Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Where now the haughty Empire that was spread With such fond hope? her very speech is dead; Yet glorious Art the sweep of Time defies, And Trajan still, through various enterprise, Mounts, in this fine illusion, tow'rd the skies: Still are we present with the imperial Chief, Nor cease to gaze upon the bold Relief

Till Rome, to silent marble unconfined,

Becomes with all her years a vision of the Mind. —

XXXIII.

DION.

(SEE PLUTARCH.)

1.

FAIR is the Swan, whose majesty, prevailing
O'er breezeless water, on Locarno's lake,
Bears him on while proudly sailing

He leaves behind a moon-illumined wake:
Behold! the mantling spirit of reserve
Fashions his neck into a goodly curve;

An arch thrown back between luxuriant wings
Of whitest garniture, like fir-tree boughs
To which, on some unruffled morning, clings
A flaky weight of winter's purest snows!
-Behold! as with a gushing impulse heaves
That downy prow, and softly cleaves
The mirror of the crystal flood,

Vanish inverted hill, and shadowy wood,

And pendant rocks, where'er, in gliding state, Winds the mute Creature without visible Mate

Or rival, save the Queen of night
Showering down a silver light,

From heaven, upon her chosen favourite!

2.

So pure, so bright, so fitted to embrace,
Where'er he turned, a natural grace
Of haughtiness without pretence,
And to unfold a still magnificence,
Was princely Dion, in the power
And beauty of his happier hour.
Nor less the homage that was seen to wait
On Dion's virtues, when the lunar beam
Of Plato's genius, from its lofty sphere,
Fell round him in the grove of Academe,
Softening their inbred dignity austere ; —
That he, not too elate

With self-sufficing solitude,

But with majestic lowliness endued,

Might in the universal bosom reign, And from affectionate observance gain Help, under every change of adverse fate.

3.

Five thousand warriors O the rapturous day!

Each crowned with flowers, and armed with spear and shield, Or ruder weapon which their course might yield,

To Syracuse advance in bright array.

Who leads them on? The anxious People see

Long-exiled Dion marching at their head,
He also crowned with flowers of Sicily,
And in a white, far-beaming, corslet clad!
Pure transport undisturbed by doubt or fear
The Gazers feel; and, rushing to the plain,
Salute those Strangers as a holy train
Or blest procession (to the Immortals dear)
That brought their precious liberty again.
Lo! when the gates are entered, on each hand,
Down the long street, rich goblets filled with wine
In seemly order stand,

On tables set, as if for rites divine;

And, as the great Deliverer marches by,

He looks on festal ground with fruits bestrown; And flowers are on his person thrown

In boundless prodigality;

Nor doth the general voice abstain from prayer,

Invoking Dion's tutelary care,

As if a very Deity he were !

4.

Mourn, hills and groves of Attica! and mourn
Illyssus, bending o'er thy classic urn!

Mourn, and lament for him whose spirit dreads
Your once-sweet memory, studious walks and shades!
For him who to divinity aspired,

Not on the breath of popular applause,

But through dependence on the sacred laws

Framed in the schools where Wisdom dwelt retired,

Intent to trace the ideal path of right

(More fair than heaven's broad causeway paved with stars) Which Dion learned to measure with delight;

But he hath overleaped the eternal bars;

And, following guides whose craft holds no consent
With aught that breathes the ethereal element,
Hath stained the robes of civil power with blood,
Unjustly shed, though for the public good.
Whence doubts that came too late, and wishes vain,
Hollow excuses, and triumphant pain;

« AnteriorContinuar »