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III.

Son of the morning, rise! approach you here!
Come — but molest not yon defenceless urn:
Look on this spot - a nation's sepulchre !
Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn.
Even gods must yield—religions take their turn:
'Twas Jove's--'tis Mahomet's — and other creeds
Will rise with other years, till man shall learn

Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds; [reeds. I Poor child of Doubt and Death, whose hope is built on

IV.

Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heaven -
Is't not enough, unhappy thing ! to know
Thou art ? Is this a boon so kindly given,
That being, thou would'st be again, and go,

[In the original MS. we find the following note to this and the five succeeding stanzas, which had been prepared for publication, but was afterwards withdrawn, “from a fear,” says the poet, “that it might be considered rather as an attack, than a defence of religion; "-" In this age of bigotry, when the puritan and priest have changed places, and the wretched Catholic is visited with the sins of his fathers,' even unto generations far beyond the pale of the commandment, the cast of opinion in these stanzas will, doubtless, meet with many a contemptuous anathema. But let it be remembered, that the spirit they breathe is desponding, not sneering, scepticism ; that he who has seen the Greek and Moslem superstitions contending for mastery over the former shrines of Polytheism – who has left in his own Pharisees, thanking. God that they are not like publicans and sinners,' and Spaniards in theirs, abhorring the heretics, who have holpen them in their need, — will be not a little bewildered, and begin to think, that as only one of them can be right, they

may, most

of them, be wrong. With regard to morals, and the effect of religion on mankind, it appears, from all historical testimony, to have had less effect in making them love their neighbours, than inducing that cordial Christian abhorrence between sectaries and schismatics. The Turks and Quakers are the most tolerant: if an Infidel pays his heratch to the former, he may pray how, when, and where he pleases ; and the mild tenets and devout demeanour of the latter, make their lives the truest commentary on the Sermon on the Mount.”]

Thou know'st not, reck'st not to what region, so
On earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe?

Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies :
That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.

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Or burst the banish'd Hero's lofty mound;
Far on the solitary shore he sleeps : 2
He fell, and falling nations mourn'd around ;
But now not one of saddening thousands weeps,
Nor warlike-worshipper his vigil keeps
Where demi-gods appear'd, as records tell.
Remove yon skull from out the scatter'd heaps :

Is that a temple where a God may dwell ?
Why ev'n the worm at last disdains her shatter'd cell !

VI.

Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul :
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul:
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit
And Passion's host, that never brook'd control :

Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?

i [“ Still wilt thou harp.” - MS.]

2 It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn their dead ; the greater Ajax, in particular, was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease; and he was indeed neglected, who had not annual games near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, &c., and at last even Antinous, whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous.

VII.

Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son !
“ All that we know is, nothing can be known.”
Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun?
Each hath his pang, but feeble sufferers groan
With brain-born dreams of evil all their own.
Pursue what Chance or Fate proclaimeth best;
Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron :

There no forced banquet claims the sated guest,
But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.

VIII.

Yet if, as holicst men have deem'd, there be
A land of souls beyond that sable shore,
To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee
And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore;
How sweet it were in concert to adore
With those who made our mortal labours light!
To hear each voice we fear'd to hear no more!

Behold each mighty shade reveal’d to sight,
The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who taught the

right! i

IX. There, thou ! - whose love and life together Aled, Have left me here to love and live in vain Twined with my heart, and can I deem thee dead When busy Memory flashes on my brain ? ? [In the original MS., for this magnificent stanza, we find what follows:

“ Frown not upon me, churlish Priest ! that I
Look not for life, where life may never be ;
I am no sneerer at thy phantasy :
Thou pitiest me, - alas! I envy thee,
Thou bold discoverer in an unknown sea,
Of happy isles and happier tenants there;
I ask thee not to prove a Sadducee;
Still dream of Paradise, thou knows't not where,
But lov'st too well to bid thine erring brother share."]

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