« EelmineJätka »
The fort of Greece! without one giddy hour,
One shock of faction, or of party-rage.
For, drain'd the springs of wealth, corruption there
Lay wither'd at the root. Thrice-happy land!
Had not neglected art, with weedy vice
Confounded, sunk. But if Athenian arts
Lov'd not the soil; yet there the calm abode
Of wisdom, virtue, philosophic ease,
Of manly sense and wit, in frugal phrase
Confin'd, and press'd into laconic force.
There, too, by rooting thence still treacherous self,
The public and the private grew the same.
The children of the nursing public hall,
And at its table fed, for that they toil'd,
For that they liv'd entire, and ev'n for that
The tender mother urg'd her son to die.
"Of softer genius, but not less intent
To seize the palm of empire, Athens rose:
Where, with bright marbles big and future pomp,
Hymettus* spread, amid the scented sky,
His thymy treasures to the laboring bee,
And to botanic hand the stores of health:
Wrapt in a soul-attenuating clime,
Between Ilissus and Cephissust glow'd
This hive of science, shedding sweets divine,
Of active arts, and animated arms.
There, passionate for me, an easy-mov'd,
A quick, refin'd, a delicate, humane,
Enlighten'd people reign'd. Oft on the brink
Of ruin, hurried by the charm of speech,
Enforcing hasty counsel immature,
Totter'd the rash democracy; unpois'd,
And by the rage devour'd, that ever tears
A populace unequal; part too rich,
And part or fierce with want, or abject grown.
Solon, at last, their mild restorer, rose :
Allay'd the tempest; to the calm of laws
Reduc'd the settling whole; and, with the weight
Which the two senates to the public lent,
As with an anchor fix'd the driving state.
"Nor was my forming care to these confin'd.
For emulation through the whole I pour'd,
Noble contention! who should most excel
In government well-pois'd, adjusted best
To public weal: in countries cultur'd high:
In ornamented towns, where order reigns,
Free social life, and polish'd manners fair:
In exercise, and arms; arms only drawn
For common Greece, to quell the Persian pride:
In moral science, and in graceful arts.
Hence, as for glory peacefully they strove,
The prize grew greater, and the prize of all.
By contest brighten'd, hence the radiant youth
Pour'd every beam; by generous pride inflam'd,
Felt every ardor burn: their great reward
The verdant wreath, which sounding Pisas gave.
'Hence flourish'd Greece; and hence a race of
As gods by conscious future times ador'd:
*A mountain near Athens.
†Two rivers, betwixt which Athens was situated.
The Areopagus, or supreme court of judicature, which Solon reformed and improved; and the council of four hundred, by him instituted. In this council all affairs of state were deliberated, before they came to be voted in the assembly of the people.
§ Or Olympia, the city where the Olympic games were
In whom each virtue wore a smiling air,
Each science shed o'er life a friendly light,
Each art was nature. Spartan valor hence,
At the fam'd pass,* firm as an isthinus stood;
And the whole eastern ocean, waving far
As eye could dart its vision, nobly check'd,
While in extended battle, at the field
Of Marathon, my keen Athenians drove
Before their ardent band, an host of slaves.
Hence through the continent ten thousand
Urg'd a retreat, whose glory not the prime
Of victories can reach. Deserts, in vain,
Oppos'd their course; and hostile lands, unknown;
And deep rapacious floods, dire-bank'd with death;
And mountains, in whose jaws destruction grinn'd,
Hunger, and toil; Armenian snows, and storms;
And circling myriads still of barbarous foes.
Greece in their view, and glory yet untouch'd,
Their steady column pierc'd the scattering herds,
Which a whole empire pour'd; and held its way
Triumphant, by the sage-exalted chieft
Fir'd and sustain'd. Oh, light and force of mind,
Almost almighty in severe extremes!
The sea at last from Colchian mountains seen, Kind-hearted transport round their captains threw The soldiers' fond embrace; o'erflow'd their eyes With tender floods, and loos'd the general voice, To cries resounding loud- The sea! the sea!”
