Your pride, your triumph, your supreme delight! No mighty moles the big intrusive storm, For whose defence oft, in the doubtful hour, From the calm station, roll resounding back. You rush'd with rapture down the gulf of fate, An almost total desolation sits, Of death ambitious! till by awful deeds,
A dreary stillness saddening o'er the coast; Virtues, and courage, that amaze mankind, Where,t when soft suns and tepid winters rose, The queen of nations rose; possess'd of all Rejoicing crowds inhaled the balın of peace; Which nature, art, and glory could bestow : Where citied hill to hill reflected blaze; What would you say, deep in the last abyss And where, with Ceres Bacchus wont to hold Of slavery, vice, and unambitious want,
A genial strife. Her youthful form, robust, Thus to behold her sunk? your crowded plains, E’en Nature yields; by fire and earthquake rent: Void of their cities; unadorn'd your hills; Whole stately cities in the dark abrupt Ungraced your lakes ; your ports to ships un- Swallow'd at once, or vile in rubbish laid, known;
A nest for serpents; from the red abyss Your la wless floods, and your abandon'd streams; New hills, explosive, thrown; the Lucrine lake These could you know; these could you love A reedy pool: and all to Cuma's point, again?
The sea recovering his usurp'd domain, Thy Tiber, Horace, could it now inspire, And pour'd triumphant o'er the buried dome Content, poetic ease, and rural joy,
'Hence Britain, learn; my best establish'd, last, Soon bursting into song: while thrồugh the groves And more than Greece, or Roine, my steady reign; Of headlong Anio, dashing to the vale,
The land where, King and People equal bound
Than by despotic rage:S that inward gnaws And sustenance of life: could life itself,
Far less a thoughtless tyrant's hollow poinp, First from your flattered Cæsars this began: Subsist with thee? against depressing skies, Till, doomed to tyrants an eternal prey, Join’d to full spread oppression's cloudy brow, Thin peopled spreads, at last, the syren plain,ll How could thy spirits hold? where vigour find That the dire soul of Hannibal disarmd, Forced fruits to tear from their unnative soil?
Or, storing every harvest in thy ports,
To plough the dreadful all producing wave?' * Michael Angelo Buonaroti, Palladio, and Raphael d'Ur
Here paused the Goddess. By the cause assured, bino; the three great modern masters in sculpture, architec
In trembling accents thus I moved my prayer: ture, and painting.
+ Tusculum is reckoned to have stood at a place now called Grotta Ferrata, a convent of monks.
• The coast of Baiæ, which was formerly adorned with the 1 The bay of Mola, (anciently Formiw) into which Homer works mentioned in the following lines; and where, amidst brings Ulysses and his companions. Near Formiæ Cicero many magnificent ruins, those of a temple erected to Venus
are still to be seen. Naples, then under the Austrian government.
† All along this coast the ancient Romans had their winter | Campagna Felice, adjoining to Capua.
retreats; and several populous cities swoud. HL
had a vila.
"Oh first, and most benevolent of powers!
Liberty traced from the pastoral ages, and the first uniting Yielding to none, the progress of thy reign,
of neighbouring families into civil government. The several And with a strain from THEE enrich the Muse. establishments of Liberty, in Egypt, Persia, Phænicia, PalesAs thee alone she serves, her patron Thou,
tine, slightly touched upon, down to her great establishment
in Greece. Geographical description of Greece. Sparta and And great inspirer be! then will she joy,
Athens, the two principal states of Greece, described Influ. Though narrow life her lot, and private shade:
ence of Liberty over all the Grecian states; with regard to And when her venal voice she barters vile, their Government, their Politeness, their Vinues, their Arts, Or to thy open or thy secret foes;
and Sciences. The vast superiority it gave them, in point of May ne'er those sacred raptures touch her more, force and bravery, over the Persians, exemplified by the action By slavish hearts unfelt! and may her song
of Thermopylæ, the battle of Marathon, and the retreat of the
Ten Thousand. Its full exertion, and most beautiful effects Sink in oblivion with the nameless crew!
in Athens. Liberty the source of free Philosophy. The vaVermin of state! to thy o'erflowing light rious schools which took their rise from Socrates. EnumeraThat owe their being, yet betray thy cause.' tion of Fine Arts; Eloquence, Poetry, Music, Sculpture,
Then, condescending kind, the heavenly Power Painting, and Architecţure ; the effects of Liberty in Greece Return'd: —What here, suggested by the scene, the modern state of Greece. Why Liberty declined, and was
and brought to their utmost persection there. Transition to I slight unfold, record and sing at home,
at last entirely lost among the Greeks. Concluding Refiec In that bless' isle, where (so we spirits move) tion. With one quick effort of my will I am. There Truth, unlicensed, walks; and dares accost Tots spoke the Goddess of the fearless eve; E'en kings themselves, the monarchs of the free! And at her voice, renew'd the Vision rose; Fix'd on my rock, there an indulgent race 'First, in the dawn of time, with eastern swains, O'er Britons wield the sceptre of their choice: In woods, and tents, and cottages, I lived ; And there, to finish what his sires began, While on from plain to plain they led their flocks, A Prince behold! for me who burns sincere, In search of clearer spring, and fresher field. E'en with a subject's zeal. He my great work These, as increasing families disclosed Will parent-like sustain; and added give The tender state, I taught an equal sway. The touch the Graces and the Muses owe. Few were offences, properties, and laws. For Britain's glory swells his panting breast; Beneath the rural portal, palm-o'erspread, And ancient arts he emulous revolves;
The father senate met. There Justice dealt, His pride to let the smiling heart abroad, With reason then and equity the same, Through clouds of pomp, that but conceal the man; Free as the common air, her prompt decree ; To please his pleasure; bounty his delight; Nor yet had stain’d her sword with subjects' blood. And all the soul of Titus dwells in him.' The simpler arts were all their simple wants
Hail, glorious theme! but how, alas! shall verse, Had urged to light. But instant, these supplied, From the crude stores of mortal language drawn, Another set of fonder wants arose, How faint and tedious, sing, what, piercing deep, And other arts with them of finer aim; The Goddess flash'd at once upon my soul. Till, from refining want to want impelld, For, clear precision all, the tongue of gods The mind by thinking push'd her latent powers, Is harmony itself; to every ear
And life began to glow, and arts to shine. Familiar known, like light to every eye.
'At first, on brutes alone the rustic war Meantime, disclosing ages, as she spoke, Launch'd the rude spear; swift, as he glared along, In long succession pour'd their empires forth; On the grim lion, or the robber wolf. Scene after scene the human drama spread; For then young sportive life was void of toil, And still the embodied picture rose to sight. Demanding little, and with little pleased:
Oh thou! to whom the Muses owe their flame; But when to manhood grown, and endless joys, Who bid'st beneath the pole, Parnassus rise, Led on by equal toils, the bosom fired; And Hippocrene flow: with thy bold ease, Lewd lazy rapine broke primeval peace, The striking force, the lightning of thy thought, And, hid in caves and idle forests drear, And thy strong phrase, that rolls profound and From the lone pilgrim, and the wandering swain clear;
Seized what he durst not earn. Then brother's Oh, gracious Goddess! reinspire my song;
blood While I, to nobler than poctic fame
First, horrid, smoked on the polluted skies. Aspiring, thy commands to Britons bear. Awful in justice, then the burning youth,