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For ever fhifting, runs th' eternal round;
Thence try'd against the blood-polluted meal,
And limbs yet quivering with fome kindred foul,
To turn the human heart. Delightful truth!
Had he beheld the living chain afcend,
And not a circling Form but rifing Whole.
AMID these small republics one arose, On yellow Tyber's bank, almighty ROME, Fated for Mɛ. A nobler spirit warm'd Her fons; and, rous'd by tyrants, nobler ftill It burn'd in BRUTUS; the proud Ta quins chas'd, 75 With all their crimes; bade radiant æras rife, And the long honours of the Conful-Line.
HERE from the fairer, not the greater, plan
Of GREECE I vary'd; whofe unmixing states,
By the keen foul of emulation pierc'd,
Long wage'd alone the bloodlefs war of arts,
And their best empire gain'd. But to diffuse
O'er Men an empire was my purpose now :
To let my martial Majefty abroad;
Into the vortex of one State to draw
ALREADY have I given, with flying touch, A broken view of this my amplest reign.
The whole mix'd Force, and Liberty, on earth;
To conquer Tyrants, and fet Nations free.
Now, while its firft, laft, periods you furvey,
Mark how it lab'ring rofe, and rapid fell.
WHEN ROME in noon-tide empire grafp'd the
And, foon as her refiftlefs legions fhone,
The nations ftoop'd around; tho' then appear'd
Her grandeur moft, yet in her dawn of power, 95
By many a jealous equal people press'd,
Then was the toil, the mighty struggle then;
Then for each Roman I an Hero told;
And every paffing fun, and Latian scene,
Saw patriot virtues then, and awful deeds,
That or furpafs the faith of modern times,
Or, if believ'd, with facred horror ftrike.
FOR then, to prove my most exalted power,
I to the point of full perfection push'd,
To fondnefs and enthufiaftic zeal,
The great, the reigning paffion of the Free.
That godlike paffion! which, the bounds of Self
Divinely bursting, the whole public takes
Into the heart, enlarg'd, and burning high
With the mix'd ardor of unnumber'd Selves;
Of all who fafe beneath the Voted Laws
Of the fame parent state, fraternal, live.
From this kind Sun of Moral Nature flow'd
Virtues, that shine the light of human-kind,
And, ray'd thro' ftory, warm remotest time.
These Virtues too,
Encreas'd its flame.
The fair idea, more attractive still,
As more by Virtue mark'd; till Romans, all
One band of friends, unconquerable grew.
reflected to their fource,
The focial charm went round,
HENCE, when their Country rais'd her plaintive voice,
The voice of pleading Nature was not heard;
And in their hearts the fathers throbb'd no more :
Stern to themselves, but gentle to the whole.
Hence fweetened Pain, the luxury of toil;
Patience, that baffled fortune's utmost rage;
High-minded Hope, which at the lowest ebb,
When Brennus conquer'd, and when Canna bled,
The bravest impulse felt, and scorn'd despair.
Hence Moderation a new conqueft gain'd;
As on the vanquish'd, like defcending heaven,
Their dewy mercy drop'd, their bounty beam'd,
And by the labouring hand were crowns bestow'd.
Fruitful of men, hence hard laborious life,
Which no fatigue can quell, no feason pierce. 135
Hence, INDEPENDANCE, with his Little pleas'd
Serene, and felf-fufficient, like a God;
In whom CORRUPTION Could not lodge one charm,
While he his honeft Roots to Gold preferr'd;
While truly rich, and by his Sabine field,
The Man maintain'd, the Roman's splendor all
Was in the public wealth and glory plac'd :
Or ready, a rough swain, to guide the plough;
Or elfe, the purple o'er his fhoulder thrown,
In long majestic flow, to rule the state,
With Wisdom's pureft eye; or, clad in steel,
To drive the steady battle on the foe.
Hence every paffion, even the proudeft, ftoop'd,
To common-good: CAMILLUS, thy revenge;
Thy glory, FABIUS. All fubmiffive hence,
Confuls, Dictators, still refign'd their rule,
The very moment that the laws ordain'd.
Tho' Conquest o'er them clap'd her eagle-wings,
Her laurels wreath'd, and yoke'd her fnowy steeds
To the triumphal car; foon as expir'd
The latest hour of fway, taught to fubmit,
(A harder leffon that than to command)
Into the Private Roman funk the Chief.
If ROME was ferv'd, and glorious, careless they By whom. Their country's fame they deem'd their 160
And above envy, in a rival's train,
Sung the loud Ios by themselves deferv'd.
Hence matchless courage. On Cremera's bank,
Hence fell the FABII; hence the DECII dy'd ;
And CURTIUS plung'd into the flaming gulph. 165
Hence REGULUS the wavering fathers firm'd,
By dreadful counsel never given before;
For Roman honour fue'd, and his own doom.
Hence he sustain'd to dare a death prepar'd
By Punic rage. On earth his manly look
Relentlefs fix'd, he from a last embrace,
By chains polluted, put his wife afide,
His little children climbing for a kiss;
Then dumb thro' rows of weeping wondering friends,
A new illuftrious exile! prefs'd along.
Nor lefs impatient did he pierce the crouds
Oppofing his return, than if, escap'd
From long litigious fuits, he glad forfook
The noify town a while and city cloud,
To breathe Venafrian, or Tarentine air.
Need I these high particulars recount?
The meanest bofom felt a thirst for fame;
Flight their worst death, and fhame their only fear.
Life had no charms, nor any terrors fate,
When ROME and Glory call'd. But, in one view, 185
Mark the rare boast of these unequal'd times.
Ages revolv'd unfully'd by a crime:
Aftrea reign'd, and scarcely needed laws
To bind a race elated with the pride
Of virtue, and difdaining to defcend
To meanness, mutual violence, and wrongs.
While war around them rag'd, in happy ROME
All peaceful fmil'd, all save the paffing clouds
That often hang on Freedom's jealous brow;
And fair unblemish'd centuries elaps'd,
When not a Roman bled but in the field.
Their virtue fuch, that an unballanc'd state,
Still between Noble and Plebeian toft,
As flow'd the wave of fluctuating power,
Was then kept firm, and with triumphant prow 200