"In Attic bounds hence heroes, sages, wits, Shone thick as stars, the milky-way of Greece! And though gay wit and pleasing grace was theirs, All the soft modes of elegance and ease;
Yet was not courage less, the patient touch
Of toiling art, and disquisition deep.
"My spirit pours a vigor through the soul,
Th' unfetter'd thought with energy inspires,
Invincible in arts, in the bright field
Of nobler science, as in that of arms.
Athenians thus not less intrepid burst
The bonds of tyrant darkness, than they spurn
The Persian chains: while through the city, full
Of mirthful quarrel, and of witty war,
Incessant struggled taste refining taste,
And friendly free discussion, calling forth
From the fair jewel truth its latent ray.
O'er all shone out the great Athenian sage,
And father of philosophy: the sun,
From whose white blaze emerg'd, each various sect
Took various tints, but with diminish'd beam.
Tutor of Athens! he, in every street,
Dealt priceless treasure! goodness his delight,
Wisdom his wealth, and glory his reward.
Deep through the human heart, with playful art,
His simple question stole: as into truth,
And serious deeds, he smil'd the laughing race;
Taught moral happy life, whate'er can bless,
Or grace mankind; and what he taught he was.
Compounded high, though plain, his doctrine broke
In different schools. The bold poetic phrase
Of figur'd Plato; Xenophon's pure strain,
Like the clear brook that steals along the vale;
Th' exalted Stoic pride; the Cynic sneer;
Dissecting truth, the Stagyrite's keen eye;
The slow-consenting Academic doubt;
And, joining bliss to virtue, the glad ease
Of Epicurus, seldom understood.
They, ever candid, reason still oppos'd
To reason; and, since virtue was their aim,
Each by sure practice tried to prove his way
The best. Then stood untouch'd the solid base
Of Liberty, the liberty of mind:
For systems yet, and soul-enslaving creeds,
Slept with the monsters of succeeding times.
From priestly darkness sprung th' enlightening arts
of fire, and sword, and rage, and horrid names.
"O, Greece! thou sapient nurse of finer arts!
Which to bright science blooming fancy bore,
Be this thy praise, that thou, and thou alone,
In these hast led the way, in these excell'd,
Crown'd with the laurel of assenting time.
In thy full language, speaking mighty things;
Like a clear torrent close, or else diffus'd
A broad majestic stream, and rolling on
Through all the winding harmony of sound:
In it the power of eloquence, at large,
Breath'd the persuasive or pathetic soul;
Still'd by degrees the democratic storm,
Or bade it threatening rise, and tyrants shook,
Flush'd at the head of their victorious troops.
In it the Muse, her fury never quench d,
By mean unyielding phrase, or jarring sound,
Her unconfin'd divinity display'd;
And, still harmonious, form'd it to her will:
Or soft depress'd it to the shepherd's moan,
Or rais'd it swelling to the tongue of gods.
"Heroic song was thine; the fountain-bard,*
Whence each poetic stream derives its course.
Thine the dread moral scene, thy chief delight!
Where idle Fancy durst not mix her voice,
When Reason spoke august; the fervent heart
Or plain'd, or storm'd; and in th' impassion'd man,
Concealing art with art, the poet sunk.
This potent school of manners, (but when left
To loose neglect, a land-corrupting plague,)
Was not unworthy deem'd of public care,
And boundless cost, by thee; whose every son,
Ev'n last mechanic, the true taste possess'd
Of what had flavor to the nourish'd soul.
In tresses, braided gay, the marble wav'd;
Flow'd in loose robes, or thin transparent veils;
Sprung into motion; soften'd into flesh;
Was fir'd to passion, or refin'd to soul.
"Nor less thy pencil, with creative touch,
Shed mimic life, when all thy brightest dame
Assembled, Zeuxis in his Helen mix'd.
And when Apelles, who peculiar knew
To give a grace that more than mortal smil'd,
The soul of beauty! call'd the queen of Love,
Fresh from the billows, blushing orient charms.
Ev'n such enchantment then thy pencil pour'd,
That cruel-thoughted War th' impatient torch
Dash'd to the ground; and, rather than destroy
The patriot picture, let the city 'scape.t
First elder Sculpture taught her sister Art
Correct design; where great ideas shone,
And in the secret trace expression spoke :
Taught her the graceful attitude; the turn,
And beauteous airs of head; the native act,
Or bold, or easy; and, cast free behind,
The swelling mantle's well-adjusted flow.
