« PreviousContinue »
Grav'do'er their seats the form of Time was found,
His fcythe revers'd, and both his pinions bound.
Within stood Heroes, who through loud alarms
In bloody fields pursued renown in arms.
High on a throne with trophies charg'd, I view'd
The Youth that all things but himself subdued;
His feet on sceptres and tiaras trod,
And his horn'd head bely'd the Libyan God.
There Cæfar, grac’d with both Minervas, shone; 155
Cæsar, the world's great master, and his own ;
Unmov'd, fuperior still in every state,
And scarce detested in his country's fate.
But chief were thofe, who not for empire fought,
But with their toils their people's safety bought : 160
High o'er the reft Epaminondas stood;
Timoleon, glorious in his brother's blood;
Bold Scipio, faviour of the Roman ftate;
Great in his triumphs, in retirement great;
And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught mind
unbounded virtue join'd, His own strict judge, and patron of mankind.
Much suffering heroes next their honours claim,
Those of less noisy, and less guilty fame,
Fair virtue’s filent train : supreme of these
Here ever shines the godlike Socrates :
He whom ungrateful Athens could expell,
At all times just, but when he fign'd the Shell :
Here his abode the martyr'd Phocion claims,
With Agis, not the last of Spartan names : 175
Unconquer'd Cato fhews the wound he tore,
And Brutus his ill Genius meets no more.
But in the centre of the hallow'd choir,
Six pompous columns o'er the rest aspire';
Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand, 18
Hold the chief honours, and the fane command.
High on the first, the mighty Homer Mhone;
Eternal adamant compos’d his throne;
Father of verse! in holy fillets dreft,
His filver beard wav'd gently o’er his breast;
Though blind, a boldness in his looks appears;
he feem'd, but not impair'd by years.
The wars of Troy were round the pillar seen :
Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian Queen;
Here Hector glorious from Patroclus' fall,
Here dragg’d in triumph round the Trojan wall.
Motion and life did every part inspire,
Bold was the work, and proy'd the master's fire;
Ver. 179. Six pompous columns, &c.]
From the dees many a pillere,
Of metal that shone not full clere, &c.
Upon a pillere saw I stonde
That was of lede and iron fine,
Him of the feet Saturnine,
The Ebraicke Josephus the old, &c.
Upon an iron pillere strong,
That painted was all endlong,
With tigers' blood in every place,
The Tholofan that hight Stace,
That bare of Thebes
Full wonder high on a pilere
Of iron, he the great Oiner,
And with him Dares and Titus, &c.
A strong expression most he seem'd t’affect,
And here and there disclos'd a brave neglect. 193
A golden column next in rank appear'd,
On which a shrine of purest gold was rear'd;
Finish'd the whole, and labour'd every part,
With patient touches of unwearied art :
The Mantuan there in sober triumph fate,
Compos'd his posture, and his look sedate;
On Homer still he fix'd a reverend eye,
Great without pride, in modest majesty.
In living sculpture on the sides were spread
The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead; 205
Eliza stretch'd upon the funeral pyre,
Æneas bending with his aged fire :
Troy flam'd in burning gold, and o'er the throne
ARMS AND THE Man in golden cyphers thone.
Four fwans sustain a car of silver bright, With heads advanc’d, and pinions stretch'd for flight': Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rođe, And seem'd to labour with th' inspiring God.
Ver. 196, &c.]
There saw I stand on a pillere
That was of tinned iron cleere,
The Latin Poet Virgyle,
That hath bore up of a great while
The fame of pius Æneas :
And next him on a pillere was
Of copper, Venus' clerke Ovide,
That hath fowen wondrous wide
The great God of Love's fame.
Across the harp a careless hand he flings,
And boldly finks into the founding strings.
The figur'd games of Greece the column grace,
Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race.
The youths hang o'er their chariots as they run ;
The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone;
The champions in diftorted postures threat;
And all appear'd irregularly great.
Heré happy Horace tun'd th’ Ausonian lyre
To sweeter sounds, and temper'd Pindar's fire :
Pleas'd with Alcæus' manly rage to infuse
The softer fpirit of the Sapphic Muse.
The polish'd pillar different sculptures grace;
A work outlafting mõnumiental biass.
Here smiling Loves and Bacchanals appear,
The Julian star and great Augustus here.
The Doves, that round the infant Poet spread
Myrtles and bays hung hovering o'er his head.
Here, in a shrine that cast a dazzling light,
Sate fix'd in thought the mighty Stagirite;
Tho faw I on a pillere by
Of iron wrought full fternly,
The great Poet Dan Lucan,
That on his shoulders bore up then
As hye as that I might see,
The fame of Julius and Pompee.
And next him on a pillere stode
Of fulphure, like as he were wode,
Dan Claudian, fothe for to tell,
That bare up all the fame of hell, &c.
His sacred head a radiant Zodiac crown's,
And various Animals his fides surround;
His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view
Superior worlds, and look all Nature through,
With equal rays immortal Tully shone,
The Roman Rostra deck'd the Consul's throne :
Gathering his flowing robe, he seem'd to stand
In act to speak, and graceful stretch'd his hand.
Behind, Rome's Genius waits with Civic crowns,
And the great Father of his country owns.
These massy columns in a circle rise,
O'er which a pompous dome invades the skies :
Scarce to the top I stretch'd my aching fight,
So large it spread, and swell’d to such a height.
Full in the midst proud Fame's imperial seat
With jewels blaz’d, magnificently great ;
The vivid emeralds there revive the eye,
The flaming rubies fhew their fanguine dye,
Bright azure' räys from lively fapphires stream,
And lucid amber casts a golden gleam..
With various-colour'd light the pavement fone,
And all on fire appear'd the glowing throne;
The dome's high arch reflects the mingled blaze,
And forms a rainbow of alternate rays.
When on the Goddess first I cast my light,
Scarce seem'd her stature of a cubit's height;
Ver. 259. Scarce seem'd her ftature, &c.]
Methought that she was so lite,
That the length of a cubite
Was longer than she seemed be;
But thus Toone in a while she,