BETA

Scraps Of Italy.

V.

ROME.

O thou eternal Rome!—for to have been1
Is still to be—the world’s imperial Queen:2
Who but must feel thy tale of parted fame3
O’er his full heart as wide dominion claim,4
As when, on Conquest’s wing, thy eagle flew5
Where’er the billows roll’d, the breezes blew6
As when the Sun, beneath his fav’ring ray,7
Saw not thy rival, beam’d but on thy sway?8
Mid each dim vestige of thy sevenfold hill,9
How fallen, but how lovely art thou still!10
Home of the wise, the warlike, and the free,11
E’en in thy ruin what is like to Thee?12
The earth’s wide circuit boasts no scene so bright13
As the lone relics of thy vanish’d might.14
Nor could the sons of all thy pomp and power15
More fondly love thee in thy loftiest hour,16
Not mid the Lictor band’s encircling state,17
Not in the Forum’s high and free debate,18
Not in the mingling frenzy of the war,19
Not in the rapture of the victor’s car,20
Than he, who dares to tune this feeble lay,21
In mournful homage of thy mightier day ;22
Who, wand’ring mid these scatter’d wrecks alone,23
In thy dread destinies forgets his own ;24
Explores the broken arch, the crumbling fane,25
The doubtful hill, the desolated plain,26
Or idly stoops to cull the flowers, that wave,27
Fair and inglorious, o’er a Cæsar’s grave.28

VI.

THE BAY OF BAIÆ.

Yes! I have gazed from high Misenum’s steep29
O’er the blue waters of the Tyrrhene deep ;30
Have seen outspread before my dazzled eyes31
That glowing rivalry of seas and skies:32
The shore, the classic shore, around me lay,33
Each vine-clad precipice, each silv’ry bay ;34
There rose fair Pozzuoli’s patrician bowers,35
Baie’s rent fanes, and Cume’s ruin’d towers ;36
Green waved the copse, where lone Avernus slept ;37
Sparkling to shore Fusaro’s ripples crept ;38
Capri’s steep rock, and Ischia’s sloping height,39
Traced their dark outline in the vivid light ;40
While o’er the scene’s whole calm, yet bright repose,41
With soften’d terrors far Vesuvius rose.42
Each spot of haunted earth here breathed its tale43
Of the rapt Sybil—of the fated sail44
That wafted to this strand the Phrygian throng45
Of Scipio’s exile, and of Virgil’s song.46
Here too, the purple masters of mankind,47
The gorgeous cares of empire, pleased, resign’d,48
And sought beneath Campania’s azure sky49
A charm the world’s dominion could not buy :50
While Rome’s degen’rate nobles, fear’d no more51
On Zama’s plain, or Actium’s beetling shore,52
Forgot to sigh, mid Baiz’s golden bay,53
For Honour lost, or Freedom cast away.54