Page images

A thousand summer suns have shone,

Till earth grew bright beneath their sway,
Since thou untenanted and lone,

Wert rendered to decay.
The moss tuft and the ivy wreath

For ages clad thy fallen mould,
And gladdened in the spring's soft breath!

But they grew wan and old-
Now desolation hath denied

That even these should veil thy gloom ;
And nature's mantling beauty died

In token of thy doom.
Alas for the far years, when clad

With the bright vesture of thy prime,
Thy proud towers made each wanderer glad,

Who hailed thy summer chime.
Alas for the fond hope and dream,

And all that won thy childrens' trust!
God cursed,--and none may now redeem

Pale city of the dust!
How the dim visions through the soul,

When twilight broods upon thy waste,
The clouds of woe from o'er thee roll,

Thy glory seems replaced.
The stir of life is brightening round

Thy structures swell upon the eye,
And mirth and revelry resound

In triumph through the sky.
But a stern moral may be read

By those who view thy lonely gloom;
Oblivion's pall alike is spread

O’er slave and lordly tomb.
The sad, the gay, the old and young,

The warrior's strength and beauty's glow,
Resolved to that from which they sprung,

Compose the dust below!-ECKHARD.

VISION OF BELSHAZZAR. The King was on his throne, the Satraps throng'd the hall; A thousand bright lamps shone o'er that high festival. A thousand cups of gold, in Judah deem'd divineJehovah's vessels hold the godless Heathen's wine ! In that same hour and hall, the fingers of a hand Came forth against the wall, and wrote as if on sand : The fingers of a man ;-a solitary hand Along the letters ran, and traced them like a wand.

The monarch saw, and shook, and bade no more rejoice;
All bloodless wax'd his look, and tremulous his voice.
“Let the men of lore appear, the wisest of the earth,
And expound the words of fear, which mar our royal mirth."
Chaldea's seers are good, but here they have no skill;
And the unknown letters stood untold and awful still.
And Babel's men of age are wise and deep in lore;
But now they were not sage, they saw-but knew no more.
A captive in the land, a stranger and a youth
Heard the king's dread command, and saw that writing's truth.
The lamps around were bright, the prophecy in view;
He read it on that night,—the morrow prov'd it true. *
“Belshazzar's grave is made, his kingdom pass’d away,
He, in the balance weigh’d, is light and worthless clay.
Thé shroud bis robe of state, -his canopy the stone, ...
The Mede is at his gate,-the Persian on his throne !”-BYRON.


(SUGGESTED BY THE COURTS OF THE CRYSTAL PALACE.) Marching came a swarth procession, mustering from the banks of

Nile, Abject-eyed believers, marshalled by stern priests with eyes of guile; And with mystic types and symbols, were their garments studded

o'er; And the awful veil of Isis was the banner that they bore. Following trod a prouder army, striding on with martial tread, From a city, lost for ages, that had yielded up her dead; And a grim and giant monster stalking fiercely in the van, 'Twas a winged beast-more dreadful that it wore the face of man. Next a graceful throng went by me, from a classic region fair, Chiselled features, flowing garments, laurel wreaths in golden hair; And a god and goddess led them, glorious types of war and peace, Neptune and Minerva ever watching o'er their well-loved Greece. From their seven-hilled home eternal, then the haughty swordsmen

came, Lictor's fasces, gory ax-head, and the she-wolf's glance of flame; And four ever famous letters borne on high in that array, Told a world that Rome was present-proudly bade the world obey.

B.C. 538,

Whose luxurious pomp succeeds them, who in smiling throng

advance, Glistening in that flowery raiment, tripping as to feast and dance ? So they glistened, so they revelled, so was struck the sparkling lyre, On the day Pompeii perished, shrieking in yon mountain's fire. Some come mourning, come as those whose brightest day hath shone

and fled. March they from Byzantium's rampart, where a hero-king lies deadFrom the noblest fane that glows beneath an oriental skyRaised to Christian wisdom--bearing now the symbol of a lie. Came the Church in purple glory and a wealth of gems and gold, Steel-clad knights in soldier splendour, banners of emblazoned fold, Armourer, herald, jester, hawker, planet-reader, squire and page, Chivalry's thrice gorgeous chapter from her proudest middle age. Art's procession followed, calmly, lofty as their port should be, Who had dashed down feudal shackles, and proclaimed that Art is

free. Gazing on their deeds of beauty, who but scorns the bigot prate That assails their noble mission with a Goth's fantastic hate? What a glorious train came after, every lofty face a Fame, All whose Thought our age inherits, or our age itself shall claim. Those whose names, in self made light are burning still on honour's

scrolls, Those to whom the world is debtor-shall be debtor while it rolls.


And thou hast walked about (how strange a story!)

In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,

And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
Tell us, if perchance thou canst recollect

To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame?
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect

Of either pyramid, that bears his name?
Is Pompey's pillar really a misnomer ?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer ?
Perhaps that very hand, now pinion'd flat,

Has oft caroused with Pharaoh glass to glass;
Or dropp'd a halfpenny in Homer's hat,

Or doff'd thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication,

Didst thou not hear the clamour o'er thy head,

When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,
March'd armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,

O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis;
And shook the Pyramids with fear and wonder,
When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder ?
Since first thy form was in this box extended

We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations ;
The Roman empire has begun and ended,

New worlds have risen-we have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled, While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled !

Adapted from HORACE SMITH.

Alone stood brave Horatius,

But constant still in mind;
Thrice thirty thousand foes before,

And the broad flood behind.
“Down with him!” cried false Sextus,

With a smile on his pale face,
“Now yield thee,” cried Lars Porsena,

Now yield thee to our grace.”
Round turned he, as not deigning

Those craven ranks to see;
Nought spake he to Lars Porsena,

To Sextus nought spake he;
But he saw on Palatinus

The white porch of his home;
And he spake to the noble river

That rolls by the towers of Rome :-
“O Tiber! Father Tiber!

To whom the Romans pray,
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms,

Take thou in charge this day.”
So he spake, and speaking, sheathed

The good sword by his side,
And with his harness on his back,

Piunged headlong in the tide.
No sound of joy or sorrow

Was heard from either bank;
But friends and foes in dumb surprise,
With parted lips and straining eyes,

Stood gazing where he sank;

Horatius Cocles, with two other Romans, is said to have kept a whole army from Rome, by defending the entrance of a wooden bridge until the citizens could cut it down.

And when above the surges

They saw his crest appear, All Röme sent forth a rapturous cry, And even the ranks of Tuscany

Could scarce forbear to cheer.

But fiercely ran the current,

Swollen high by months of rain; And fast his blood was flowing,

And he was sore in pain, And heavy with his armour,

And spent with changing blows; And oft they thought him sinking,

But still again he rose.

Never, I ween, did swimmer

In such an evil case, Struggle through such a raging flood

Safe to the landing place : But his limbs were borne up bravely

By the brave heart within, And our good Father Tiber

Bare bravely up his chin.

And now he feels the bottom;

Now on dry earth he stands; Now round him throng the Fathers

To press his gory hands; And now, with

shouts and clapping, And noise of weeping loud, He enters through the

Borne by the joyous crowd.

They gave bim of the corn-land,

That was of public right, As much as two strong oxen

Could plough from morn till night; And they made a molten image,

And set it up on high;
And there it stands unto this day

To witness if I lie.

It stands in the Comitium,

Plain for all folks to seeHoratius in his harness,

Halting upon one knee:
And underneath is written,

In letters all of gold,
How valiantly he kept the bridge

In the brave days of old.

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