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Till, in a legislator's awful grace
Had social freedom bound their peace and arts, Dress'd, Buonaroti bid a Moses rise,
Instead of ruling power, ne'er meant for them, And, looking love immense, a Savior-God.*
Employ'd their little cares, and sav'd their fate. “Of these observant, Painting felt the fire
" Beyond the rugged Apennines, that roll Burn inward. Then ecstatic she diffus'd
Far through Italian bounds their wavy tops, The canvas, seiz'd the pallet, with quick hand My path, too, I with public blessings strow'd ; The colors brew'd; and on the void expanse Free states and cities, where the Lombard plain, Her gay creation pour'd, her mimic world. In spite of culture negligent and gross. Poor was the manner of her eldest race,
From her deep bosom pours unbidden joys, Barren, and dry; just struggling from the taste, And green o'er all the land a garden spreads. That had for ages scar'd in cloisters dim
“ The barren rocks themselves beneath my foot The superstitious herd : yet glorious then
Relenting bloom'd on the Ligurian shore. Were deem'd their works; where undevelop'd lay Thick-swarming people* there, like emmets, seiz'd, The future wonders that enrich'd mankind, Amid surrounding cliffs, the scatter'd spots, And a new light and grace o'er Europe cast. Which Nature left in her destroying ragent Arts gradual gather streams. Enlarging this, Made their own fields, nor sigh'd for other lands. To each his portion of her various gifts
There, in white prospect, from the rocky bill, The goddess dealt, to none indulging all ; Gradual descending to the shelter'd shore, No, not to Raphael. At kind distance still By me proud Genoa's marble turrets rose. Persection stands, like happiness, to tempt
And while my genuine spirit warm'd her sons, Th'eternal chase. In elegant design
Beneath her Dorias, not unworthy, she Improving Nature ; in ideas fair,
Vied for th trident of the narrow seas, Or great, extracted from the fine antique ;
Ere Britain yet had open'd all the main. In attitude, expression, airs divine,
Nor be the then triumphant states forgot, Her sons of Rome and Florence bore the prize. Where, push'd from plunder'd earth, a remnants To those of Venice she the magic art
still, Of colors melting into colors gave.
Inspir'd by me, through the dark ages kept Theirs too it was by one embracing mass
Of my old Roman flame some sparks alive : Of light and shade that seuiles round the whole, The seeming god-built city! which my hand Or varies tremulous from part to part,
Deep in the bosom fix'd of wondering seas. O'er all a binding harmony to throw,
Astonish'd mortals sail’d, with pleasing awe, To raise the picture, and repose the sight.
Around the sea-girt walls, by Neptune fenc'd, The Lombard schoolt succeeding, mingled both. And down the briny street; where on each hand,
“ Meantime dread fanes, and palaces, around, Amazing seen amid unstable waves, Rear'd the magnific front. Music again
The splendid palace shines; and rising tides, Her universal language of the beart
The green steps marking, murmur at the door. Renew'd ; and, rising from the plaintive vale, To this fair queen of Adria's stormy gulf, To the full concert spread, and solemn quire. The mart of nations ! long, obedient seas
“ Ev'n bigots smild; to their protection took Roll'd all the treasure of the radiant East; Arts not their own, and from them borrow'd pomp: But now no more. Than one great tyrant worse For in a tyrant's garden these awhile
(Whose shar'd oppression lightens, as diffus'd) May bloom, though freedom be their parent soil. Each subject tearing, many tyrants rose.
" And now confest, with gently-glowing gleam, The least the proudest. Join'd in dark cabal, The morning shone, and westward stream'd its light. They jealous, watchful, silent, and severe, The Muse awoke. Not sooner on the wing Cast o'er the whole indissoluble chains : Is the gay bird of dawn. Artless her voice, The softer shackles of luxurious ease Untaught and wild, yet warbling through the woods They likewise added, to secure their sway. Romantic lays. But as her northern course
Thus Venice fainter shines; and commerce thus, She, with her tutor Science, in my train,
Of toil impatient, flags the drooping sail.
