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The evening came, yet there the people stood,
2. SOLILOQUY OF VAN ARTEVELDE. — Henry Taylor.
The dweller in the mountains, on whose ear
4. TITUS BEFORE JERUSALEM. – Rev. H. H. Milmar It must be And yet it moves me, Romans! it confounds The counsel of my firm philosophy, That Ruin's merciless ploughshare must pass o’er, And harren saltei be sown on yon proud city. As on this olive-crowned hill we stand, Where Hebron at our feet its scanty waters Distils from stone to stone with gentle motion, As through a valley sacred to sweet peace, How boldly doth it front us! how majestically! Like a luxurious vineyard, the hill-side Is hung with marble fabrics, line o'er line, Terrace o'er terrace, nearer still and nearer To the blue heavens! There bright and sumptuous palaces, With cool and verdant gardens interspersed ; There towers of war that frown in massy strength ; While over all hangs the rich purple eve, As conscious of its being her last farewell Of light and glory to that fated city. And, as our clouds of battle, dust, and smoke, Are melted into air, behold the Temple In undisturbed and lone serenity, Finding itself a solemn sanctuary In the profound of heaven! It stands before us A mount of snow, fretted with golden pinnacles ! The very sun, as though he worshipped there, Lingers upon the gilded cedar roofs, And down the long and branching porticos! On every flowery-sculptured capital Glitters the homage of his parting beams ! By Herculēs! the sight might almost win The offended majesty of Rome to mercy,
5. THE DUKE ARANZA TO JULIANA. – John Tobin.
Thus modestly attired,
No deeper rubies than compose thy lips,
CLXXX. — THE COLOSSEUM BY MOONLIGHT.
The Colosse an is the name given to the largest amphitheatre in the world, that of Vespasian and Titus in Rome, completed in the eightieth year of the Christian era, and the ruins of wbich are still attractive for their stupendous and picturesque appearance. It is a building of an elliptio figure, and covers five acres and a quarter of ground, the walls being one hundred and sixty-six feet high. It had seats for eighty-seven thousand spectators, with standing room for twenty-two thousand others. The great object of this magnificent building was to exhibit the brutal spectacle of the gladiators contending with wild beasts. The following is an account of a reoent visit by moonlight to the Colosseum, by an American traveller :
1. As a matter of course, everybody goes to the Colosse’um by moonlight. The great charm of the ruin under this condition is, that the imagination is substituted for sight, the mind for the eye. The essential character of moonlight is hard rather than soft. The line between light and shadow is sharply defined, and there is no gradation of color. Blocks and walls of silver are bordered by and spring out of chasms of blackness. But moonlight shrouds the Colosseum in mystery. It opens deep vaults of gloom where the eye meets only an ěbon wall, but upon which the fancy paints innumerable pictures in solemn, splendid, and tragic colors. Shadowy forms of emperor and lictor, and vestal virgin and gladiator and martyr, come out of the darkness, and pass before us in long and silent procession. The breezes which blow through the broken arches are changed into voices, and recall the shouts and cries of a vast audience. By day the Co. losseum is an impressive fact; by night it is a stately vision. By day it is a lifeless form ; by night, a vital thought.
2. The Colosseum should by all means be seen by a bright starlight, or under the growing sickle of a young moon. The fainter ray and deeper gloom bring out more strongly its visionary and ideal character. When the full moon has blotted out the stars, it fills the vast gulf of the building with a flood of spectral light, which falls with a chilling touch upon the spirit; for then the ruin is like a “corpse in its shroud of snow," and the moon is a pale watcher by its side. But when the walls, veiled in deep shadow, seen a part of the darkness in which they are lost, when the stars are seen through their chasms and breaks, and sparkle along the broken line of the battlements, — the scene becomes another, though the same; more indistinct, yet not so mournful; contracting the sphere of sight, but enlarging that of thought; less burdening, but more suggestive.
3. It was my fortune to see the Colosseum, on one occasion, under lights which were neither of night nor day. Arrāngements were made by a party of German artists to illuminate it with artificial flames of blue, red, and green. The evening was propitious for the object, being dark and still, and nearly all the idlers in Rome attended. Everything was managed with taste and skill, and the experiment was entirely successful. It was quite startling to see the darkness suddenly dispelled by these weird lights, revealing a dense mass of animated countenances. and hanging a broad sheet of green or crimson upon the wall. The magic change was a sort of epigram to the eye. But, from the association of such things with the illusions of the stage, the spectacle suggested debasing comparisons. It seemed a theatri. cal exhibition, unworthy of the dignity and majesty of the Colosseum. It was like seeing a faded countenance repaired with artificial roses, or a venerable form clothed in some quaint and motley disguise, suited only to the bloom and freshness of youth. Such lights, far more than sunshine, “ gild but to flout the ruin
4. But under all aspects, — in the blaze of noon, at sunset, by the light of the moon or stars,— the Colosseum stands alone and unapproached. It is the monarch of ruins. It is a great tragedy in stone, and it softens and subdues the mind like a drama of Æschylus or Shakspeare. It is a colossal type of those struggles of humanity against an irresistible destiny, in which the tragic poet finds the elements of his art. The calami. ties which crushed the house of Atreus are symbolized in its broken arches and shattered walls. Built of indestructible materials, and seemingly for eternity, of a size, material, and form, to defy the “ strong hours” which conquer all, it has bowed its head to their touch, and passed into the inevitable cycle of decay. “ And this, too, shall pass away,” — which the Eastern monarch engraved upon his signet-ring, — is carved upon these Cyclopē'an blocks. The stones of the Colosseum were once water; and they are now turning into dust.
5. Such is ever the circle of nature. The solid is changing into the fluid, and the fluid into the solid ; and that which is unseen is alone indestructible. He does not see the Colosseum
a right, who carries away from it no other impressions than those of form, size, and hue. It speaks an intelligible language to the wiser mind. It rebukes the peevish, and consoles the patient. It teaches us that there are misfortunes which are clothed with dig. nity, and sorrows that are crowned with grandeur. As the same blue sky smiles upon the ruin, which smiled upon the perfect structure, so the same beneficent Providence bends over our shat. tered hopes and our answered prayers.
6. The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Of the snow-shining mountains. - Beautiful !
I learned the language of another world.
When I was wandering, upon such a night
Begun and died upon the gentle wind.
Appeared to skirt the horizon, yet they stood
Grovel on earth in indistinct decay.
All this, and cast a wide and tender light,