« AnteriorContinuar »
CL. But here youth offers to old age the food, The milk of his own gift:—it is her sire To whom she renders back the debt of blood Born with her birth. No; he shall not expire While in those warm and lovely veins the fire Of health and holy feeling can provide Great Nature's Nile, whose deep stream rises higher Than Egypt's river:-from that gentle side Drink, drink and live, old man | Heaven's realm holds no such tide. CLI. The starry fable of the milky way Has not thy story's purity; it is A constellation of a sweeter ray, And sacred Nature triumphs more in this Reverse of her decree, than in the abyss Where sparkle distant worlds:–Oh, holiest nurse! No drop of that clear stream its way shall miss To thy sire's heart, replenishing its source With life, as our freed souls rejoin the universe.
CLII. Turn to the Mole which Hadrian rear'd on high, Imperial mimic of old Egypt's piles, Colossal copyist of deformity, Whose travell'd phantasy from the far Nile's Enormous model, doom'd the artist’s toils To build for giants, and for his vain earth His shrunken ashes raise this dome : How smiles The gazer's eye with philosophic mirth, To view the huge design which sprung from such a birth !
But lo! the dome—the vast and wondrous dome, To which Diana's marvel was a cell— Christ's mighty shrine above his martyr's tomb! I have beheld the Ephesian's miracle— Its columns strew the wilderness, and dwell The hyaena and the jackal in their shade; I have beheld Sophia's bright roofs swell Their glittering mass i' the sun, and have survey’d Its sanctuary the while the usurping Moslem pray'd;
But thou, of temples old, or altars new, Standest alone—with nothing like to thee— Worthiest of God, the holy and the true. Since Zion's desolation, when that He Forsook his former city, what could be, Of earthly structures, in his honour piled, Of a sublimer aspect? Majesty, Power, Glory, Strength, and Beauty, all are aisled In this eternal ark of worship undefiled. o
cLVI. Thou movest—but increasing with the advance, Like climbing some great Alp, which still doth rise, Deceived by its gigantic elegance; Vastness which grows—but grows to harmonise— All musical in its immensities; Rich marbles—richer painting—shrines where flame The lamps of gold—and haughty dome which vies In air with Earth's chief structures, though their frame
Sits on the firm-set ground—and this the clouds must claim.
Thou seest not all; but piecemeal thou must break,
Our spirits to the size of that they contemplate.
CLIX. Then pause, and be enlighten’d; there is more In such a survey than the sating gaze Of wonder pleased, or awe which would adore The worship of the place, or the mere praise Of art and its great masters, who could raise What former time, nor skill, nor thought could plan; The fountain of sublimity displays Its depth, and thence may draw the mind of man Its golden sands, and learn what great conception can.
Or view the Lord of the unerring bow,