Opening a thousand ports, and, charm'd with toil, · Rome and her circling deserts cast behind, Whom nothing can dismay, far other sons. I pass'd not idle to my great sojourn.
“ On Arno'st fertile plain, where the rich vine Luxuriant o'er Etrurian mountains roves,
* The Genoese territory is reckoned very populous, but Safe in the lap repos'd of private bliss,
the towns and villages for the most part lie hid among I small republics ý rais'd. Thrice-happy they! the Apennine rocks and mountains.
† According to Dr. Burnet's system of the deluge. * Esteemed the two finest pieces of modern sculpture. 1 Venice was the most flourishing city in Europe, with | The school of the Caracci.
regard to trade, before the passage to the East Indies by | The river Arno runs through Florence.
the Cape of Good Hope and America was discovered. $ The republics of Florence, Pisa, Lucca, and Sienna. § Those who fled to some marshes in the Adriatic gulf, They formerly had very cruel wars together, but at the from the desolation spread over Italy by an irruption of time when this poem was written, were all peaceably the Huns, first founded there this famous city, about the subject to the Great Duke of Tuscany, except it be Lucca, beginning of the fifth century. which still maintained the form of a republic.
| The main ocean.
1 Great Britain.
· The mountains then, clad with eternal snow, Here, with the shifted vision, burst my joy. Confess'd my power. Deep as the rampant rocks, “O the dear prospect! O majestic view! By Nature thrown insuperable round,
See Britain's empire! lo! the watery vast I planted there a league of friendly states, * Wide-waves, diffusing the cerulean plain. And bade plain freedom their ambition be.
And now, metbinks, like clouds at distance seen, There in the vale, where rural Plenty fills, Emerging white from deeps of ether, dawn From lakes and meads, and furrow'd fields, her horn, My kindred cliffs ; whence, wasted in the gale, Chief, where the Lemant pure emits the Rhone, Ineffable, a secret sweetness breathes. Rare to be seen! unguilty cities rise,
Goddess, forgive!-My heart, surpris'd, o'erflows Cities of brothers formid: while equal life, With filial fondness for the land Accorded gracious with revolving power,
As parents to a child complacent deign Maintains them free; and, in their happy streets, Approvance, the celestial brightness smild; Nor cruel deed nor misery is known.
Then thus :-“ As o'er the wave-resounding deep, For valor, faith, and innocence of life,
To my near reign, the happy isle. I steerd Renown'd, a rough laborious people, there, With easy wing ; behold! from surge to surge, Not only give the dreadful Alps to smile,
Stalk'd the tremendous genius of the deep. And press their culture on retiring snows; A round him clouds, in mingled tempest, hung; But, to firm order train'd and patient war, Thick-flashing meteors crown'd his starry head ; They likewise know, beyond ihe nerve remiss And ready thunder redden'd in his hand, Of mercenary force, how to defend
Or from it stream'd comprest the gloomy cloud. The tasteful little their hard toil has earn'd, Where'er he look’d, the trembling waves recoil'd. And the proud arm of Bourbon to defy. (charm, He needs but strike the conscious flood, and shook
“ Ev'n, cheerd by me, their shaggy mountains From shore to shore, in agitation dire, More than or Gallic or Italian plains ;
It works his dreadful will. To me his voice
My sister-goddess now, to yon blest isle,
Those that refulgent, or with rosy mo.n),
Drunk by equator-suns, severely shine ;
Ev'n yet untouch'd by daring keel, be theirs
The vast Pacific ; that on other worlds,
Nor Alexanders me, nor Cæsars brav'd.
“ From these descending, as I wav'd my course Till now low-crept; and peddling commerce plied O'er vast Germania, the ferocious nurse
Between near-joining lands. For Britons, chief,
To dare the middle deep, and drive assur'd
Chief, for their fearless hearts the glory waits, In each contented face to look my soul.
