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For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by envy than excess of praise.
Yet part no injuries of heav'n could feel,
Like crystal faithful to the graving steel:
The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade.
There names inscrib’d unnumber'd ages past,
From Time's first birth, with Time itself shall
These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter, with the length of
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of
Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And on th' impassive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent sky;
As Atlas fix’d, cach hoary pile appears,
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
On this foundation Fame's high Temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Greece be-
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell'd.
Four faces had the dome, and ev'ry face
Of various structure, but of equal grace :
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the diff'rent quarters of the sky.
Ilere fabled Chiefs, in darker ages born,
Or Worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn,
Who cities rais’d, or tam'd a monstrous race,
The walls in venerable order grace:
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And Legislators seem to think in stone.
Westward, a sumptuous frontispiece appear’d, On Doric pillars of white marble rear’d, Crown'd with an architrave of antique mold, And sculpture rising on the roughen'd gold. In shaggy spoils here THESEUS was beheld, And Perseus dreadful with Minerva’s shield:
There great ALCIDES, stooping with his toil, Rests on his club, and holds th' Hesperian
spoil : Ilere ORPHEUs sings; trees, moving to the sound, Start from their roots, and form a shade around: Amphion there the loud creating lyre Slikes, and beholds a sudden Thebes aspire ! CYTHERON's echoes answer to his call, And half the mountain rolls into a wall: There might you see the length’ning spires
ascend, The domes swell up, the widening arches bend, The growing tow’rs like exhalations rise, And the huge columns heave into the skies.
The Eastern front was glorious to behold,
With di’mond flaming, and Barbaric gold.
There NINUS shone, who spread th' Assyrian)
And the great founder of the Persian name :
There, in long robes, the royal Magi stand;
Grave ZOROASTER waves the circling wand;
*The sage CHALDEANS rob’d in white appear'd; And BRACHMANS, deep in desert woods rever'd. These stopp'd the moon, and call’d th' unbodied
To midnight banquets in the glimm'ring glades;
Made visionary fabrics round them rise,
And airy spectres skim before their
Of talismans and sigils knew the pow'r,
And careful watch'd the planetary hour.
Superior, and alone, CONFUCIUS stood,
Who taught that useful science-to be good.
But, on the South, a long majestic race Of Egypt's Priests the gilded niches grace, Who measur'd earth, describ'd the starry spheres, And trac'd the long records of lunar years. High on his car Sesostris struck my view, Whom sceptred slaves in golden harness drew: His hand a bow and pointed javelin hold; His giant limbs are arm'd in scales of gold. Between the statues obelisks were plac’d, And the learn'd walls with hieroglyphics gracid.
Of Gothic structure was the Northern side,
O'erwrought with ornaments of barb'rous pride:
There huge Colosses rose, with trophies crown'd;
And Runic characters were grav'd around.
There sat ZAMOLXIs with erected eyes ;
And ODIN here in mimic trances dies.
There on rude iron columns, smear'd with blood,
The horrid forms of Scythian Heroes stood,
Druids and Bards (their once loud harps un-
And youths that died to be by poets sung.
These, and a thousand more of doubtful fame,
To whom old fables gave a lasting name,
In ranks adorn’d the Temple's outward face:
The wall, in lustre and effect like glass,
Which o'er cach object casting various dyes,
Enlarges some, and others multiplies :
Nor void of emblem was the mystic wall ;
For thus romantic Fame increases all.
The Temple shakes, the sounding gates unfold; Wide vaults appcar, and roofs of fretted gold,