Then the bright Muse, their elder sister, came;
And bade her follow where she led the way:
Bade earth, and sea, and air, in colors rise;
And copious action on the canvas glow:
Gave her gay fable; spread invention's store;
Enlarg'd her view; taught composition high,
And just arrangement, circling round one point,
That starts to sight, binds and commands the whole
Caught from the heavenly Muse a nobler aim,
And, scorning the soft trade of mere delight,
O'er all thy temples, porticoes, and schools,
Heroic deeds she trac'd, and warm display'd
Each moral beauty to the ravish'd eye.
There, as th' imagin'd presence of the god
Arous'd the mind, or vacant hours induc'd
Calm contemplation, or assembled youth
Burn'd in ambitious circle round the sage,
The living lesson stole into the heart,
With more prevailing force than dwells in words.
These rouse to glory; while, to rural life,
The softer canvas oft repos'd the soul.
There gaily broke the sun-illumin'd cloud;
The lessening prospect, and the mountain blue,
Vanish'd in air; the precipice frown'd, dire;
White, down the rock the rushing torrent dash'd;
The Sun shone, trembling, o'er the distant main;
The tempest foam'd, immense; the driving storm
Sadden'd the skies, and, from the doubling gloom,
On the scath'd oak the ragged lightning fell;
"Thy fair ideas, thy delightful forms, By Love imagin'd, by the Graces touch'd,
With peace, and love, and innocence around,
Pip'd the lone shepherd to his feeding flock:
Round happy parents smil'd their younger selves;
And friends convers'd, by death divided long.
The boast of well-pleas'd Nature! Sculpture seiz'd, In closing shades, and where the current strays,
And bade them ever smile in Parian stone.
Selecting beauty's choice, and that again
Exalting, blending in a perfect whole,
Thy workmen left ev'n Nature's self behind.
From those far different, whose prolific hand
Peoples a nation; they, for years on years,
By the cool touches of judicious toil,
Their rapid genius curbing, pour'd it all
Through the live features of one breathing stone.
There, beaming full, it shone, expressing gods:
Jove's awful brow, Apollo's air divine,
The fierce atrocious frown of sinew'd Mars,
Or the sly graces of the Cyprian queen.
Minutely perfect all! Each dimple sunk,
And every muscle swell'd, as Nature taught.
"To public Virtue thus the smiling Arts,
Unblemish'd handmaids, serv'd! the Graces they
To dress this fairest Venus. Thus rever'd,
And plac'd beyond the reach of sordid care,
The high awarders of immortal fame,
Alone for glory thy great masters strove;
"The sweet enforce of the poetic strain,
Thine was the meaning music of the heart.
Not the vain trill, that, void of passion, runs
In giddy mazes, tickling idle ears;
But that deep-searching voice, and artful hand,
To which respondent shakes the varied soul.
When Demetrius besieged Rhodes, and could have reduced the city, by setting fire to that quarter of it where stood the house of the celebrated Protogenes, he chose rather to raise the siege, than hazard the burning of a famous picture called Jalysus, the masterpiece of that painter.
Courted by kings, and by contending states
Assum'd the boasted honor of their birth.
"In Architecture, too, thy rank supreme!
That art where most magnificent appears
The little builder man; by thee refin'd,
And, smiling higa, to full perfection brought.
Such thy sure rules, that Goths of every age,
Who scorn'd their aid, have only loaded Earth
With labor'd heavy monuments of shame.
Not those gay domes that o'er thy splendid shore
Shot, all proportion, up. First unadorn'd,
And nobly plain, the manly Doric rose;
Th' Ionic then, with decent matron grace,
Her airy pillar heav'd; luxuriant last,
The rich Corinthian spread her wanton wreath.
The whole so measur'd true, so lessen'd off
By fine proportion, that the marble pile,
Form'd to repel the still or stormy waste
Of rolling ages, light as fabrics look'd
That from the magic wand aërial rise.