Long months from land, while the black stormy “ Thence the loud Baltic passing, black with storm,
night To wintry Scandinavia's utmost bound;
Around them rages, on the groaning mast There, I the manly race,ll the parent hive
With unshook knee to know their giddy way ; or the mix'd kingdoms, form'd into a state To sing, unquell'd, amid the lashing wave; More regularly free. By keener air
To laugh at danger. Theirs the triumph be, Their genius purg'd, and temper'd hard by frost, By deep invention's keen pervading eye, Tempest and toil their nerves, the sons of those The heart of courage, and the hand of toil, Whose only terror was a bloodless death, 1 Each conquer'd ocean staining with their blood, They wise, and dauntless, still sustain my cause. Instead of treasure robb'd by ruffian war, Yet there I fix'd not. Turning to the south, Round social Earth to circle fair exchange, The whispering zephyrs sigh'd at my delay." And bind the nations in a golden chain.
To these I honor'd stoop. Rushing to light, * The Swiss Cantons.
A race of men behold! whose daring deeds † Geneva, situated on the Lacus Lemanus, a small Will in renown exalt my nameless plains state, but a noble example of the blessings of civil and O'er those of fabling Earth, as hers to mine religious liberty.
In terror yield. Nay, could my savage heart 1 The Swiss, after having been long absent from their Such glories check, their unsubmitting soul native country, are seized with such a violent desire of Would all my fury brave, my tempest climb, seeing it again, as affects them with a kind of languish. And might in spite of me my kingdom force.' ing indisposition, called the Swiss sickness.
Here, waiting no reply, the shadowy power s The Hanse Towns.
| The Swedes.
Eas'd the dark sky, and to the deeps return'd: 1 See note (**) p. 487.
While the loud thunder rattling from his hand, The fount of truth. The thoughtful Power, a part, Auspicious, shook opponent Gallia's shore.
Now, pensive, cast on Earth his fix'd regard, “Of this encounter glad, my way to land Now, touch'd celestial, lanch'd it on the sky. I quick pursued, that from the smiling sea The Genius he whence Britain shines supreme, Receiv'd me joyous. Loud acclaims were heard ; The land of light, and rectitude of mind. And music, more than mortal, warbling, fillid He too the fire of fancy feeds intense, With pleas'd astonishment the laboring hind, With all the train of passions thence derir'd: Who for a while the unfinish'd furrow left,
Not kindling quick, a noisy transient blaze, And let the listening steer forget his toil.
But gradual, silent, lasting, and profound. Unseen by grosser eye, Britannia breath'd, Near him Retirement, pointing to the shade, And her aërial train, these sounds of joy,
And Independence, stood : the generous pair, Full of old time, since first the rushing flood, That simple life, the quiet-whispering grove, Urg'd by Almighty Power, this favor'd isle And the still raptures of the free-born soul Turn'd flashing from the continent aside,
To cates prefer, by virtue bought, not earn'd, Indented shore to shore responsive still,
Proudly prefer them to the servile pomps, Its guardian she-the goddess, whose staid eye And to the heart-embitter'd joys of slaves. Beams the dark azure of the doubtful dawn. Or should the latter, to the public scene Her tresses, like a flood of soften'd light,
Demanded, quit his sylvan friend awhile ; Through clouds embrown'd, in waving circles play. Nought can his firmness shake, nothing seduce Warm on her cheek sits beauty's brightest rose : His zeal, still active for the common-weal; of high demeanor, stately, shedding grace
Nor stormy tyrants, nor corruption's tools, With every motion. Full her rising chest ; Foul ininisters, dark-working by the force And new ideas, from her finish'd shape,
Of secret-sapping gold. All their vile arts,
A moment’s parley were eternal shame :
From dirty levees he unsiain'd ascends,
And firm in senates stands the patriot's ground, “ The native Genii, round her, radiant smil'd. Or draws new vigor in the peaceful shade. Courage, of soft deportment, aspect calm,
Aloof the bashful Virtues hover'd coy, Unboasting, suffering long, and, till provok’d, Proving by sweet distrust distrusted worth. As mild and harmless as the sporting child; Rough Labor clos'd the train; and in his hand, Bu on just reason, once his fury rous'd,
Rude, us, sinew-swell'd, and black with toil, No lion springs more eager to his prey :
Came manly Indignation. Sour he seems, Blood is a pastime; and his heart, elate,
And more than seems, by lawful pride assail'd ; Knows no depressing fear. That Virtue known Yet kind at heart, and just, and generous, there By the relenting look, whose equal heart
No vengeance lurks, no pale insidious gall :
Ev’n in the very luxury of rage,
The nerve, support, and glory of the land !
