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72

OZYMANDIAS OF EGYPT.

“Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,

And our good Prince Eugene;"
“Why 'twas a very wicked thing!”

Said little Wilhelmine;
“Nay .. nay .. my little girl," quoth he,
“It was a famous victory.

“And everybody praised the Duke

Who this great fight did win.”
“But what good came of it at last ?”

Quoth little Peterkin :-
“Why that I cannot tell,” said he,
“But 'twas a famous victory.”

Robert Southey.

OZYMANDIAS OF EGYPT.

I MET a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal these words appear: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.

P. B. Shelley.

THE NILE.

73

THE NILE.

It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,

Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream;
And times and things, as in that vision, seem

Keeping along it their eternal stands,-
Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands

That roamed through the young world, the glory extreme Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam,

The laughing queen that caught the world's great hands. Then comes a mightier silence, stern and strong,

As of a world left empty of its throng,

And the void weighs on us; and then we wake, And hear the fruitful stream lapsing along

'Twixt villages, and think how we shall take Our own calm journey on for human sake.

Leigh Hunt

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FANTASTIC sleep is busy with my eyes:

I seem in some waste solitude to stand

Once ruled of Cheops: upon either hand
A dark, illimitable desert lies,
Sultry and still—a realm of mysteries;

A wide-browed Sphinx, half buried in the sand,

With orbless sockets stares across the land, The wofullest thing beneath these brooding skies Where all is woful weird-lit vacancy.

'Tis neither midnight, twilight, nor moonrise.
Lo! while I gaze, beyond the vast sand-sea

The nebulous clouds are downward slowly drawn,
And one blear'd star, faint-glimmering like a bee,
Is shut i' the rosy outstretched hand of Dawn.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich. ROMAN ANTIQUITIES DISCOVERED.

75

ROMAN ANTIQUITIES DISCOVERED.

WHILE poring Antiquarians search the ground
Upturned with curious pains, the bard, a Seer,
Takes fire:-the men that have been reappear;
Romans for travel girt, for business gowned;
And some recline on couches, myrtle-crowned,
In festal glee. Why not? For fresh and clear,
As if its hues were of the passing year,
Dawns this time-buried pavement. From that mound
Hoards may come forth of Trajans, Maximins,
Shrunk into coins with all their warlike toil:
Or a fierce impress issue with its foil
Of tenderness—the Wolf, whose suckling Twins
The unlettered ploughboy pities, when he wins
The casual treasure from the furrow'd soil.

W. Wordsworth.

76

ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER.

ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER.

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.

Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:

-Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez—when with eagle eyes

He stared at the Pacific, and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise-
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

John Keats.

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