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Yet will I temperately rejoice;

Wide is the range, and free the choice
Of undiscordant themes;

Which, haply, kindred souls may prize
Not less than vernal ecstasies,
And passion's feverish dreams.

For deathless powers to verse belong,
And they like Demi-gods are strong
On whom the Muses smile;

But some their function have disclaimed,

Best pleased with what is aptliest framed To enervate and defile.

Not such the initiatory strains
Committed to the silent plains

In Britain's earliest dawn:

Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale, While all-too-daringly the veil

Of Nature was withdrawn!

Nor such the spirit-stirring note

When the live chords Alcæus smote,

Inflamed by sense of wrong;

Woe! woe to Tyrants! from the lyre
Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire
Of fierce vindictive song.

And not unhallowed was the page

By winged Love inscribed, to assuage The pangs of vain pursuit ;

Love listening while the Lesbian Maid With finest touch of passion swayed Her own Æolian lute.

O ye who patiently explore

The wreck of Herculanean lore,
What rapture! could ye seize
Some Theban fragment, or unroll
One precious, tender-hearted scroll
Of pure Simonides.

That were, indeed, a genuine birth
Of

poesy; a bursting forth

Of Genius from the dust:

What Horace gloried to behold,

What Maro loved, shall we enfold?

Can haughty Time be just!

XXXII.

THE PILLAR OF TRAJAN.

WHERE Towers are crushed, and unforbidden weeds
O'er mutilated arches shed their seeds;
And Temples, doomed to milder change, unfold
A new magnificence that vies with old;
Firm in its pristine majesty hath stood

A votive column, spared by fire and flood; -
And, though the passions of Man's fretful race

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Have never ceased to eddy round its base,
Not injured more by touch of meddling hands
Than a lone Obelisk, 'mid Nubian sands,
Or aught in Syrian deserts left to save,

From death the memory of the Good and Brave.
Historic figures round the shaft embost

Ascend, with lineaments in air not lost :

Still as he turns, the charmed Spectator sees Group winding after group with dream-like ease; Triumphs in sunbright gratitude displayed,

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Or softly stealing into modest shade.

So, pleased with purple clusters to entwine

Some lofty elm-tree, mounts the daring vine;

The woodbine so, with spiral grace, and breathes
Wide-spreading odours from her flowery wreaths.

Borne by the Muse from rills in shepherds' ears
Murmuring but one smooth story for all years,
I gladly commune with the mind and heart
Of him who thus survives by classic art,
His actions witness, venerate his mien,
And study Trajan as by Pliny seen;

Behold how fought the Chief whose conquering swor
Stretched far as Earth might own a single lord ;
In the delight of moral prudence schooled,
How feelingly at home the Sovereign ruled;
Best of the good-in Pagan faith allied
To more than Man, by virtue deified.

Memorial Pillar! 'mid the wrecks of Time Preserve thy charge with confidence sublime The exultations, pomps, and cares of Rome, Whence half the breathing world received its doom; Things that recoil from language; that, if shewn By apter pencil, from the light had flown.

A Pontiff, Trajan here the Gods implores,

There greets an Embassy from Indian shores;

Lo! he harangues his cohorts there the storm
Of battle meets him in authentic form!

Unharnessed, naked, troops of Moorish horse

Sweep to the charge; more high, the Dacian force,

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None bleed, and none lie prostrate but the foe;

In every Roman, through all turns of fate,
Is Roman dignity inviolate;

Spirit in Him pre-eminent, who guides,
Supports, adorns, and over all presides;
Distinguished only by inherent State

From honoured Instruments that round him wait;
Rise as he may, his grandeur scorns the test
Of outward symbol, nor will deign to rest
On aught by which another is deprest.*

Alas! that One thus disciplined could toil
To enslave whole Nations on their native soil;
So emulous of Macedonian fame,

That, when his age was measured with his aim,
He drooped, 'mid else unclouded victories,

And turned his eagles back with deep-drawn sighs;
O weakness of the Great! O folly of the Wise!

* See Forsythe.

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