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Him answer'd then his loving mate and true, But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe.
How ! leap into the pit our life to save ? To save our life leap all into the grave? For can we find it less? Contemplate first The depth how awful! falling there, we burst: Or should the brambles, interposed, our fall In part abate, that happiness were sınall; For with a race like theirs no chance I see Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we. Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray, Or be it not, or be it whose it may, And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues Of dæmons utter'd, from whatever lungs, Sounds are but sounds; and, till the cause appear, We have at least commodious standing here. Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast From earth or hell, we can but plunge at last.
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals, For Reynard, close attended at his heels By panting dog, tired man, and spatter'd horse, Through mere good fortune, took a different course. The flock grew calm again; and I, the road Following, that led me to my own abode, Much wonder'd, that the silly sheep had found Such cause of terrour in an empty sound, So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Full of rage, and full of grief.
Princess! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs,
In the blood that she has spilt;
Tramples on a thousand states;
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !
VI. Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize, Harmony the path to fame.
From the forests of our land,
VIII. Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway; Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Felt them in her bosom glow:
XI. Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heaven awards the vengeance due; Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for you.
THERE was a time when Ætna's silent fire Slept unperceived, the mountain yet entire ; When, conscious of no danger from below, She tower'd a cloud-capp'd pyramid of snow. No thunders shook with deep intestine sound The blooming groves, that girdled her around. Her unctuous olives, and her purple vines (Unfelt the fury of those bursting mines) The peasant's hopes, and not in vain, assured, In peace upon her sloping sides matured. When on a day, like that of the last doom, A conflagration labouring in her womb, She teem'd and heaved with an infernal birth, That shook the circling seas and solid earth. Dark and voluminous the vapours rise, And hang their horrours in the neighbouring skies, While through the Stygian veil, that blots the day, In dazzling streaks the vivid lightniogs play. But oh! what muse, and in what powers of song, Can trace the torrent as it burns along? Havoc and devastation in the van, It marches o'er the prostrate works of man; Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear, And all the charms of a Sicilian year.
Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass, See it an uninform'd and idle mass; Without a soil to invite the tiller's care, Or blade, that might redeem it from despair. Yet time at length (what will not time achieve ?) Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live. Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade, And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
O bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws,
Fast by the stream, that bounds your just domain, And tells you where ye have a right to reign, A nation dwells, not envious of your throne, Studious of peace, their neighbours' and their own. Ill-fated race! how deeply must they rue Their only crime, vicinity to you! The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad, Through the ripe harvest lies their destined road; At every step beneath their feet they tread The life of multitudes, a nation's bread! Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress Before them, and behind a wilderness. Famine, and Pestilence, her first-born son, Attend to finish what the sword begun; And echoing praises, such as fiends might earn, And Folly pays, resound at your return. A calm succeeds—but Plenty, with her train Of heart-felt joys, succeeds not soon again, And years of pining indigence must show What scourges are the gods that rule below.
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees, (Such is his thirst of opulence and ease) Plies all the sinews of industrious toil, Gleans up the refuse of the general spoil, Rebuilds the towers, that smoked upon the plain, And the sun gilds the shining spires again.