"These were the wonders that illumin'd Greece,
From end to end."-Here interrupting warm,
"Where are they now?" I cried, "say, goddess,
When Xerxes pour'd his millions o'er the land,
Sparta, by turns, and Athens, vilely sued;
Sued to be venal parricides, to spill
Their country's bravest blood, and on themselves
To turn their matchless mercenary arms.
Peaceful in Susa, then, sate the great king;*
And by the trick of treaties, the still waste
Of sly corruption, and barbaric gold,
Effected what his steel could ne'er perform.
Profuse he gave them the luxurious draught,
Inflaming all the land: unbalanc'd wide
Their tottering states; their wild assemblies rul'd
As the winds turn at every blast the seas:
And by their listed orators, whose breath
Still with a factious storm infested Greece,
Rous'd them to civil war, or dash'd them down
To sordid peace.t-Peace! that, when Sparta
And what the land thy darling thus of old?"
"Sunk!" she resum'd: "deep in the kindred
Astonish'd Artaxerxes on his throne,
Gave up, fair-spread o'er Asia's sunny shore,
Their kindred cities, to perpetual chains.
What could so base, so infamous a thought,
In Spartan hearts inspire? Jealous, they saw
Respiring Athens rear again her walls;
And the pale fury fir'd them, once again
To crush this rival city to the dust.
For now no more the noble social soul
Of Liberty my families combin'd;
But by short views, and selfish passions, broke,
Dire as when friends are rankled into foes,
They mix'd severe, and wag'd eternal war;
Nor felt they, furious, their exhausted force;
Nor, with false glory, discord, madness blind,
Saw how the blackening storm from Thracia came.
Long years roll'd on, by many a battle stain'd,
The blush and boast of Fame! where courage, art,
And military glory, shone supreme:
But let detesting ages, from the scene
Of Greece self-mangled, turn the sickening eye.
At last, when bleeding from a thousand wounds,
She felt her spirits fail; and in the dust
Her latest heroes, Nicias, Conon, lay,
Agesilaus, and the Theban Friends :||
The Macedonian vulture mark'd his time,
By the dire scent of Charonea lur'd,¶
And, fierce-descending, seiz'd his hapless prey.
"Thus tame submitted to the victor's yoke
Greece, once the gay, the turbulent, the bold;
For every Grace, and Muse, and Science born;
With arts of war, of government, elate;
To tyrants dreadful, dreadful to the best;
Whom I myself could scarcely rule: and thus
The Persian fetters, that enthrall'd the mind,
Were turn'd to formal and apparent chains.
"Unless Corruption first deject the pride,
Of superstition, and of slavery, sunk!
No glory now can touch their hearts, benumb'd
By loose dejected sloth and servile fear;
No science pierce the darkness of their minds;
No nobler art the quick ambitious soul
Of imitation in their breast awake.
Ev'n, to supply the needful arts of life,
Mechanic toil denies the hopeless hand.
Scarce any trace remaining, vestige grey,
Or nodding column on the desert shore,
To point where Corinth or where Athens stood.
A faithless land of violence, and death!
Where Commerce parleys, dubious, on the shore;
And his wild impulse curious search restrains,
Afraid to trust th' inhospitable clime.
Neglected Nature fails; in sordid want
Sunk, and debas'd, their beauty beams no more.
The Sun himself seems angry, to regard,
Of light unworthy, the degenerate race;
And fires them oft with pestilential rays:
While Earth, blue poison steaming on the skies,
Indignant, shakes them from her troubled sides.
But as from man to man, Fate's first decree,
Impartial Death the tide of riches rolls,
So states must die, and Liberty go round.
"Fierce was the stand, ere virtue, valor, arts,
And the soul fir'd by me (that often, stung
With thoughts of better times and old renown,
From hydra-tyrants tried to clear the land)
Lay quite extinct in Greece, their works effac'd,
So the kings of Persia were called by the Greeks.
And gross o'er all unfeeling bondage spread.
Sooner I mov'd my much-reluctant flight,
†The peace made by Antalcidas, the Lacedæmonian
Pois'd on the doubtful wing: when Greece with admiral, with the Persians; by which the Lacedæmoni-
ans abandoned all the Greeks established in the Lesser Asia to the dominion of the king of Persia.
