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Even with thy labour'd Pomp, for whose vain show
Deluded thousands ftarve; all age-begrim'd,
Torn, robb'd and scatter'd in unnumber'd facks, 230
And by the tempest of two thousand years
Continual fhaken, let my Ruins vie.
These roads that yet the Roman hand assert,
Beyond the weak repair of modern toil;
These fractur'd arches, that the chiding ftre am
No more delighted hear; these rich remains
Of marbles now unknown, where shines imbib'd
Each parent ray; these maffy columns, hew'd
From Afric's farthest shore; one granite all,
These obelisks high-towering to the sky,
Mysterious mark'd with dark Egyptian lore;
These endless wonders that this + Sacred Way
Illumine ftill, and confecrate to fame ; :
These fountains, vafes, urns, and statues, charg'd
With the fine ftores of art-compleating Greece.
Mine is, befides, thy every later boast:
Thy * BUONAROTIS, thy PALLADIOS mine ;
And mine the fair designs, which RAPHAEL's four
O'er the live canvas, emanating, breath'd.
What would you say, ye conquerers of earth! 250 Ye Romans! could you raise the laurel'd head ; Could you the country fee, by feas of blood, And the dread toil of ages, won so dear; Your pride, your triumph, your fupreme delight! For whofe defence oft, in the doubtful hour, You rush'd with rapture down the gulph of fate, Of death ambitious! till by awful deeds,
t Via facra..
M. ANGELO BUONAROTI, PALLADIO, and RATHAEL D'URBINO; the three great modern masters in sculp ture, architecture, and paintings, talks tudna
Virtues, and courage, that amaze mankind,
The queen of nations rofe; poffeft of all
Which nature, art, and glory could bestow ;
What would you say, deep in the last abyss
Of flavery, vice, and unambitious want,
Thus to behold her funk? Your crouded plains,
Void of their cities; unadorn'd your hills;
Ungrac'd your lakes; your ports to fhips unknown;
Your lawless floods, and your abandon'd streams: 266
These could you know? these could you love again?
Thy Tibur, HORACE, could it now inspire,
Content, poetic ease, and rural joy,
Soon bursting into fong: while thro' the groves 270
Of headlong Anio, dashing to the vale,
In many a tortur'd ftream, you mus'd along?
* Yon wild retreat, where superstition dreams,
Could, TULLY, you your Tufculum believe?
And could you deem yon naked hills, that form, 275
Fam'd in old fong, the fhip-forfaken + bay,
Your Formian fhore? Once the delight of earth,
Where art and nature, ever-fmiling, join'd
On the gay land to lavish all their stores.
How chang'd, how vacant, VIRGIL, wide around, 280
Would now your Naples feem? Disaster'd lefs
By black Vesuvius thundering o'er the coaft,
His midnight earthquakes, and his mining fires,
Than by defpotic rage ‡: that inward gnaws,
A native foe; a foreign, tears without.
* Tufculum is reckoned to have stood at a place now called Grotta Ferrata, a convent of monks.
+ The bay of Mola (anciently Formiae) into which HOMER brings ULYSSES,and his companions. Near Formide CICERO had a villa.
Naples, then under the Austrian government.
First from your flatter'd CAESARS this began:
Till, doom'd to tyrants an eternal prey,
Thin-peopled spreads, at laft, the || fyren plain,
That the dire foul of HANNIBAL disarm'd ;
And wrapt in weeds the § shore of Venus lyes.
There Baiae fees no more the joyous throng;
Her banks all beaming with the pride of Rome :
No generous vines now bask along the hills,
Where sport the breezes of the Tyrrhene main :
With baths and temples mixt, no villas rife ;
Nor, art-fuftain'd amid reluctant waves,
Draw the cool murmurs of the breathing deep:
No spreading ports their facred arms extend:
No mighty moles the big intrufive storm,
From the calm ftation, roll refounding back.
