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ODE TO NAPLES.
EPODE 1. a.
I stood within the city disinterred; t.
And beard the autumnal leaves like lignt footfalls 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 spoke : I felt, but heard not :- through white columns glowed
The isle-sustaining Ocean-lood,
The Author bag connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeji and Baiæ with tbe enthusiasni 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 there scenes, and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with tbe scene of this animating event. Author's Note.
A plane of light between two Heayens of azure ;
Around me gleamed many a hright sepulchre Of whose pure beauty, Time, as if his pleasure Were to spare Death, had never made erasure ;
But every living lineament was clear
As in the sculptor's thought; and there The wreathes 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.
Then gentle winds arose
With many a mingled close Of wild Æolian sound and mountain odour keen ;
And where the Baian ocean
Welters with airlike motion,
Moving the sea flowers in those purple caves
Floats o'er the Elysian realm,
No storm can overwhelm ;
A spirit of deep emotion
Of the dead kings of Melody.*
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. I.
Naples ! thou Heart of men which ever pantest
Naked, beneath the lidless eye of heaven!
The mutinous air and sea : they round thee, even
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,
* llomer and Virgil.
Now art, and henceforth ever shalt be, free,
Hail, hail, all hail !
STROPHE B. 2.
Thou youngest giant birth
Which from the groaning earth
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,
With hurried legions move!
What though Cimmerian Anarchs dare blaspheme
Freedom and thee? thy shield is as a mirror
A new Acteon's error
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,
If Hope and Truth and Justice may avail,
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,
That wealth, surviving fate,
ANTISTROPHE a. y.
Didst thou not start to hear Spain's thrilling pæan
From land to land re-echoed solemnly,
To the cold Alps, eternal Italy
Starts to hear thine! The Sea
In light and music; widowed Genoa wan