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THE TRUE GLORY OF AMERICA.
ITALIA'S vales and fountains,
Like hills on distant stormy skies,
Seem dim through Nature's tears,
The jewell'd crown and sceptre
The world has shaken with the tread
The victor's footsteps point to doom,
Rome! with thy pillar'd palaces,
And sculptured heroes all,
Snatch'd, in their warm, triumphal days, To Art's high festival;
Rome! with thy giant sons of power,
Whose pathway was on thrones, Who built their kingdoms of an hour On yet unburied bones,
I would not have my land like thee,
So lofty yet so cold!
Be hers a lowlier majesty,
In yet a nobler mould.
Thy marbles - works of wonder!
In thy victorious days, Whose lips did seem to sunder
Before the astonish'd gaze;
When statute glared on statute there,
The living on the dead,
And men as silent pilgrims were
Before some sainted head!
O, not for faultless marbles yet
Would I the light forego
That beams when other lights have set, And Art herself lies low.
O, ours a holier hope shall be
To snatch us from the dust.
And ours a sterner art than this,
A noble BELVIDERE!
Then let them bind with bloomless flowers
The busts and urns of old,
A fairer heritage be ours,
A sacrifice less cold!
Give honor to the great and good,
And wreathe the living brow,
Kindling with Virtue's mantling blood,
And pay the tribute now!
So, when the good and great go down,
To crowd those temples of our own,
And when the sculptured marble falls,
Our forms shall live in holier halls,
The Pantheon of the sky!
O! WILD, enchanting horn!
Whose music up the deep and dewy air Swells to the clouds, and calls on Echo there, Till a new melody is born
Wake, wake again, the night
Is bending from her throne of beauty down, With still stars burning on her azure crown, Intense and eloquently bright.
Night, at its pulseless noon!
When the far voice of waters mourns in song, And some tired watch-dog, lazily and long Barks at the melancholy moon.
Hark! how it sweeps away, (i)
Soaring and dying on the silent sky,
As if some sprite of sound went wandering by, With lone holloo and roundelay!
Swell, swell in glory out!
Thy tones come pouring on my leaping heart,
O! have ye heard that peal,
From sleeping city's moon-bathed battlements, Or from the guarded field and warrior tents, Like some near breath around you steal?
Or have ye in the roar
Of sea, or storm, or battle, heard it rise,
No music that of air or earth is born,
On midnight's fathomless profound!