« VorigeDoorgaan »
Along the Sacred Way Hither the triumph came, and, winding round With acclamation, and the martial clang Of instruments, and cars laden with spoil, Stopp'd at the sacred stair that then appear'd; Then thro' the darkness broke, ample, star-bright, As tho' it led to heaven. "Twas night; but now A thousand torches, turning night to day1, Blaz'd, and the victor, springing from his seat, Went up, and kneeling as in fervent prayer, Enter'd the Capitol. But what are they Who at the foot withdraw, a mournful train In fetters? And who, yet incredulous, Now gazing wildly round, now on his sons, On those so young, well pleas'd with all they see2, Staggers along, the last? They are the fallen, Those who were spar'd to grace the chariot-wheels; And there they parted, where the road divides, The victor and the vanquish'd - there withdrew; He to the festal board, and they to die.
Well might the great, the mighty of the world,
Shrink back, nor from their thrones endure to look,
1 An allusion to Cæsar in his Gallic triumph.
In the triumph of Æmilius, nothing affected the Roman people like the children of Perseus. Many wept; nor could any thing else attract notice, till they were gone by.Plutarch.
Name but their names, set every heart on fire!
The last on Philip's throne; and the Numidian 2,
Thrust under-ground, "How cold this bath of yours!"
And thy proud queen, Palmyra, thro' the sands3
Whose temples, palaces, a wondrous dream,
Illumine yet the desert.
Death and escap'd; the Egyptian, when her asp
Now all is chang'd; and here, as in the wild,
5 Sophonisba. The story of the marriage and the poison is
well known to every reader.
TO THE IVY.
OH! how could fancy crown with thee
Thy home, wild plant, is where each sound
Where song's full notes once peal'd around, But now are heard no more.
The Roman, on his battle plains,
Yet thou, though fresh in glossy green,
Where sleep the sons of ages flown,
Where years are hast'ning to efface
Each record of the grand and fair,
Thou in thy solitary grace,
Wreath of the tomb! art there.
Thou, o'er the shrines of fallen gods,
And cities of the dead;
Deserted palaces of kings,
Arches of triumph, long o'erthrown, And all once glorious earthly things, At length are thine alone.
Oh! many a temple, once sublime,
And, rear'd 'midst crags and clouds, tis thine To wave where banners wav'd of yore; O'er mouldering towers, by lovely Rhine, Cresting the rocky shore.
High from the fields of air look down
The breathing forms of Parian stone,
The Acanthus, on Corinthian fanes,
"Tis still the same
where'er we tread,
The wrecks of human power we see,
The marvels of all ages fled,
Left to decay and thee!
And still let man his fabrics rear,
August in beauty, grace, and strength,
Days pass-thou, Ivy, never sere,
And all is thine at length!
APOSTROPHE TO ENGLAND.
LAND of the Lord! my own maternal isle!
And long o'er principle, and law, and weal,
Where morals form, and whence our motives flow.
Thy shores, or sunbeams o'er thy corn-fields play,
And brightens, will that Church uninjur'd stand,