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Majestic, though in ruins.-MILTON.
MOULDERING away in desolated pride,
Still let me contemplate thy wasting walls,
Thy topless columns whence the owlet screams: Those grass-worn mounds were once baronial halls, Whose pristine worth surpasseth Fancy's dreams; There Chivalry presided o'er the balls,
The sun of beauty there shed forth its beams: Now all is loneliness! Reflection, say,
How long the works of man outlive man's little day!
THE WORLD AS IT IS.
Such as are ambitious are incited by the greatness of their power to attempt great matters; and the most sottish or lazy may discharge themselves of cares, and hope that others will be more easily hired to take the burden of business upon them while they lie at ease. SIDNEY on Government, p. 165.
THAT master-vice, Ambition, has its course;
Fortune unbalances the strongest mind,
These truths experience, history ever taught,
They laud those acts which erst they disapproved;
Their spleen by buried crime alone is moved.
To desolate the world, while millions bleed,
While Avès vehement confuse their brains,
For them she weaves the laurel-wreath with zeal :
And Genius thus is self-betray'd to please
It spreads from chieftains' hall to ladies' bower;
Nor to delight the proud her own proud offering brings.
The worshippers of images offend
Such men to scorn their God are ever prone:
What then avail their victories or mirth,
The splendour of their deeds, the lustre of their birth?
ROSAMOND, A FRAGMENT*.
"Talche si potè dire Alboino vinse l'Italia, et una Femina vinse Alboino."-Del Regno d'Italia Epitome.
"He would despise me as a thing that bears
Their vaunting spirits-forced to such a sight?—
Is done, and hatred stifles sense of ill.
This pleasant triumph too may sadly end;
Trust not, fool-hardy prince, the seeming friend!
Her person is encaged, her heart is free;
For the story to which this fragment relates, see Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Quarto edit. vol. iv. page 430.