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ODE TO NAPLES.*

EPODE I. a.

I STOOD within the city disinterred; †
And heard the autumnal leaves like light foot-

falls Of spirits passing through the streets; and heard The Mountain's slumberous voice at intervals

Thrill through those roofless halls ; The oracular thunder penetrating shook

The listening soul in my suspended blood; I felt that Earth out of her deep heart spokeI felt, but heard not :through white columns

glowed

The isle-sustaining Ocean flood, A plane of light between two heavens of azure :

Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre Of whose pure beauty, Time, as if his pleasure

Were to spare Death, bad never made erasure ;

* The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baiæ with the enthusiasm excited by the intelligence of the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples. This has given a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes, which depicture the scenes and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event.-- Author's Note.

† Pompeii.

But every living lineament was clear

As in the sculptor's thought; and there The wreaths of stony myrtle, ivy and pine,

Like winter leaves o’ergrown by moulded snow, Seemed only not to move and grow

Because the crystal silence of the air Weighed on their life ; even as the power divine, Which then lulled all things, brooded upon mine.

EPODE II. a.

Then gentle winds arose,

With many a mingled close Of wild Æolian sound and mountain odour keen;

And where the Baian ocean

Welters with air-like motion, Within, above, around its bowers of starry green,

Moving the sea-flowers in those purple caves, Even as the ever stormless atmosphere

Floats o'er the Elysian realm,
It bore me; (like an Angel, o'er the waves
Of sunlight, whose swift pinnace of dewy air

No storm can overwhelm ;)
I sailed where ever flows
Under the calm Serene
A spirit of deep emotion,
From the unknown graves

Of the dead kings of melody.*
Shadowy Aornos darkened o'er the helm

* Homer and Virgil.

The horizontal æther; heaven stript bare
Its depths over Elysium, where the prow
Made the invisible water white as snow;
From that Typhæan mount, Inarimé,
There streamed a sunlit vapour, like the standard

Of some ethereal host;

Whilst from all the coast,
Louder and louder, gathering round, there

wandered
Over the oracular woods and divine sea
Prophesyings which grew articulate-
They seize me—I must speak them ;-be they

fate!

STROPHE a. 1. NAPLES ! thou Heart of men, which ever pantest

Naked, beneath the lidless eye of heaven!
Elysian City, which to calm enchantest

The mutinous air and sea ! they round thee, even
As sleep round Love, are driven!
Metropolis of a ruined Paradise

Long lost, late won, and yet but half regained !
Bright Altar of the bloodless sacrifice,
Which armed Victory offers up

unstained To Love, the flower-enchained ! Thou which wert once, and then didst cease to be, Now art, and henceforth ever shalt be, free, If Hope, and Truth, and Justice can avail.

Hail, hail, all hail !

STROPHE B. 2.
Thou youngest giant birth,

Which from the groaning earth
Leap'st, clothed in armour of impenetrable scale !

Last of the Intercessors

Who’gainst the Crowned Transgressors Pleadest before God's love! Arrayed in Wisdom's

mail,
Wave thy lightning lance in mirth;

Nor let thy high heart fail,
Though from their hundred gates the leagued

Oppressors, With hurried legions move! Hail, hail, all hail !

ANTISTROPHE a.

What though Cimmerian Anarchs dare blaspheme

Freedom and thee? thy shield is as a mirror To make their blind slaves see, and with fierce

gleam To turn his hungry sword upon

the wearer; A new Actæon's error Shall theirs have been—devoured by their own

hounds! Be thou like the imperial Basilisk, Killing thy foe with unapparent wounds !

Gaze on oppression, till, at that dread risk

Aghast, she pass from the Earth's disk ;
Fear not, but gaze—for freemen mightier grow,
And slaves more feeble, gazing on their foe.

If Hope, and Truth, and Justice may avail,
Thou shalt be great.-All Hail !

ANTISTROPHE B. 2.
From Freedom's form divine,

From Nature's inmost shrine,
Strip every impious gawd, rend Error veil by

veil :
O’er Ruin desolate,

O'er Falsehood's fallen state,
Sit thou sublime, unawed; be the Destroyer pale!

And equal laws be thine,

And winged words let sail, Freighted with truth even from the throne of

God : 'That wealth, surviving fate, be thine.--All bail !

ANTISTROPHE a. y.
Didst thou not start to hear Spain's thrilling pæan

From land to land re-echoed solemnly,
Till silence became music? From the Ææan

To the cold Alps, eternal Italy

Starts to hear thine! 'The Sea Which paves the desert streets of Venice, laughs

In light and music; widowed Genoa wan,
By moonlight spells ancestral epitaphs,
Murmuring, where is Doria ? fair Milan,

Within whose veins long ran
The viper's † palsying venom, lifts her heel
To bruise his head. The signal and the seal

* Ææa, the Island of Circe.

† The viper was the armorial device of the Visconti, tyrants of Milan.

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