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Of what has been, the Hope of what will be?
O, Liberty! if such could be thy name
Wert thou disjoined from these, or they from thee:
If thine or theirs were treasures to be bought
By blood or tears, have not the wise and free
Wept tears, and blood like tears? The solemn harmony
Paused, and the spirit of that mighty singing
When the bolt has pierced its brain;
As summer clouds dissolve, unburthened of their rain;
As a brief insect dies with dying day,
My song, its pinions disarrayed of might,
Drooped; o'er it closed the echoes far away
Of the great voice which did its flight sustain,
Hiss round a drowner's head in their tempestuous play.
ODE TO NAPLES.*
EPODE I. a.
I STOOD within the city disinterred;t
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
The oracular thunder penetrating shook
The listening soul in my suspended blood;
I felt that Earth out of her deep heart spoke
I felt, but heard not:-through white columns glowed
A plane of light between two Heavens of azure:
Because the crystal silence of the air
Weighed on their life, even as the Power divine
The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baie with the enthusiasm excited by the intelligence of the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples. This has given a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these scenes, and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event.-Author's Note.
EPODE II. a.
Then gentle winds arose
With many a mingled close
Of wild Æolian sound and mountain odour keen;
Within, above, around its bowers of starry green,
It bore me like an Angel, o'er the waves
I sailed, where ever flows
Of the dead kings of Melody.*
Shadowy Aornos darkened o'er the helm
There streamed a sunlike vapour, like the standard
Whilst from all the coast,
Louder and louder, gathering round, there wandered
They seize me-I must speak them-be they fate!
STROPHE a. I.
Naples! thou Heart of men which ever pantest
The mutinous air and sea: they round thee, even
Metropolis of a ruined Paradise
Long lost, late won, and yet but half regained! Bright Altar of the bloodless sacrifice,
Which armed Victory offers up unstained
To Love, the flower-enchained!
Thou which wert once, and then didst cease to be,
STROPHE ẞ, 2.
Thou youngest giant birth
Which from the groaning earth
Leap'st, clothed in armour of impenetrable scale!
Who 'gainst the Crowned Transgressors
Pleadest before God's love! Arrayed in Wisdom's mail,
* Homer and Virgil.
Wave thy lightning lance in mirth
Nor let thy high heart fail,
Though from their hundred gates the leagued Oppressors,
Hail, hail, all hail !
What though Cimmerian Anarchs dare blaspheme
A new Acteon's error
Shall theirs have been-devoured by their own hounds!
ANTISTROPHE 8. 2.
From Freedom's form divine,
Strip every impious gawd, rend Error veil by veil:
O'er Falsehood's fallen state
Sit thou sublime, unawed; be the Destroyer pale!
And winged words let sail,
Freighted with truth even from the throne of God:
Be thine.-All hail !
ANTISTROPHE a. y.
Didst thou not start to hear Spain's thrilling paan
Starts to hear thine! The Sea
ANTISTROPHE B. y.
Florence! beneath the sun,
Of cities fairest one,
Exa, the island of Circe.
+ The viper was the armorial device of the Visconti, tyrants of Milan.
Blushes within her bower for Freedom's expectation:
As ruling once by power, so now by admiration,
From a remoter station
For the high prize lost on Philippi's shore:-
EPODE I. 8.
Hear ye the march as of the Earth-born Forms
Of crags and thunder-clouds?
See ye the banners blazoned to the day,
The serene Heaven which wraps our Eden wide
The Anarchs of the North lead forth their legions
Famished wolves that bide no waiting,
On Beauty's corse to sickness satiating
They come! The fields they tread look black and hoary With fire-from their red feet the streams run gory!
EPODE II. B.
Great Spirit, deepest Love!
All things which live and are, within the Italian shore;
Whose woods, rocks, waves, surround it;
Who sittest in thy star, o'er Ocean's western floor,
O bid those beams be each a blinding brand
Of lightning! bid those showers be dews of poison !
Bid thy bright Heaven above,
To make it ours and thine!
Or, with thine harmonizing ardours fill
Then clouds from sunbeams, antelopes from leopards.
And frowns and fears from Thee,
Than Celtic wolves from the Ausonian shepherds.
THERE was a youth, who, as with toil and travel, Had grown quite weak and grey before his time; Nor any could the restless griefs unravel
Which burned within him, withering up his prime
For nought of ill his heart could understand,
Baffled with blast of hope-consuming shame;
Had left within his soul their dark unrest:
For none than he a purer heart could have,
What sorrow deep, and shadowy, and unknown,
He had a gentle yet aspiring mind;
In others' joy, when all their own is dead:
That from such toil he never found relief;
His soul had wedded wisdom, and her dower
Pitying the tumult of their dark estate-
The strength of wealth or thought, to consecrate