Here pass'd in silence ; whose enraptur'd eye
Link'd to divine: who not from servile fear, She gives in public families to live,
By rites for some weak tyrant incense fit,
Effusing gladness, into pleasing awe
Of fearless confidence that smiles serene ;
That lives devotion, one continual hymn, Or whether to philosophy, and arts,
And then most grateful, when Heaven's bounty most (At once the basis and the finish'd pride
Is right enjoy’d. This ever-cheerful power Of government and life.) she spreads her hand; O'er the rais'd circle ray'd superior day. Nor knows her gift profuse, nor seems to know, “I joy’d to join the Virtues whence my reign Doubling her bounty, that she gives at all. O'er Albion was to rise. Each cheering each, Justice to these her awful presence join'd,
And, like the circling planets from the Sun, The mother of the state! No low revenge, All borrowing beams from me, a heighten'd zeal No turbid passions in her breast ferment:
Impatient fir'd us to commence our toils, Tender, serene, compassionate of vice,
Or pleasures rather. Long the pungent time As the last woe that can afflict mankind,
Pass'd not in mutual hails; but, through the land She punishment awards; yet of the good
Darting our light, we shone the fogs away, More piteous still, and of the suffering whole, “ The Virtues conquer with a single look. Awards it firm. So fair her just decree,
Such grace, such beauty, such victorious light, That, in his judging peers, each on himself Live in their presence, stream in every glance, Pronounces his own doom. O, happy land! That the soul won, enamour'd, and refind, Where reigns alone this justice of the free! Grows their own image, pure ethereal flame. 'Mid the bright group Sincerity his front,
Hence the foul demons, that oppose our reign, Diffusive, rear'd; his pure untroubled eye
Would still from us deluded mortals wrap;
Or in gross shades they drown the visual ray, To stoop, retir'd; and to their keen effort
Yielding at last, recoil'd the Roman power.
From sea to sea desponding legions rais'd
The last remains of empiref was recall'd
Unnerv'd, exhausted, spiritless, and sunk.
The sword behind him flash'd; before him roar'd, And all their works dissolve.—The whisper'd tale, Deaf to his woes, the deep.Ś Forlorn, around That, like the fabling Nile, no fountain knows; He roll’d his eye, not sparkling ardent flame, Fair-fac'd deceit, whose wily conscious eye
As when Caractacus || 1o battle led Ne'er looks direct. The tongue that licks the dust, Silurian swains, and Boadiceaf taught But, when it safely dares, as prompt to sting : Her raging troops the miseries of slaves. Smooth crocodile destruction, whose fell tears “ Then, (sad relief!) from the bleak coast that Ensnare. The Janus face of courtly pride ;
hears One to superiors heaves submissive eyes,
The German ocean roar, deep-blooming, strong, On hapless worth the other scowls disdain.
And yellow-hair'd, the blue-ey'd Saxon came. Cheeks that for some weak tenderness, alone, He came implor'd, but came with other aim Some virtuous slip, can wear a blush. The laugh Than to protect. For conquest and defence Profane, when midnight bowls disclose the heart, Suffices the same arm.
With the fierce race At starving virtue, and at virtue's fools.