An almost total desolation fits,
A dreary stillness, faddening o'er the coast;
*Where, when foft funs and tepid winters rose,
Rejoicing crouds inhal'd the balm of peace;
Where city'd hill to hill reflected blaze;
And where, with Ceres, Bacchus wont to hold
A genial ftrife. Her youthful form, robust,
Even nature yields; by fire, and earthquake rent :
Whole stately cities in the dark abrupt
Swallow'd at once, or vile in rubbish laid,
A neft for ferpents; from the red abyfs
New hills, explofive, thrown; the Lucrine lake
Campagna felice, adjoining to Capua.
§ The coaft of Baiae; which was formerly adorned with the works mentioned in the fallowing lines; and where, a midst many magnificent ruins, those of a temple erected to Venus are still to be feen.
All along this coast, the ancient Romans had their tvinter retreats; and feveral populous cities food.
A reedy pool; and all to Cuma's point,
The fea recovering his ufurp'd domain,
And pour'd triumphant o'er the bury'd dome.
Hence, BRITAIN, learn; my best-establish'd, last,
And more than GREECE, or ROME, my fteady reign;
The land where, King and People equal bound
By guardian laws, my fulleft bleffings flow;
And where my jealous unfubmitting foul,
The dread of tyrants! burns in every breast:
Learn hence, if such the miferable fate
Of an heroic race, the masters once
Of human kind; what, when depriv'd of Mɛ,
How grievous must be thine? In fpite of climes, 325
Whofe fun-enliven'd aether wakes the foul
To higher powers; in fpite of happy foils,
That, but by labour's slightest aid impell❜d,
With treasures teem to thy cold clime unknown;
If there defponding fail the common arts,
And fuftenance of life: could life itself,
Far lefs a thoughtless tyrant's hollow pomp,
Subsist with thee? Against depreffing skies,
Join'd to full-fpread Oppreffion's cloudy brow,
How could thy spirits hold? where vigour find, 335
Forc'd fruits to tear from their unnative foil
Or, storing every harvest in thy ports,
To plow the dreadful all-producing wave?
Here paus'd the GODDESS. By the paufe affur'd, In treinbling accents thus I mov❜d my prayer. "Oh firft, and most benevolent of powers! "Come from eternal fplendors, here on earth, "Against defpótic pride, and rage, and luft, "To fhield mankind; to raise them to affèrt The native rights and honour of their race : Teach me thy lowest subject, but in zeal
"Yielding to none, the PROGRESS OF THY REIGN, "And with a ftrain from THEE enrich the Mufe. "AS THEE alone fhe ferves, her patron, THOU, "And great inspirer be! then will the joy, "Tho' narrow life her lot, and private shade: "And when her venal voice fhe barters vile, "Or to thy open or thy fecret foes;
"May ne'er those sacred raptures touch her more,
By flavish hearts unfelt! and may her fong 355 "Sink in oblivion with the nameless crew! "Vermin of state! to thy o'erflowing light "That owe their being, yet betray thy cause."
Then, condescending kind, the HEAVENLY POWER Return'd." What here, fuggefted by the scene, 360 "I flight unfold, record, and fing at home, "In that bleft ifle, where (fo we spirits move) "With one quick effort of my will I am. "There TRUTH, unlicens'd, walks; and dares acco "Even kings themselves, the monarchs of the Free! "Fix'd on my rock, there, an indulgent race, 366 "O'er BRITONS wield the fceptre of their choice: "And there, to finish what his fires began, "A PRINCE behold! for ME who burns fincere, "Even with a subject's zeal. He my great work 370 "Will parent-like fuftain; and added givé
"The touch, the Graces and the Mufes owe.
"For BRITAIN's glory fwells his panting breast; "And ancient arts he emulous revolves: "His pride to let the fmiling heart abroad; "Thro' clouds of pomp, that but conceal the man; "To please his pleasure; bounty his delight; "And all the foul of TITUs dwells in him."
Hail, glorious theme! But how, alas! fhall verse From the crude ftores of mortal language drawn, 380