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Such were my thoughts when fast from Ischia's isle
The little vessel bore me; as the glare
Of noon-day soften'd down itself awhile,
A passing breeze o'er Baia's bay so fair
Gave a delicious fragrance to the air.
Sunny Neapolis! thy loveliness

Of clime, thy fruitage, thy luxurious fare,
Pamper thy sons with sensual excess;

And warm thy daughters fair with dreams of wanton



Here all is strenuous idleness! the hum
Of men, like children bustling about nought;
The bawling mountebank, and frequent drum,
Are glorious substitutes for troublous thought;
While business is unheeded and unsought.
Here to the last they whirl around; the bier
Bears to the grave some noisy trifler, caught
By death; the world's epitome is here;

The sight provokes a smile, commingled with a tear!


Give Italy one Master, she would thrive
Again, and triumph in her boundless stores:

But bigots with their deadening influence drive

Wealth from her lands and commerce from her shores,

While Heaven its choicest gifts in vain out pours.
When Monks, in locust-swarms, oppress the soil,
When the vile spy of Government explores

The people's wealth-the industrious will not toil
To enrich their puny Masters with a greater spoil.


Nor splendid portraitures, nor beds of state, Nor the rich ceiling's gay magnificence; Nor sumptuousness of feasts, nor massy plate, Nor all the vain adornments of expense; Nor marble statues, though Canova's, whence Beauty an almost breathing charm puts forth; Nor heads of bronze, that seem inform'd with sense, Can give to sorrowing hearts a moment's mirth, Or soften down the pangs of care-worn sons of earth!


"Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow,"
Thought doth pervade the universe; we seem
More than this world can circumscribe to know;
Yet is our life but one protracted dream—
For moralizing fools an endless theme.

He, whom gaunt evil smites-whose days, though few,
In thought are numberless, he well may deem
That under Heaven there is nought that's new,

His sole delight at length fair Nature's scenes to view.


What is the pomp of art to him who loves
On Chimborazo's height to breathe keen air?
Or with a Humboldt fortunately roves
Through forests deep?-Though all is savage there,
Yet Nature seems to him for ever fair.

As with the river's slow majestic course
Onward he roves, forgetful of past care,

His soul mounts up unto that very source Whence all existence springs, with the strong eagle's force!


Eternity-how wonderful it is!

A shoreless Ocean-nothing, everything!

To be for ever what I shall be-this
Far, far exceeds the mind's imagining,

Though it would soar for ever on the wing,
To reach a Kepler's, Newton's height!-'tis vain :
Yet some still dream of a perpetual spring:
Fond dreams that may awhile delight the brain,
But by our waking sense are banish'd with disdain.


See Cæsar baffled by a little state!

Such is the will of HIM who doth command

Empires to rise, decay, regenerate :

Who weigheth worlds as balls within His hand;

Whose wrath not Hell's fierce legions may withstand;
Who is enthroned in light, Ancient of Days!
The pure Intelligence, whose wisdom plann'd
This universal frame. His be the praise!

Creatures of clay, to HIM your loud thanksgivings raise!


The mind that well doth exercise its powers
Shall to the perfect beauty be allied,

When, from this grosser frame released, it towers
Above the reach of earth-born care or pride.
Yet must it be through ages purified,

Ere it can live near God's eternal throne,
Ere it can bask in glory's luminous tide,

That sun of suns, unmingled and alone,
Whose everlasting light on earth has never shone !


Oh could I seek at length those happy Isles
Where 'tis a sensual pleasure even to breathe ;
Where Nature in her classic livery smiles,
And gives to Byron's muse a deathless wreath;
Where youth is life, age slumbers into death;
Where bowers to meditation dear abound;

Where glow the heavens above, the flowers beneath;
Where every nook is consecrated ground;

And songs of other times float in the air around;


Then might appear to me dear Liberty,

But in a dream-whole hosts before her driven !
A sun-beam is her spear-she strikes, and see
Its touch consumeth like the burning levin,
Or like a comet hurl'd to earth from heaven!
A fierce disdain is flashing from her eye!
Thus look'd Apollo, when, asunder riven,
The monster serpent writh'd in agony,

Then all convulsed, at length expired with hideous cry!


She triumphs now; a laureate band attend
Her steps, while Eschylus awakes the lyre;
Before her now the mighty masters bend :

"A slave's no man!" thus sings their Godlike Sire:* His strains the whole triumphant race inspire.

O glorious sight!—And is it all a dream?
No-no! Columbia has her souls of fire;

The dawning light of science there doth gleam,
There Poets must arise, since Liberty 's the theme!

* Homer.

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