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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. Great villains thrive-we deem them great indeed. How brave their spirits, wheresoe'er they roved To desolate the world, while millions bleed, Officious fools for aye the cause of bravoes plead.
While Avès vehement confuse their brains,
From courting those who ne'er for others feel.
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
Against Omnipotence; nor they alone?
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?-
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.