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The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and wrap
All round us; we but feel our way to err :
The ocean hath his chart, the stars their map,
And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap;
But Rome is as the desert, where we steer
Stumbling o'er recollections ; now we clap

Our hands, and cry “ Eureka!" it is clear-
When but some false mirage of ruin rises near.

Alas! the lofty city! and alas!
The trebly hundred triumphs! (42) and the day
When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away!
Alas, for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay,
And Livy's pictured page but these shall be
Her resurrection; all beside-decay.

Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!

Oh thou, whose chariot rollid on Fortune's wheel, (43)
Triumphant Sylla! Thou, who didst subdue
Thy country's foes ere thou would pause to feel
The wrath of thy own wrongs, or reap the due
Of hoarded vengeance till thine eagles flew
O'er prostrate Asia ;-thou, who with thy frown
Annihilated senates—Roman, too,

With all thy vices, for thou didst lay down
With an atoning smile a more than earthly crown-

LXXXIV. The dictatorial wreath,—couldst thou divine To what would one day dwindle that which made Thee more than mortal ? and that so supine By aught than Romans Rome should thus be laid ? She who was named Eternal and array'd Her warriors but to conquer-she who veil'd Earth with her haughty shadow, and display'd, Until the o'er-canopied horizon fail'd, Her rushing wings-Oh! she who was Almighty hail'd!

Sylla was first of victors; but our own
The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell; he
Too swept off senates while he hew'd the throne
Down to a block-immortal rebel! See
What crimes it costs to be a moment free
And famous through all ages! but beneath
His fate the moral lurks of destiny;

His day of double victory and death
Beheld him win two realms, and, happier, yield his breath.

LXXXVI. The third of the same moon whose former course Had all but crown'd him, on the selfsame day Deposed him gently from his throne of force, And laid him with the earth's preceding clay. (44) And show'd not Fortune thus how fame and sway, And all we deem delightful, and consume Our souls to compass through each arduous way,

Are in her eyes less happy than the tomb? Were they but so in man’s, how different were his doom!

And thou, dread statue! yet existent in (45)
The austerest form of naked majesty,
Thou who beheldest, 'mid the assassins' din,
At thy bathed base the bloody Cæsar lie,
Folding his robe in dying dignity,
An offering to thine altar from the queen
Of gods and men, great Nemesis ! did he die,

And thou, too, perish, Pompey ? have ye been
Victors of countless kings, or puppets of a scene?

LXXXVIII. And thou, the thunder-stricken nurse of Rome! (46) She-wolf! whose brazen-imaged dugs impart The milk of conquest yet within the dome Where, as a monument of antique art, Thou standest: Mother of the mighty heart, Which the great founder suck'd from thy wild teat, Scorch'd by the Roman Jore's etherial dart,

And thy limbs black with lightning-dost thou yet Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond charge forget?

Thou dost ;-but all thy foster-babes are dead-
The men of iron; and the world hath rear'd
Cities from out their sepulchres : men bled
In imitation of the things they fear'd, (steerd,
And fought and conquer'd, and the same course
At apish distance; but as yet none have,
Nor could the same supremacy have near’d,

Save one vain man, who is not in the grave,
But van. hy himself, to his own slaves a slave

The fool of false dominion-and a kind
Of bastard Cæsar, following him of old
With steps unequal ; for the Roman's mind
Was modell’d in a less terrestrial mould, (47)
With passions fiercer, yet a judgment cold,
And an immortal instinct which redeem'd
The frailties of a heart so soft, yet bold,

Alcides with the distaff now he seem'd
At Cleopatra's feet,—and now himself he beam'd,

XCI. And came—and saw-and conquerid ! But the man Who would have tamed his eagles down to flee, Like a train'd falcon, in the Gallic van, Which he, in sooth, long led to victory, With a deaf heart which never seem'd to be A listener to itself, was strangely framed; With but one weakest weakness--vanity,

Coquettish in ambition--still he aim'dAt what? can he avouch-or answer what he claim'd ?

XCII And would be all or nothing—nor could wait For the sure grave to level him; few years Had fix'd him with the Cæsars in his fate On whom we tread : For this the conqueror rears The arch of triumph! and for this the tears And blood of earth flow on as they have flow'd, An universal deluge, which appears

Without an ark for wretched man's abode, And ebbs but to reflow !-Renew thy rainbow, God!

XCIII. What from this barren being do we reap ? Our senses narrow, and our reason frail, (48) Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep, And all things weigh'd in custom's falsest scale ; Opinion an omnipotence,whose veil Mantles the earth with darkness, until right And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale

Lest their own judgments should become too bright, And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have too

much light.

XCIV. And thus they plod in sluggish misery, Rotting from sire to son, and age to age, Proud of their trampled nature, and so die, Bequeathing their hereditary rage To the new race of inborn slaves, who wage War for their chains, and rather than be free, Bleed gladiator-like, and still engage Within the same arena where they see Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same tree.

I speak not of men's creeds—they rest between
Man and his Maker-but of things allow'd,
Averr'd, and known, and daily, hourly seen-
The yoke that is upon us doubly bow'd,
And the intent of tyranny avow'd,
The edict of Earth's rulers, who are grown

The apes of him who humbled once the proud, i And shook them from their slumbers on the throne;

were this all his mighty arm had done.

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