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Fix'd on some hanging rock's projected brow,
Hark! yon deep echo strikes the trembling ear! See night's dun curtain wraps the darksome pole! O'er heaven's blue arch yon rolling worlds appear, And rouse to solemn thought th' aspiring soul.
O lead my steps beneath the moon's dim ray, Where Tadmor stands all desert and alone! While from her time-shook tow's the bird of prey Sounds through the night her long-resounding
Or bear me far to yon dark, dismal plain, Where fell-eyed tigers, all athirst for blood, Howl to the desert; while the horrid train Roams o'er the wild where once great Babel
That queen of nations! whose superior call
Short is Ambition's gay, deceitful dream,
Slow as some miner saps th' aspiring tow'r, When working secret with destructive aim, Unseen, unheard, thus moves the stealing hour, But works the fall of empire, pomp, and name.
Then let thy pencil mark the traits of man;
Beneath the plume that fames with glancing rays
Let Love's gay sons, a smiling train, appear, With beauty pierc'd-yet heedless of the dart; While, closely couch’d, pale, sick’ning Envy near Whets her fell sting, and points it at the heart.
Perch'd, like a raven, on some blasted yew,
Then paint, impending o'er the maddening deep, That rock, where heart-struck Sappho, vainly
brave, Stood firm of soul then from the dizzy steep. Impetuous sprung, and dash'd the boiling wave.
Here, wrapt in studious thought, let Fancy rove, Still prompt to mark Suspicion's secret snare; . To see where Anguish nips the bloom of Love, Or trace proud Grandeur to the domes of
Should e'er Ambition's tow'ring hopes inflame,
What are the ensigns of imperial sway?
When bleeds the heart as Genius blooms unknown? When melts the eye o'er Virtue's mournful bier ? Not wealth, but pity, swells the bursting groan; Not pow'r, but whispering Nature, prompts the tear.
Say, gentle mourner, in yon mouldy vault, Where the worm fattens on some sceptred brow, Beneath that roof with sculptur'd marble fraught, Why sleeps unmov'd the breathless dust below ?
Sleeps it more sweetly than the simple swain Beneath some mossy turf that rests his head; Where the lone widow tells the night her pain, And eve with dewy tears embalms the dead?
The lily, screen'd from ev'ry ruder gale,
The busts of grandeur, and the pomp of pow'r,