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To TARTARUS, and those thrice happy fields, Those fields with ether pure and purple light Ever invested, scenes by him portrayed 287 Who here was wont to wander, here invoke The sacred Muses, here receive, record What they revealed, and on the western shore Sleeps in a silent grove, o'erlooking thee, Beloved PARTHENOPE!

Yet here, methinks,

Truth wants no ornament, in her own shape
Filling the mind by turns with awe and love,
By turns inclining to wild ecstasy,

And soberest meditation. Here the vines
Wed each her elm, and o'er the golden grain
Hang their luxuriant clusters, checkering
The sunshine; where, when cooler shadows fall
And the mild moon her fairy net-work weaves,
The lute or mandoline, accompanied

By many a voice yet sweeter than their own,
Kindles, nor slowly; and the dance displays
The gentle arts and witcheries of love,

Its hopes and fears and feignings, till the youth
Drops on his knee as vanquished, and the maid,
Her tambourine uplifting with a grace
Nature's, and Nature's only, bids him rise.

But here the mighty Monarch underneath, He in his palace of fire, diffuses round A dazzling splendor. Here, unseen, unheard, Opening another Eden in the wild,

His gifts he scatters; save, when issuing forth In thunder, he blots out the sun, the sky,

And, mingling all things earthly as in scorn,
Exalts the valley, lays the mountain low,
Pours many a torrent from his burning lake,
And in an hour of universal mirth,
What time the trump proclaims the festival,
Buries some capital city, there to sleep

The sleep of ages — till a plough, a spade,
Disclose the secret, and the eye of day

Glares coldly on the streets, the skeletons;
Each in his place, each in his gay attire,
And eager to enjoy.

Let us go round;

And let the sail be slack, the course be slow,
That at our leisure, as we coast along,
We may contemplate, and from every scene
Receive its influence. The CUMAAN towers,
There did they rise, sun-gilt; and here thy groves,
Delicious BAIE. Here (what would they not?)
The masters of the earth, unsatisfied,

Built in the sea; and now the boatman steers
O'er many a crypt and vault yet glimmering,
O'er many a broad and indestructible arch,
The deep foundations of their palaces;

Nothing now heard ashore, so great the change,
Save when the sea-mew clamors, or the owl

Hoots in the temple.

What the mountainous isle 200 Seen in the south? 'Tis where a monster dwelt, 201 Hurling his victims from the topmost cliff; Then and then only merciful, so slow, So subtle, were the tortures they endured. Fearing and feared he lived, cursing and cursed;


And still the dungeons in the rock breathe out Darkness, distemper. Strange, that one so vile Should from his den strike terror through the world; Should, where withdrawn in his decrepitude,

Say to the noblest, be they where they might,

"Go from the earth!" and from the earth they went Yet such things were and will be, when mankind.

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Losing all virtue, lose all energy;
And for the loss incur the penalty,
Trodden down and trampled.

Let us turn the prow,

And in the track of him who went to die 293

Traverse this valley of waters, landing where
A waking dream awaits us.
At a step
Two thousand years roll backward, and we stand,
Like those so long within that awful place,2
Immovable, nor asking, Can it be?


Once did I linger there alone till day
Closed, and at length the calm of twilight came,
So grateful, yet so solemn ! At the fount,

Just where the three ways meet, I stood and looked
('T was near a noble house, the house of Pansa), 25
And all was still as in the long, long night
That followed, when the shower of ashes fell,
When they that sought POMPEII sought in vain;
It was not to be found. But now a ray,
Bright and yet brighter, on the pavement glanced,
And on the wheel-track worn for centuries,
And on the stepping-stones from side to side,
O'er which the maidens, with their water-urns,
Were wont to trip so lightly. Full and clear,
The moon was rising, and at once revealed

The name of every dweller, and his craft;
Shining throughout with an unusual lustre,
And lighting up this city of the dead.

Mark, where within, as though the embers lived,
The ample chimney-vault is dun with smoke.
There dwelt a miller; silent and at rest
His mill-stones now. In old companionship
Still do they stand as on the day he went,
Each ready for its office — but he comes not.
And there, hard by (where one in idleness
Has stopt to scrawl a ship, an armed man;
And in a tablet on the wall we read

Of shows ere long to be) a sculptor wrought,
Nor meanly; blocks, half-chiselled into life,
Waiting his call. — Here long, as yet attests
The trodden floor, an olive-merchant drew
From many an earthen jar, no more supplied;
And here from his a vintner served his guests
Largely, the stain of his o'erflowing cups
Fresh on the marble. On the bench, beneath,
They sate and quaffed and looked on them that passed,
Gravely discussing the last news from ROME.

But, lo engraven on the threshold-stone,
That word of courtesy so sacred once,
HAIL! At a master's greeting we may enter.
And, lo a fairy-palace; everywhere,

As through the courts and chambers we advance,
Floors of mosaic, walls of arabesque,

And columns clustering in patrician splendor.
But hark, a footstep! May we not intrude?
And now, methinks, I hear a gentle laugh,
And gentle voices mingling as in converse!

And now a harp-string as struck carelessly,
along the corridor it comes

And now

I cannot err, a filling as of baths!

-Ah, no! 't is but a mockery of the sense,
Idle and vain! We are but where we were;
Still wandering in a city of the dead!


I DINE very often with the good old Cardinal **, and, I should add, with his cats; for they always sit at his table, and are much the gravest of the company. His beaming countenance makes us forget his age; 296 nor did I ever see it clouded till yesterday, when, as we were contemplating the sunset from his terrace, he happened, in the course of our conversation, to allude to an affecting circumstance in his early life.

He had just left the University of PALERMO, and was entering the army, when he became acquainted with a young lady of great beauty and merit, a Sicilian of a family as illustrious as his own. Living near each other, they were often together; and, at an age like theirs, friendship soon turns to love But his father, for what reason I forget, refused his consent to their union; till, alarmed at the declining health of his son, he promised to oppose it no longer, if, after a separation of three years, they continued as much in love as ever.

Relying on that promise, he said, I set out on a long journey; but in my absence the usual arts were resorted to. Our letters were intercepted; and false rumors were spread -- first of my indifference, then of my inconstancy, then of

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