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The beast on whom the castle
With all its guards doth stand, The beast who hath between his eyes The serpent for a hand. First march the bold Epirotes, Wedged close with shield and spear; And the ranks of false Tarentum Are glittering in the rear.
"The ranks of false Tarentum Like hunted sheep shall fly:
In vain the bold Epirotes
Shall round their standards die: And Apennine's gray vultures Shall have a noble feast On the fat and on the eyes
Of the huge earth-shaking beast.
"Hurrah! for the good weapons
That keep the War-god's land. Hurrah! for Rome's stout pilum In a stout Roman hand.
Hurrah! for Rome's short broadsword, That through the thick array
Of levelled spears and serried shields Hews deep its gory way.
"Hurrah! for the great triumph
That stretches many a mile.
Hurrah! for the wan captives
That pass in endless file.
Ho! bold Epirotes, whither
Hath the Red King ta'en flight? Ho! dogs of false Tarentum,
Is not the gown washed white?
"Hurrah! for the great triumph
That stretches many a mile.
Hurrah! for the rich dye of Tyre,
And the fine web of Nile,
The helmets gay with plumage
Torn from the pheasant's wings,
The belts set thick with starry gems
That shone on Indian kings,
The urns of massy silver,
The goblets rough with gold, The many-coloured tablets bright With loves and wars of old, The stone that breathes and struggles, The brass that seems to speak;
Such cunning they who dwell on high Have given unto the Greek.
"Hurrah! for Manius Curius,
The bravest son of Rome, Thrice in utmost need sent forth,
Thrice drawn in triumph home. Weave, weave, for Manius Curius The third embroidered gown: Make ready the third lofty car,
And twine the third green crown And yoke the steeds of Rosea
With necks like a bended bow; And deck the bull, Mevania's bull, The bull as white as snow.
Biest and thrice blest the Roman Who sees Rome's brightest day, Who sees that long victorious pomp Wind down the Sacred Way, And through the bellowing Forum, And round the Suppliant's Grove, Up to the everlasting gates
Of Capitolian Jove.
Then where, o'er two bright havens, The towers of Corinth frown; Where the gigantic King of day
On his own Rhodes looks down ;
Where soft Orontes murmurs
Beneath the laurel shades;
Where Nile reflects the endless length
Of dark-red colonnades ;
Where in the still deep water,
Sheltered from waves and blasts,
Bristles the dusky forest
Of Byrsa's thousand masts;
Where fur-clad hunters wander
Amidst the Northern ice;
Where through the sand of morning-and
The camel bears the spice;
Where Atlas flings his shadow
Far o'er the Western foam,
Shall be great fear on all who hear
The mighty name of Rome."
▲ POEM WHICH OBTAINED THE CHANCELLOR'S MEDAL AT THE CAMBRIDGE COMMENCEMENT
OH! land to Memory and to Freedom dear,
Land of the melting lyre and conquering spear,
Land of the vine-clad hill, the fragrant grove,
Of arts and arms, of Genius and of Love,
Hear, fairest Italy. Though now no more
The glittering eagles awe the Atlantic shore,
Nor at thy feet the gorgeous Orient flings
The blood-bought treasures of her tawny Kings,
Though vanished all that formed thine old renown,
The laurel garland, and the jewelled crown,
The avenging poniard, the victorious sword,
Which reared thine empire, or thy rights restored,
Yet still the constant Muses haunt thy shore,
And love to linger where they dwelt of yore.
If e'er of old they deigned, with favouring smile,
To tread the sea-girt shores of Albion's isle,
To smooth with classic arts our rugged tongue,
And warm with classic glow the British song,
Oh! bid them snatch their silent harps which wave
On the lone oak that shades thy Maro's grave,*
And sweep with magic hand the slumbering strings,
To fire the poet.-For thy clime he sings,
Thy scenes of gay delight and wild despair,
Thy varied forms of awful and of fair.
