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Large growth of what may seem the sparkling trees
And shrubs of fairy land. The chrystal drops
That trickle down the branches, fast cangeal'd
Shoot into pillars of pellucid length,
And prop the pile they but adorned before.
Here grotto within grotto safe desies
The fun-beam. There imboss'd and fretted wild
The growing wonder takes p thousand shapes
Capricious, in which fancy seeks in vain
The likeness of some object seen before.
Thus nature works as if to mock at art,
And in desiance of her rival pow'rs ;. .
By these fortuitous and random strokes
Performing such inimitable feats
As she with all her rules can never reach.
Less worthy of applause though more admired,
Because a novelty, the work of man,
Imperial mistress of the fur-clad Russ!
Thy most magnificent and mighty freak,
The wonder of the North. No forest fell
When When thou would'st build: no quarry sent its slorn
T enrich thy walls. But thou didst hew the floods,
And make thy marble of the glassy wave.
In such a palace Aristasus found
Cyrene, when he bore the plaintive tale
Of his lost bees to her maternal ear.
In such a palace poetry might place
The armoury of winter, where his troops
The gloomy clouds find weapons, arrowy fleet
Skin-piercing volley, blossom-bruising hail,
And snow that often blinds the traveler's course,
And wraps him in an unexpected tomb.
Silently as a dream the fabric rose.
No sound of hammer or of saw was there.
Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts
Were soon conjoined, nor other cement asiVd
Than water interfused to make them one.
Lamps gracefully disposed and os all hues
Illumined ev'ry side. A wat'ry light
Gleamed through the clear transparency, that seemed
Another Another moon new-risen, or meteor fall'rt
From heav'n to earth, of lambent flame serene.
So stood the brittle prodigy, though smooth
And flipp'ry the materials, yet frost-bound
Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within
That royal residence might well befit,
For grandeur or for use. Long wavy wreaths
Of flow'rs that feared no enemy but warmth,
Blushed on the pannels. Mirrour needed none
Where all was vitreous, but in order due
Convivial table and commodious feat
(What seemed at least commodious feat) were there,
Sofa and couch and high-built throne august.
The fame lubricity was found in all,
And all was moist to the warm touch, a scene
Of evanescent glory, once a stream,
And soon to slide into a stream again.
Alas! 'twas but a mortifying stroke
Of undesigned severity, that glanced,
(Made by a monarch) on her own estate,
On human grandeur and the courts of kings.
Great princes have great play-things. SomehaTt
Are gratified with mischief, and who spoil
/ . ..j
When Babel was confounded, and the great Confed'racy of projectors wild and vain .'..
Was split into diversity of tongues,