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Who broke that morning from their half-year's sleep, To fly o'er flow'rs where they were wont to creep.
Above the sovereign oak, a sovereign skims, The purple Emperor, strong in wing and limbs; There fair Camilla takes her flight serene, Adonis blue, and Paphia silver green1;
With every filmy fly from mead or bower,
And hungry Sphinx who treads the honey'd flower;
He fears no bailiff's wrath, no baron's blame
Nor less the place of curious plant he knows ;
The glorious flower which bore the palm away:
His was the prize, and joy o'erflow'd his heart.
This, this! is beauty; cast, I pray, your eyes On this my glory! see the grace! the size! Was ever stem so tall, so stout, so strong, Exact in breadth, in just proportion long! These brilliant hues are all distinct and clean, No kindred tint, no blending streaks between; This is no shaded, run-off, pin-ey'd3 thing, A king of flowers, a flower for England's king:
1 The names of different kinds of butterflies.
The Humming-bird Sphinx extracts the honey from the flowers by means of its enormously long proboscis, without sitting upon the plant.
A pin-eyed flower is one that shows only the stigma, and not the anthers, and is of no value to the florist.
I own my pride, and thank the favouring star
Thus may the poor the cheap indulgence seize,
I AM in Rome! Oft as the morning-ray
Whence this excess of joy? What has befallen me?
Thou art in Rome! A thousand busy thoughts
And I spring up as girt to run a race!
Thou art in Rome! the city that so long
1 Florists arrange carnations into three classes; - Flakes, regularly striped with one colour; Bizarres, irregularly striped, and with two colours; and Picotées (Fr. piquettée), spotted or pounced with other colours, and the edges of the petals jagged.
Each behind each, each, when the other fell,
Where now she dwells, withdrawn into the wild,
Within those silent chambers where they dwell,
Where on his mule I might have met so oft
1 The Via Appia is perhaps the most striking vestige of antiquity that remains to us.
3 And Augustus in his litter, coming at a still slower rate.
Dreaming of old Evander and his guest,
But what the narrow space
Just underneath? In many a heap the ground
Had done his utmost. Here and there appears,
An idle column, a half-buried arch,
A wall of some great temple.
-It was once,
And long, the centre of their universe,
The FORUM-whence a mandate, eagle-wing'd,
He was borne along by slaves; and the gentle motion allowed him to read, write, and employ himself as in his cabinet. Though Tivoli is only sixteen miles from the city, he was always two nights on the road.
As the story is told, Virgil, having been instructed by Augustus to let him hear the Eneid, recited the sixth book, and Octavia, the sister of Augustus, who had just lost her son Marcellus, the darling of Rome, and the adopted son of Augustus, made one of the audience to alleviate and divert her sorrow. When Virgil recited the beautiful lamentation on Marcellus's death, Octavia fainted away; and when she recovered, she made Virgil a present of ten sesterces for every line in praise of her son, a sum amounting in the whole to about 2000l. sterling.
From the golden pillar in the Forum the ways ran to the gates, and from the gates to the extremities of the Empire.
And not a breath but from the ground sends up
We are come,
Are now where once the mightiest spirits met
-Here the first Brutus stood, when o'er the
Of her so chaste all mourn'd, and from his cloud
They who harangued the people; turning now
The beaks of those old galleys, destined still3
1 Now called Monte Cavo.
2 The vault and the external roof of the temple were covered with plates of gold. To this temple the victorious generals and emperors went in triumphal procession to sacrifice to the gods.
When the Romans conquered the maritime city of Antium, B. c. 337, they took from the vessels they found in the port the bronze beaks of the ships, (called in Latin rostra) with which they decorated the orator's pulpit in the Forum, which thence was called the Rostrum.
4 Marcus Junius Brutus.