Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

CONTENTS,

As this part contains a description of the establishment of

Liberty in Rome, it begins with a view of the Grecian
colonies settled in the southern parts of Italy, which with
Sicily constituted the Great Greece of the Ancients.
With these colonies the Spirit of Liberty, and of Repub-
lics, spreads over Italy. Transition to Pythagoras and his
philosophy, which he taught through those free states and
cities. Amidst the many small Republics in Italy, Rome
the destined seat of Liberty. Her establishment there
dated from the expulsion of the Tarquins. How differing
from that in Greece. Reference to a view of the Roman
Republic given in the First Part of this Poem : to mark
its Rise and Fall the peculiar purport of This. During its
first ages, the greatest force of Liberty, and Virtue,
exerted. The source whence derived the Heroic Virtues
of the Romans. Enumeration of these Virtues. Thence
their security at home; their glory, success, and empire,
abroad. Bounds of the Roman empire geographically de-
scribed. The states of Greece restored to Liberty, by
Titus Quintus Flaminius, the highest instance of public
generosity and beneficence. The loss of Liberty in Rome.
Its causes, progress, and completion in the death of
Brutus. Rome under the emperors. From Rome the
Goddess of Liberty goes among the Northern Nations ;
where, by infusing into them her Spirit and general prin-
ciples, she lays the ground-work of her future establish-
ments; sends them in vengeance on the Roman empire,
now totally enslaved ; and then, with Arts and Sciences
in her train, quits earth during the dark ages. The ce.
lestial regions, to which Liberty retired, not proper to be
opened to the view of mortals.

LIBERTY.

PART III.

Here melting mix'd with air the ideal forms,
That painted still whate'er the Goddess sung.
Then I, impatient.—“ From extinguish'd Greece,
To what new region stream'd the Human Day?"
She softly sighing, as when Zephyr leaves,
Resign'd to Boreas, the declining year,
Resum'd.—“ Indignant, these ' last scenes I fled;
And long ere then, Leucadia's cloudy cliff,
And the Ceraunian hills behind me thrown,
All Latium stood arous'd. Ages before,
Great mother of republics! Greece had pourd,
Swarm after swarm, her ardent youth around.
On Asia, Afric, Sicily, they stoop'd,
But chief on fair Hesperia's winding shore;
Where, from ? Lacinium to Etrurian vales,
They roll'd increasing colonies along,
And lent materials for my Roman reign.
With them my spirit spread; and numerous states,
And cities rose, on Grecian models form’d;
As its parental policy, and arts,
Each had imbib'd. Besides, to each assign'd

1 The last struggles of Liberty in Greece. ? A promontory in Calabria.

A guardian Genius, o'er the public weal,
Kept an unclosing eye; try'd to sustain,
Or more sublime, the soul infus’d by me:
And strong the battle rose, with various wave,
Against the tyrant Demons of the land.
Thus they their little wars and triumphs knew;
Their flows of fortune, and receding times,
But almost all below the proud regard
Of story vow'd to Rome, on deeds intent
That Truth beyond the flight of Fable bore.

Not so the 3 Samian sage; to him belongs
The brightest witness of recording Fame.
For these free states his native 4 isle forsook,
And a vain tyrant's transitory smile,
He sought Crotona's pure salubrious air, [taught;
And through - Great Greece his gentle wisdom
Wisdom that calm’d for listening years the mind,
Nor ever heard amid the storm of zeal.
His mental eye first launch'd into the deeps
Of boundless æther; where unnumber'd orbs,
Myriads on myriads, through the pathless sky
Unerring roll, and wind their steady way.
There he the full consenting choir beheld;
There first discern'd the secret band of love,
The kind attraction, that to central suns
Binds circling earths, and world with world unites.
Instructed thence, he great ideas form'd
Of the whole-moving, all-informing God,
The Sun of beings! beaming unconfin'd

9 Pythagoras. 4 Samos, over which then reigned the tyrant Polycrates.

The southern parts of Italy and Sicily, so called because of the Grecian colonies there settled.

6 His scholars were enjoined silence for five years.

Light, life, and love, and ever-active power :
Whom nought can image, and who best approves
The silent worship of the moral heart,
That joys in bounteous heaven, and spreads the joy.
Nor scorn'd the soaring sage to stoop to life,
And bound his reason to the sphere of man.
He gave the four yet ? reigning virtues name;
Inspir'd the study of the finer arts,
That civilize mankind, and laws devis’d
Where with enlighten'd justice mercy mix’d.
He even, into his tender system, took
Whatever shares the brotherhood of life:
He taught that life's indissoluble flame,
From brute to man, and man to brute again,
For ever shifting, runs the eternal round;
Thence try'd against the blood-polluted meal,
And limbs yet quivering with some kindred soul,
To turn the human heart. Delightful truth!
Had he beheld the living chain ascend,
And not a circling form but rising whole.

Amid these small republics one arose,
On yellow Tyber's bank, almighty Rome,
Fated for me. A nobler spirit warm’d
Her sons; and, rous'd by tyrants, nobler still
It burn'd in Brutus ; the proud Tarquins chas’d,
With all their crimes; bade radiant æras rise,
And the long honours of the. Consul-line.

Here from the fairer, not the greater, plan
Of Greece I vary'd; whose unmixing states,
By the keen soul of emulation pierc'd,
Long wage'd alone the bloodless war of arts,
And their best empire gain'd. But to diffuse

7 The four cardinal virtues.

O'er men an empire was my purpose now:
To let my martial majesty abroad;
Into the vortex of one state to draw
The whole mix'd force, and liberty, on earth;
To conquer tyrants, and set nations free.

Already have I given, with flying touch,
A broken view of this my amplest reign.
Now, while its first, last, periods you survey,
Mark how it lab’ring rose, and rapid fell.

When Rome in noon-tide empire grasp'd the
And, soon as her resistless legions shone, (world,
The nations stoop'd around; though then appear'd
Her grandeur most, yet in her dawn of power,
By many a jealous equal people press’d,
Then was the toil, the mighty struggle then;
Then for each Roman I an hero told;
And every passing sun, and Latian scene,
Saw patriot virtues then, and awful deeds,
That or surpass the faith of modern times,
Or, if believ'd, with sacred horror strike.

For then, to prove my most exalted power, I to the point of full perfection push’d, To fondness and enthusiastic zeal, The great, the reigning passion of the free. That godlike passion! which, the bounds of self Divinely bursting, the whole public takes Into the heart, enlarg’d, and burning high With the mix'd ardour of unnumber'd selves; Of all who safe beneath the voted laws Of the same parent state, fraternal, live. From this kind sun of moral nature flow'd Virtues, that shine the light of human-kind, And, ray'd through story, warm remotest time. These virtues too, reflected to their source,

« AnteriorContinuar »