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Whoe'er, like me, with trembling anguish brings
His dearest earthly treasure to these springs,
Whoe'er, like me, to soothe distress and pain,
Shall court these salutary springs in vain ;
Condemned, like me, to hear the faint reply,
To mark the fading cheek, the sinking eye,
From the chill brow to wipe the damps of death,
And watch in dumb despair the shortening breath;
If chance should bring him to this humble line,
Let the sad mourner know his pangs were mine;
Ordained to love the partner of my breast,
Whose virtue warmed me, and whose beauty blessed,
Framed every tie that binds the heart to prove,
Her duty friendship, and her friendships love;
But yet remembering that the parting sigh,
Appoints the just to slumber, not to die,
The starting tear I checked-I kissed the rod
And not to earth resigned her-but to God.
DIRGE OF ALARIC, THE VISIGOTH,
Who stormed and spoiled the city of Rome, and was afterwards buried in the channel of the river Busentius, the water of which had been diverted from its course, that the body might be interred.
When I am dead, no pageant train
Shall waste their sorrows at my bier,
Nor worthless pomp of homage vain
Stain it with hypocritic tear;
For I will die as I did live,
Nor take the boon I cannot give.
Ye shall not raise a marble bust
Upon the spot where I repose;
Ye shall not fawn before my dust,
In hollow circumstance of woes :
Nor sculptured clay, with lying breath,
Insult the clay that moulds beneath.
Ye shall not pile with servile toil
Your monuments upon my breast,,
Nor yet within the common soil
Lay down the wreck of power to rest ; Where man can boast that he has trode On him, that was the scourge of God.'
But ye the mountain stream shall turn,
And lay its secret channel bare,
And hollow for your sovereign's urn,
A resting-place for ever there :
Then bid its everlasting springs
Flow back upon the King of Kings,
And never be the secret said,
Until the deep give up his dead.
My gold and silver ye shall fling
Back to the clods, that gave them birth,—
The captured crowns of many a king,
The ransom of a conquered earth ; For e'en though dead will I control The trophies of the capitol.
But when, beneath the mountain-tide
Ye've laid your monarch down to rot,
Ye shall not rear upon its side,
Pillar nor mound to mark the spot ;
For long enough the world has shook
Beneath the terrors of my look ;
And now that I have run my race,
The astonished realms shall rest a space.
My course was like the river deep,
And from the northern hills I burst Across the world in wrath to sweep,
And where I went the spot was cursed, Nor blade of grass again was seen Where Alaric and his hosts had been.
See how their haughty barriers fail
Beneath the terror of the Goth,
Their iron-breasted legions quail
Before my ruthless sabaoth,
And low the Queen of empires kneels,
And grovels at my chariot-wheels.
Not for myself did I ascend
In judgment my triumphal car; 'Twas God alone on high did send
The avenging Scythian to the war,
To shake abroad with iron hand,
The appointed scourge of his command.
With iron hand that scourge I reared
O'er guilty king and guilty realm,
Destruction was the ship I steered,
And vengeance sat upon the helm ;
When launched in fury on the flood,
I ploughed my way through seas of blood,
And in the stream their hearts had spilt,
Washed out the long arrears of guilt.
Across the everlasting Alp
I poured the torrent of my powers, And feeble Cæsars shrieked for help
In vain within their seven-hilled towers ; I quenched in blood the brightest gem That glittered in their diadem, And struck a darker, deeper die In the purple of their majesty, And bade my northern banners shine. Upon the conquered Palatine.
My course is run, my errand done,
I to Him from whom I came;
But never yet shall set the sun
Of glory that adorns my name;
And Roman hearts shall long be sick
When men shall think of Alaric.