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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 sate, Composed his posture, and his look sedate; On Homer still he fix'd a reverent eye, Great without pride, in modest majesty. In living sculpture on the sides were spread The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead; Eliza stretch'd upon the funeral pyre ; Æneas bending with his aged sire; Troy, flamed in burning gold, and o'er the throne • Arms and the man' in golden cyphers shone.
Four swans sustain a car of silver bright, With heads advanced, and pinions stretch'd for flig Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode, And seem'd to labour with the inspiring god. Across the harp a careless hand he flings, And boldly sinks into the sounding strings. The figured 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 distorted postures threat ; And all appear'd irregularly great.
IIere happy Horace tuned the Ausonian lyre To sweeter sounds, and temper'd Pindar's fire; Pleased with Alcæus' manly rage to infuse The softer spirit of the Sapphic muse. The polish d pillar different sculptures gracc; A work outlasting monumental brass. IIere 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 Stagyrite:
His sacred head a radiant zodiac crown'd,
With equal rays immortal Tully shone,
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 sight, So large it spread, and swellid to such a heighi. Full in the midst proud Fame's imperial seat With jewels blazed, magnificently great: The vivid emeralds there revive the eye, The flaming rubies show their sanguine dye, Bright azure rays from lively sapphires stream, And lucid amber casts a golden gleam. With various-colour'd light the pavement shone, 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 sight, Scarce seem'd her stature of a cubit's height; But swellid to larger size the more I gazed, Till to the roof her towering front she raised. With her, the temple every moment grew, And ampler vistas open'd to my view : Upward the columns shoot, the roofs ascend, And arches widen, and long aisles extend. Such was her form, as ancient bards have told, Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet infold; A thousand busy tongues the goddess bears, A thousand open eyes, and thousand listening ears Beneath, in order ranged, the tuneful Nine Her virgin handmaids) still attend the shrine.
With eyes on Fame, for ever fix'd, they sing;
Around these wonders as I cast a look, The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook, And all the nations, summon'd at the call, From different quarters fill'd the crowded hall: Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear’d; Thick as the bees that with the spring renew Their flowery toils, and sip the fragrant dew : When the wing'd colonies first tempt the sky, O’er dusky fields and shaded waters fly, Or, settling, seize the sweets the blossoms yield, And a low murmur runs along the field. Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend, And all degrees before the goddess bend: The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage, And boasting youth, and narrative old age. Their pleas were different, their request the same. For good and bad alike are fond of fame. Some she disgraced, and some with honours crown'd; Unlike successes equal merits found. Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns, And undiscerning scatters crowns and chains.
First at the shrine the learned world appear, And to the goddess thus prefer their prayer:
‘Long have we sought to instruct and please man
With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind;
The goddess heard, and bade the Muses raiso
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the soundh
Not with bare justice shall your acts be crown'u;'
This band dismiss'd, behold another crowd Preferr’d the same request, and lowly bow'd : The constant tenour of whose well-spent days No less deserved a just return of praise. But straight the direful trump of slander sounds ; Through the big dome the doubling thunder bounds Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies, The dire report through every region flies, In every ear incessant rumours rung, And gathering scandals grew on every tongue. From the black trumpet's rusty concave broke Sulphureous flames and clouds of rolling smoke The poisonous vapour blots the purple skies, And withers all before it as it flies.
A troop came next, who crowns and armour word, And proud defiance in their looks they bore :
For thee,' they cried,' amidst alarms and strife,
For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and blood
* Ambitious fools !' the queen replied, and frown'd,
had seen : Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien. 'Great idol of mankind; we neither claim The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame! But, safe in deserts from the applause of men, Would die unheard-of as we lived unseen. 'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight Those acts of goodness which themselves requite. O let us still the secret joys partake, To follow virtue e'en for virtue's sake.'
‘And live there men, who slight immortal Fanie ? Who then with incense shall adore our name? But mortals ! know, 'tis still our greatest pride, To blaze those virtues which the good would hide Rise! Muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath; These must not sleep in darkness and in death.' She said: in air the trembling music floats, And on the winds triumphant swell the notes ; So soft, though high, so loud, and yet so clear, E'en listening angels lean from heaven to hear; To farthest shores the ambrosial spirit flies, Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.
Next these a youthful train their vows express'd, With feathers crown'd, with gay embroidery dress'd
Hither, they cried, 'direct your eyes, and see The men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry; Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays; Sprightly our nights, polite are all our days;