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And thou, who never yet of human wrong
Lost the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis ! 54
Here, where the ancient paid thee homage long
Thou, who didst call the Furies from the abyss ,
And round Orestes bade them howl and hiss
For that unnatural retribution-just,
Had it but been from hands less near--in this .
Thy former realm, I call the from the dust!
Dost thou not hear my heart?-Awake! thou shalt, and must.
It is not that I may not have incurr'd
For my ancestral faults or mine the wound
I bleed withal, and , had it been conferr'd
With a just weapon ; it had flowed unbound;
But now my blood shall not sink in the ground;
To thee I so devote it—thou shalt take
The vengeance, which shall yet be sought and found ,
Which if I have not taken for the sake-
But let that pass---I sleep, but thou shalt yet awake.
And if my voice break forth , 'tis not that now
I shrink from what is suffered, let him speak
Who hath beheld decline upon my brow,
Or seen my mind's convulsions leave it weak;
But in this page a record will I seek.
Not in the air shall these my words disperse,
Though I be ashes ; a far hour shall wreak
The deep prophetic fulness of this verse, And pile on human heads, the mountain of my curse !
That curse shall be Forgiveness?—Have I not
Hear me, my mother Earth! behold it, Heaven !
Have I not had to wrestle with my lot?
Have I not suffered things to be forgiven!
Have I not had my brain seared, my heart riven,
Hopes sapp'd, name blighted , Life's life lied away:
And only not to desperation driven,
Because not altogether of such clay
As rots into the souls, of those whom I survey,
From mighty wrongs to petty perfidy
Have I not seen what human things could do?
From the loud roar of foaming calumny
To the small whisper of the as paltry few,
And subtler venom of the reptile crew,
The Janus glance of whose significant eye,
Learning to lie with silence , would seem true,
And without utterance , save the shrug or sigh, Deal round to happy fools its speechless obloquy,
But I have lived , and have not lived in vain :
My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire,
And my frame perish even in conquering pain,
But there is that within me which'shall tire
Torture and Time , and breathe when I expire;
Something unearthly, which they deem not of, :
Like the remembered tone of a mute lyre;**
Shall on their softened spirits sink, and move
In hearts all rocky now, the late remorse of love..!!!
CXXXVI.', . ,
The seal is set. Now welcome, thou dread power-
Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which 'heré
Walk’st in the shadow of the midnight hour
With a deep awe, yet all distinct from fear;
Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls rear
Their ivy mantles , and the solemn scene
Derives from thee a sense so deep and cleara
That we become a part of what has been,
And grow unto the spot, all-seeing but unseen
' CXXXIX. And here the buzz of eager nations ran, In murmured pity, or loud-roared applause, .. .si As man was slaughtered by his fellow man. And wherefore slaughtered? wherefore, but because Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, " And the imperial pleasure.—Wherefore not ? " What matters where we fall to fill the mawså l'1"!!
Of worms-on battle-plains or listed spot?... Both are but Theatres where the chief actors rot. :
I see before me the Gladiator lie; 55
He leans upon his hand-his manly brow
Consents to death , but conquers agony,
And his drooped head sinks gradually low-
And through his side the last drops , ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy , one by one ,
Like the first drops of a thunder-shower, and now
The arena swims around him he is gone,
Ere ceased the inhuman shout, which hạild the wretch who won.
He heard it, but he heeded not his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He reck'd not of the life he lost no prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother he, their sire,
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday— 56
All this rush'd with his blood-Shall he expire
And unavenged ?-Arise ! ye Goths, and glut your ire !
But here, where Murder breathed her bloody steam;
And here, where buzzing nations choked the ways,
And roard or murmur'd like a mountain stream
Dashing or winding as its torrent strays;
Here , where the Roman million's blame or praise
Was death or life , the playthings of a crowd , 50
My voice sounds much-and fall the stars' faint rays
On the arena void-seats crush'd-walls bow'd-
And galleries, where my steps seem echoes strangely loud.
A ruin--yet what ruin! from its mass
Walls, palaces, half-cities, have been reared;
Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass
And marvel where the spoil could have appeared.
Hath it indeed been plundered, or but cleared ?
Alas! developed , opens the decay,
When the colossal fabric's from is neared:
It will not bear the brightness of the day,
Which streams too much on all, years , man, have reft away.
But when the rising moon begins to climb
Its topmost arch , and gently pauses there;
When the stars twinkle through the loops of time,
And the low night-breeze waves along the air
The garland-forest, which the grey walls wear,
Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar's head ; 58
When the light shines serene but doth not glare,
Then in this magic circle raise the dead :
Heroes have trod this spot—'tis on their dust ye tread.
CXLV. «While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand ; 59 «When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; «And when Rome falls--the World. » From our own land