Embroil'd in foul contention fought no more
For common glory, and for common weal:
But, false to freedom, sought to quell the free;
Broke the firm band of peace, and sacred love
That lent the whole irrefragable force;
And, as around the partial trophy blush'd,
Prepar'd the way for total overthrow.
Then to the Persian power, whose pride they scorn'd, don utterly defeated the Greeks.
Athens had been dismantled by the Lacedæmonians, at the end of the first Peloponnesian war, and was at this time restored by Conon to its former splendor § The Peloponnesian war. Pelopidas and Epaminondas.
The battle of Chæronea, in which Philip of Mace
And guardian vigor of the free-born soul,
All crude attempts of violence are vain;
For, firm within, and while at heart untouch'd,
Ne'er yet by force was Freedom overcome.
But soon as Independence stoops the head,
To vice enslav'd, and vice-created wants;
Then to some foul corrupting hand, whose waste
These heighten'd wants with fatal bounty feeds:
From man to man the slackening ruin runs,
Till the whole state unnerv'd in slavery sinks."
geance on the Roman empire, now totally enslaved; and then, with arts and sciences in her train, quits Earth during the dark ages. The celestial regions, to which Liberty retired, not proper to be opened to the view of mortals.
The Contents of Part III.
As this part contains a description of the establish- Of story vow'd to Rome, on deeds intent
That truth beyond the flight of fable bore.
ment 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 colo-
nies the spirit of Liberty, and of republics,
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 Ro-Binds circling earths, and world with world unites.
Instructed thence, he great ideas form'd
"Not so the Samian sage ;† to him belongs
The brightest witness of recording fame.
For these free states his native islet forsook,
And a vain tyrant's transitory smile;
He sought Crotona's pure salubrious air,
And through Great Greece his gentle wisdom taugh
Wisdom that calm'd for listening years the mind,}
Nor ever heard amid the storm of zeal.
His mental eye first lanch'd into the deeps
of boundless ether; where unnumber'd orbs,
Myriads on myriads, through the pathiess 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
Enumeration of these virtues. Thence
their security at home: their glory, success, Of the whole-moving, all-informing God, empire, abroad. Bounds of the Roman empire, The Sun of beings! beaming unconfin'd geographically described. The states of Greece Light, life, and love, and ever-active power: restored to Liberty by Titus Quintus Flaminius, Whom nought can image, and who best approves the highest instance of public generosity and be- The silent worship of the moral heart, neficence. The loss of Liberty in Rome. That joys in bounteous Heaven, and spreads the joy causes, progress, and completion in the death of Nor scorn'd the soaring sage to stoop to life, Brutus. Rome under the emperors. From Rome, And bound his reason to the sphere of man. He gave the four yet reigning virtues¶ name; the goddess of Liberty goes among the Northern nations; where, by infusing into them her spirit Inspir'd the study of the finer arts, and general principles, she lays the groundwork That civilize mankind, and laws devis'd Where with enlighten'd justice mercy mix'd. He ev'n, 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 th' eternal round; Thence tried against the blood-polluted meal, And limbs yet quivering with some kindred soul, To turn the human heart. Delightful truth!
of her future establishments: sends them in ven
HERE melting mix'd with air th' 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,
The last struggles of liberty in Greece.
And the Ceraunian hills behind me thrown,
All Latium stood arous'd. Ages before,
Great mother of republics! Greece had pour'd.
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
A guardian genius, o'er the public weal,
Kept an unclosing eye; tried 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
* A promontory in Calabria.
Samos, over which then reigned the tyrant Polycrates.
The southern parts of Italy, and Sicily, so called because of the Grecian colonies there settled.
His scholars were enjoined silence for five years.
The four cardinal virtues.
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 eras rise,
And the long honors of the consul-line.
"Here, from the fairer, not the greater, plan Of Greece I varied; whose unmixing states, By the keen soul of emulation pierc'd,
Long wag'd alone the bloodless war of arts,
And their best empire gain'd. But to diffuse
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 laboring rose, and rapid fell.