Pour'd in a fresh invigorating stream; Determin'd to be broke, the plighted faith : Blood, where unquell’d a mighty spirit glow'd. Nay more, the godless oath that knows no ties. Rash war, and perilous batile their delight; Soti-buzzing slander; silky moths, that eat
And immature, and red with glorious wounds, An honest name. The harpy hand, and maw, Unpeaceful death their choice ;** deriving thence Of avaricious Luxury; who makes The throne his shelter, venal laws his fort, And, by his service, who betrays his king. Now turn your view, and mark from Celtic*/ which ran for eighty miles quite across the country,
* The wall of Severus, built upon Adrian's rampart, night
from the mouth of the Tyne to Solway Frith. To present grandeur how my Britain rose. " Bold were those Britons, who, the careless sons
| Irruptions of the Scots and Picts. Of Nature, roam'd the forest-bounds, at once
| The Roman empire being miserably torn by the Their verdant city, high-embowering fane,
northern nations, Britain was for ever abandoned by the And the gay circle of their woodland wars :
Romans, in the year 426 or 427. For by the Druidt taught, that death but shifts $ The Britons applying to Ætius, the Roman general, The vital scene, they that prime fear despis’d;
for assistance, thus expressed their miserable condition: And, prone to rush on steel, disdain'd to spare
“ We know not which way to turn us. The barbarians An ill-say'd life that must again return.
drive us to the sea, and the sea forces us back to the bar Erect from Nature's hand, by tyrant force,
barians; between which we have only the choice of two And still more tyrant custom, unsubdued,
deaths, either to be swallowed up by the waves, or butch:
ered by the sword." Man knows no master save creating Heaven, Or such as choice or common good ordain.
| King of the Silures, famous for his great exploits, and This general sense, with which the nations I
accounted the best general Great Britain had ever pro.
duced. The Silures were esteemed the bravest and most Promiscuous fire, in Britons burn'd intense,
powerful of all the Britons: they inhabited Herefordshire, Of future times prophetic. Witness, Rome, Who saw'st thy Cæsar, from the naked land,
Radnorshire, Brecknockshire, Monmouthshire, and GlaWhose only fort was British hearts, repellid,
morganshire. To seek Pharsalian wreaths. Witness, the toil,
1 Queen of the Iceni: her story is well known. The blood of ages, bootless to secure,
** It is certain, that an opinion was fixed and general Beneath an empire's 1 yoke, a stubborn isle, among them (the Goths) that death was but the entrance Disputed hard, and never quite subdued.
into another life ; that all men who lived lazy and inacThe North V remain'd untouch'd, where those who tive lives, and died natural deaths, by sickness or by age, scorn'd
went into vast caves under ground, all dark and miry, full of noisome creatures usual to such places, and there for ever grovelled in endless stench and misery. On the
contrary, all who gave themselves to warlike actions and * Great Britain was peopled by the Celtæ, or Gauls.
enterprises, to the conquest of their neighbors and the † The Druids, : nong the ancient Gauls and Britons, slaughter of their enemies, and died in battle, or of violent had the care and lirection of all religious matters. deaths upon bold adventures or resolutions, went imme1 The Roman empire.
diately to the vast hall or palace of Odin, their god of $ Caledonia, inhabited by the Scots and Picts; whither war, who eternally kept open house for all such guests, a great many Britons, who would not submit to the Ro. where they were entertained at infinite tables, in permans, retired,
petual feasts and mirth, carousing in bowls made of the
A right to feast, and drain immortal bowls
Thus cruel ages pass'd ; and rare appear'd
As when with Alfred,* from the wilds she came
Then set entire in Hastings't bloody field. Nor were the surly gifts of war their all.
Compendious war! (on Britain's glory bent, Wisdom was likewise theirs, indulgent laws, So Fate ordain'd) in that decisive day, The calm gradations of art-nursing peace,
The haughty Norman seiz'd at once an isle, And matchless order, the deep basis still
From which, through many a century, in vain, On which ascends my British reign. Untam'd The Roman, Saxon, Dane, had toil'd and bled. To the refining subtleties of slaves,
Of Gothic nations this the final burst;
Here the rich tide of English blood grew full.
Affrighted, droop'd beneath despotic rage.
