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I STOOD within the city disinterred t;
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls Of spirits passing through the streets; and heard The Mountain's slumberous voice at intervals
Thrill through those roofless halls ; The oracular thunder penetrating shook
The listening soul in my suspended blood;
The isle-sustaining Ocean flood,
Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre
But every living lineament was clear
As in the sculptor's thought; and there
Like winter leaves o'ergrown by moulded snow,
Because the crystal silence of the air
* The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baiæ 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 the scenes and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event.--Author's Note.
Then gentle winds arose,
With many a mingled close
And where the Baian ocean
Welters with air-like motion,
Moving the sea-flowers in those purple caves,
Floats o'er the Elysian realm,
No storm can overwhelm ;)
Of the dead kings of Melody *.
Of some ethereal host;
Whilst from all the coast,
STROPHE a, 1.
Naked, beneath the lidless eye of heaven!
* Homer and Virgil.
Elysian City, which to calm enchantest
The mutinous air and sea! they round thee, even
Long lost, late won, and yet but half regained !
Hail, hail, all hail !
STROPHE B. 2.
Which from the groaning earth
Last of the Intercessors
Who 'gainst the Crowned Transgressors Pleadest before God's love! Arrayed in Wisdom's mail,
Wave thy lightning lance in mirth ;
Nor let thy high heart fail, Though from their hundred gates the leagued Oppressors, With hurried legions move! Hail, hail, all hail !
What though Cimmerian Anarchs dare blaspheme
Freedom and thee? thy shield is as a mirror
the wearer ; A new Actaon's error Shall theirs have been—devoured by their own hounds!
Be thou like the imperial Basilisk, Killing thy foe with unapparent wounds!
Gaze on oppression, till, at that dread risk
from the Earth's disk; Fear not, but gaze—for freemen mightier grow, And slaves more feeble, gazing on their foe.
If Hope, and Truth, and Justice may avail,
ANTISTROPHE B. 2.
From Nature's inmost shrine,
O'er Ruin desolate,
O’er Falsehood's fallen state, Sit thou sublime, unawed; be the Destroyer pale!
And equal laws be thine,
And winged words let sail, Freighted with truth even from the throne of God : That wealth, surviving fate, be thine.-All hail !
ANTISTROPHE a. y.
From land to land re-echoed solemnly,
To the cold Alps, eternal Italy
Starts to hear thine! The Sea
In light and music; widowed Genoa wan,
Within whose veins long ran
(If Hope, and Truth, and Justice can avail)
* Ææa, the Island of Circe. | The viper was the armorial device of the Visconti, tyrants of Milan.
ANTISTROPHE B. 7.
Of cities fairest one,
From eyes of quenchless hope
Rome tears the priestly cope,
An athlete stript to run
From a remoter station
As then Hope, Truth, and Justice did avail,
EPODE I. B.
Arrayed against the ever-living Gods?
and thunder-clouds ?
With iron light is dyed,
Like Chaos o'er creation, uncreating;
Of the white Alps, desolating,
Famished wolves that bide no waiting, Blotting the glowing footsteps of old glory, Trampling our columned cities into dust,
Their dull and savage lust On Beauty's corse to sickness satiatingThey come! The fields they tread look black and hoary With fire—from their red feet the streams run gory !