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Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame.
Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land, Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway ; Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.
Such the bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire, Bending as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow : Rush'd to battle, fought, and died;
Dying, huri'd them at the foe.
Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heaven awards the vengeance due , Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for you.
THERE was a time when Ætna's silent fire
Slept unperceiv'd, the mountain yet entire;
When, conscious of no danger from below,
She tower'd a cloudcapt pyramid of snow.
No thunders shook with deep intestine sound
The blooming groves that girdled her around.
Her unctuous olives, and her purple vines
(Unfelt the fury of those bursting mines)
The peasant's hopes, and not in vain, assured,
In peace upon her sloping sides matured.
When on a day, like that of the last doom,
A conflagration labouring in her womb,
She teem'd and heaved with an infernal birth,
That shook the circling seas and solid earth.
Dark and voluminous the vapours rise,
And hang their horrors in the neighbouring skies,
While through the Stygian veil, that blots the day,
In dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play.
But oh! what muse, and in what powers
Can trace the torrent as it burns along ?
Havoc and devastation in the van,
It marches o'er the prostrate works of man ;
Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear,
And all the charms of a Sicilian
year. Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass, See it an uninform’d and idle mass;
Without a soil to invite the tiller's care,
Or blade that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time achieve?)
Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live.
Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
O bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
O charming Paradise of shortlived sweets !
The self-same gale that wafts the fragrance round
Brings to the distant ear a sullen sound :
Again the mountain feels the imprison'd foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below.
Ten thousand swains the wasted scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws,
Who write in blood the merits of your cause,
Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence,
Glory your aim, but justice your pretence;
Behold in Ætna's emblematic fires
The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires !
Fast by the stream that bounds your just domain, And tells you where ye have a right to reign, A nation dwells, not envious of your
throne, Studious of peace, their neighbours' and their own. Ill-fated race ! how deeply must they rue Their only crime, vicinity to you! The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad, Through the ripe harvest lies their destined road; At every step beneath their feet they tread The life of multitudes, a nation's bread I
Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress
Before them, and behind a wilderness.
Famine, and Pestilence, her firstborn son,
Attend to finish what the sword begun;
And echoing praises, such as fiends might earn,
And Folly pays, resound at your return.
A calm succeeds—but Plenty, with her train
Of heartfelt joys, succeeds not soon again :
And years of pining indigence must show
What scourges are the gods that rule below.
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees,
(Such is his thirst of opulence and ease.)
Plies all the sinews of industrious toil,
Gleans up the refuse of the general spoil,
Rebuilds the towers that smoked upon the plain,
And the sun gilds the shining spires again.
Increasing commerce and reviving art Renew the quarrel on the conqueror's part ; And the sad lesson must be learn'd once more, That wealth within is ruin at the door. What are ye, mona
narchs, laurell’d heroes, say, But Ætnas of the suffering world ye sway? Sweet Nature, stripp'd of her embroider'd robe, Deplores the wasted regions of her globe; And stands a witness at Truth's awful bar, To prove you there destroyers as ye are.
O place me in some heaven-protected isle, Where Peace, and Equity, and Freedom smile; Where no volcano pours his fiery flood, No crested warrior dips his plume in blood ;
Where Power secures what Industry has won ;
Where to succeed is not to be undone ;
A land that distant tyrants hate in vain,
In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reign !
THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE
OUT OF NORFOLK, THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN,
O that those lips had language ! Life has pass'd
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
“Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!”
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
O welcome guest, though unexpected here.
Who bidst me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long.
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own :
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,