How rich that climate's sweets, how wild its
What charms array it, and what rage deforms,
Well have they mouldering walls, Pompeii, known,
Decked in those charms, and by that rage
Heedless, like him, the impending stroke await,
And sport and wanton on the brink of fate.
What 'vails it that where yonder heights aspire.
With ashes piled, and scathed with rills of fire,
Gigantic phantoms dimly seem to glide,*
In misty files, along the mountain's side,
To view with threatening scowl your fated lands,
And toward your city point their shadowy hands?
In vain celestial omens prompted fear,
And nature's signal spoke the ruin near.
In vain through many a night ye viewed from far
The meteor flag of elemental war
Unroll its blazing folds from yonder height,
In fearful sign of earth's intestine fight.
In vain Vesuvius groaned with wrath supprest,
And muttered thunder in his burning breast.
Long since the Eagle from that flaming peak
Hath soared with screams a safer nest to seek.
Awed by the infernal beacon's fitful glare,
The howling fox hath left his wonted lair;
Nor dares the browsing goat in venturous leap
To spring, as erst, from dizzy steep to steep.
Man only mocks the peril. Man alone
Defies the sulphurous flame, the warning groan.
While instinct, humbler guardian, wakes and saves,
Proud reason sleeps, nor knows the doom it braves
But see the opening theatre invites
The fated myriads to its gay delights.
o'er-In, in, they swarm, tumultuous as the roar
Of foaming breakers on a rocky shore.
The enraptured throng in breathless transport views
The gorgeous temple of the Tragic Muse.
There, while her wand in shadowy pomp arrays
Ideal scenes, and forms of other days,
Fair as the hopes of youth, a radiant band,
The sister arts around her footstool stand,
To deck their Queen, and lend a milder grace
To the stern beauty of that awful face.
Far, far, around the ravished eye surveys
The sculptured forms of Gods and heroes blaze.
Above the echoing roofs the peal prolong
Of lofty converse, or melodious song,
While, as the tones of passion sink or swell,
Admiring thousands own the moral spell,
Melt with the melting strains of fancied wo,
With terror sicken, or with transport glow.
Sad City, gayly dawned thy latest day,
And poured its radiance on a scene as gay.
The leaves scarce rustled in the sighing breeze;
In azure dimples curled the sparkling seas,
And as the golden tide of light they quaffed,
Campania's sunny meads and vineyards laughed,
While gleamed each lichened oak and giant pine
On the far sides of swarthy Apennine.
Then mirth and music through Pompeii rung;
Then verdant wreaths on all her portals hung;
Her sons with solemn rite and jocund lay,
Hailed the glad splendours of that festal day.
With fillets bound the hoary priests advance,
And rosy virgins braid the choral dance.
The rugged warrior here unbends awhile
His iron front, and deigns a transient smile;
There, frantic with delight, the ruddy boy
Scarce treads on earth, and bounds and laughs with
From every crowded altar perfumes rise
In billowy clouds of fragrance to the skies.
The milk-white monarch of the herd they lead,
With gilded horns, at yonder shrine to bleed;
And while the victim crops the broidered plain,
And frisks and gambols towards the destined fane,
They little deem that like himself they stray
To death, unconscious, o'er a flowery way;
Oh! for a voice like that which pealed of old
Through Salem's cedar courts and shrines of gold,
And in wild accents round the trembling dome
Proclaimed the havoc of avenging Rome;
While every palmy arch and sculptured tower
Shook with the footsteps of the parting power.
Such voice might check your tears, which idly streati
For the vain phantoms of the poet's dream.
* Dio Cassius relates that figures of gigantic size appeared for some time previous to the destruction of Pompeii, on the summits of Vesuvius. This appearance was See Eustace's description of the Tomb of Virgil, on probably occasioned by the fantastic forms which the the Neapolitan coast. smoke from the crater of the volcano assumed. 3B 2