"When Rome in noon-tide empire grasp'd the
And, soon as her resistless legions shone,
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 or enthusiastic zeal,
While he his honest roots to gold preferr'd;
While truly rich, and by his Sabine field,
The man maintain'd, the Roman's splendor all
Was in the public wealth and glory plac'd:
Or ready, a rough swain, to guide the plow;
Or else, the purple o'er his shoulder thrown,
In long majestic flow, to rule the state,
With Wisdom's purest eye; or, clad in steel,
To drive the steady battle on the foe.
Hence every passion, ev'n the proudest, stoop'd
To common good: Camillus, thy revenge;
Thy glory, Fabius. All submissive hence,
Consuls, dictators, still resign'd their rule,
The very moment that the laws ordain'd.
Though Conquest o'er them clapp'd her eagle-wings,
Her laurels wreath'd, and yok'd her snowy steeds
To the triumphal car; soon as expir'd
The latest hour of sway, taught to submit,
(A harder lesson that than to command,)
Into the private Roman sunk the chief.
If Rome was serv'd, and glorious, careless they
By whom. Their country's fame they deem'd their
And, above envy, in a rival's train,
Sung the loud Iös by themselves deserv'd.
Hence matchless courage. On Cremera's bank,
Hence fell the Fabii; hence the Decii died;
And Curtius plung'd into the flaming gulf.
Hence Regulus the wavering fathers firm'd,
By dreadful counsel never giv'n before,
For Roman honor sued, and his own doom.
Hence he sustain'd to dare a death prepar'd
By Punic rage. On earth his manly look
Relentless fix'd, he from a last embrace,
By chains polluted, put his wife aside,
His little children climbing for a kiss; [friends,
Then dumb through rows of weeping wondering
A new illustrious exile! press'd along.
Nor less impatient did he pierce the crowds
Opposing his return, than if, escap'd
From long litigious suits, he glad forsook
The noisy town awhile, and city cloud,
To breathe Venafrian or Tarentine air.
Need I these high particulars recount?
The meanest bosom felt a thirst for fame,
Flight their worst death, and shame their only fear
Life had no charms, nor any terrors fate,
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 ardor 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,
Increas'd its flame. The social charm went round, Mark the rare boast of these unequal'd times.
The fair idea, more attractive still,
As more by virtue mark'd: till Romans, all
One band of friends, unconquerable grew.
When Rome and glory call'd. But, in one view
Ages revolv'd unsullied by a crime;
"Hence, when their country rais'd her plaintive
The voice of pleading Nature was not heard ;
And in their hearts the fathers throbb'd no more:
Stern to themselves, but gentle to the whole.
Hence sweeten'd pain, the luxury of toil;
Patience, that baffled Fortune's utmost rage;
High-minded Hope, which at the lowest ebb,
When Brennus conquer'd, and when Canne bled,
The bravest impulse felt, and scorn'd despair.
Hence, Moderation a new conquest gain'd;
As on the vanquish'd, like descending Heaven,
Their dewy mercy dropp'd, their bounty beam'd,
And by the laboring hand were crowns bestow'd.
Fruitful of men, hence hard laborious life,
Which no fatigue can quell, no season pierce.
Hence, Independence, with his little pleas'd,
Serene, and self-sufficient, like a god;
In whom Corruption could not lodge one charm,
Astrea reign'd, and scarcely needed laws
To bind a race elated with the pride
Of virtue, and disdaining to descend
To meanness, mutual violence, and wrongs.
While war around them rag'd, in happy Rome
All peaceful smil'd, all save the passing clouds
That often hang on Freedom's jealous brow!
And fair unblemish'd centuries elaps'd,
When not a Roman bled but in the field.
Their virtue such, that an unbalanc'd state
Still between noble and plebeian tost,
As flow'd the wave of fluctuating power,
Was thence kept firm, and with triumphant prow
Rode out the storms. Oft though the native feuds,
That from the first their constitution shook,
(A latent ruin, growing as it grew,)
Stood on the threatening point of civil war
Ready to rush: yet could the lenient voice
Of wisdom, soothing the tumultuous soul,
Those sons of virtue calm. Their generous hearts