Instead of Edward'st equal gentle laws, Of each harmonious power: only, too much The furious victor's partial will prevailid. Imperious war into their rule infus'd,
All prostrate lay; and, in the secret shade, Prevail'd their general-king, and chieftain-thanes. Deep-stung, but fearful, Indignation gnash'd “In many a field, by civil fury stain'd,
His teeth. of freedom, property, despoild, Bled the discordant heptarchy;* and long
And of their bulwark, arms; with castles crush'd, (Educing good from ill) the battle groan'd; With ruffians quarter'd o'er the bridled land; Ere, blood-cemented, Anglo-Saxons saw
The shivering wretches, at the curfew sound $ Egbertt and Peace on one united throne.
Dejected shrunk into their sordid beds, No sooner dawnd the fair disclosing calm And, through the mournful gloom, of ancient times Of brighter days, when, lo! the North anew, Mus'd sad, or dreamt of better. Ev'n to feed With stormy nations black, on England pour'd A tyrant's idle sport the peasant starvd: Woes the severest e'er a people felt.
To the wild herd, the pasture of the tame, The Danish raven, lur'd by annual prey,
The cheerful hamlet, spiry town, was given, Hung o'er the land incessant. Fleet on fleet And the brown forest || roughend wide around, Of barbarous pirates unremitting tore
But this so dead, so vile submission, long The miserable coast. Before them stalk'd, Endur'd not. Gathering force, my gradual flame Far-seen, the demon of devouring flame;
Shook off the mountain of tyrannic sway. Rapine, and murder, all with blood besmear'd, Unus'd to bend, impatient of control, Without or ear, or eye, or feeling heart;
Tyrants themselves the common tyrant check’d. While close behind them march'd the sallow power The church, by kings intractable and fierce, Of desolating famine, who delights
Denied her portion of the plunder'd state, In grass-grown cities, and in desert fields;
Or, tempted, by the timorous and weak, And purple-spotted pestilence, by whom
To gain new ground, first taught their rapine law. Ev'n friendship scard, in sickening horror sinks The barons next a nobler league began, Each social sense and tenderness of life.
Both those of English and of Norman race, Fixing at last, the sanguinary race
In one fraternal nation blended now, Spread, from the Humber's loud-resounding shore, The nation of the free !T press'd by a band To where the Thames devolves his gentle maze, Of patriots, ardent as the Summer's noon And with superior arm the Saxon aw'd.
That looks delighted on, the tyrant see! But superstition first, and monkish dreams,
Mark! how with feign'd alacrity he bears
His strong reluctance down, his dark revenge,
* Alfred the Great, renowned in war, and no less fa. Of conquering freedom, which he once respir'd.
mous in peace for his many excellent institutions, par. ticularly that of juries.
† The battle of Hastings, in which Harold II., the last skulls of their enemies they had slain ; according to the of the Saxon kings, was slain, and William the Con number of whom, every one in these mansions of plea- queror made himself master of England. sure was the most honored and best entertained.
| Edward III, the Confessor, who reduced the WestSir William Temple's Essay on Heroic Virtue. Saxon, Mercian, and Danish laws, into one body, which
from that time became common to all England, under the * The seven kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons, considered
name of the Laws of Edward. as being united into one common government, under a general in chief, or monarch, and by the means of an
§ The curfew bell (from the French couvrefeu,) which assembly general, or Wittenagemot.
was rung every night at eight of the clock, to warn the
English to put out their fires and candles, under the pen. | Egbert, king of Wessex, who, after having reduced
alty of a severe fine. all the other kingdoms of the heptarchy under his dominion, was the first king of England.
|| The New Forest, in Hampshire, t. make which the
country for above thirty miles in compass was laid | A famous Danish standard, called reafan, or raven.- waste. The Danes imagined that, before a battle, the raven
1 On the 5th of June, 1215, King John, met by the bar. wrought upon this standard clapt its wings or hung ons on Runnemede, signed the great charter of liberties, down its head, in token of victory or defeat,
or Magna Charta.