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Pour out my unpremeditated verse
Where on his mule I might have met so oft
Horace himself; or climb the Palatine,
Dreaming of old Evander and his guest,
Inscribe my name on some broad aloe-leaf
That shoots and spreads within those very walls
Where Virgil read aloud his tale divine,
Where his voice faltered, and a mother wept
Tears of delight!


But what a narrow space

Just underneath! In many a heap the ground
Heaves, as though Ruin in a frantic mood
Had done his utmost. Here and there appears,
As left to show his handiwork, not ours,

An idle column, a half-buried arch,

A wall of some great temple. It was once
The Forum, whence a mandate, eagle-winged,
Went to the ends of the earth. Let us descend

Slowly. At every step much may be lost.
The very dust we tread stirs as with life,
And not the slightest breath that sends not up
Something of human grandeur. We are come,
Are now where once the mightiest spirits met
In terrible conflict; this, while Rome was free,
The noblest theatre on this side heaven!


Here the first Brutus stood-when o'er the corse
Of her so chaste all mourned-and from his cloud
Burst like a god. Here, holding up the knife
That ran with blood-the blood of his own child-
Virginius called down vengeance.

Here Cincinnatus passed, his plow the while
Left in the furrow; and how many more

Whose laurels fade not, who still walk the earth,

Consuls, dictators, still in curule pomp

Sit and decide, and, as of old in Rome,

Name but their names, set every heart on fire!


Now all is changed, and here, as in the wild,
The day is silent, dreary as the night;
None stirring, save the herdsman and his herd,
Savage alike, or they that would explore,
And learnedly discuss; or they that come
(And there are many who have crossed the earth)
That they may give the hours to meditation,
And wander, often saying to themselves,
"This was the Roman Forum!"


SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Chamber: L. cam'era, a vault. . . . Classic: L. classicus; fr. class'is, class; relating to the classes of the Roman people, and especially to the first class; h., the term classic is applied to Greek and Latin authors of confirmed celebrity. . . . Column: L. colum'na; fr. cello, cel'sus, to urge on, to raise; h., colonnade. Curule: L. curu'






lis, of or pertaining to a chariot; fr. cur'rus, a chariot; fr. cur'ro, cur'sus, to run; h., car, career, carry, con-course, con-cur, corridor, courier, course, current, curricle, cursory, dis-course, dis-cursive, ex-cursion, in-cur, intercourse, oc-cur (oc = ob), pre-cursor, re-course, suc-cor (suc sub), etc. . . . Descend: L. descen'do, descen'sum, to come down; fr. de and scan'do, I climb: v. ASCEND. . . . Discuss: L. discu'tio, discus'sum, to shake asunder; fr. dis, and cut'io, cus'sum (a form of quăt'io, quas'sum) to shake; h., con-cussion, per-cussion, res-cue (res = re), etc. Exceed: L. exce'do, exces'sum, to go out; fr. ex, out, and ce'do, ces'sum, to go, to yield; h., ac-cede, an-cestor (an an'te), ante-cedent (an'te, before), cease, cede, cession, con-cede, de-cease, in-cessant, inter-cede, pre-cede, pre-cedent, pre-de-cessor, pro-ceed, re-cede, se-cede, suc-ceed, suc-cess, suc-cession, sur-cease, etc. . . . Fortitude: L. fortitu'do, strength; fr. for'tis, strong; h., comfort, to make strong, ejfort, force, fort, fortify, etc. . . . Illustrious: L. illus'tris, lighted up: v. ILLUMINATE. . . . Image: L. ima'go, ima'ginis; allied to im'itor, imita'tus, to imitate; h., imagination, inimitable, etc. . . . Inscribe: L. inscri'bo, inscrip-lum, to write in or upon; fr. in and scribo, I write; h., a-scribe (a = ad), circum-scribe, de-scribe, de-scriptive, im-pre-scriptible, manu-script (ma'nus, hand), pre-scribe, pro-scribe, scribble, scribe, scrip, Scripture, subscribe, tran-scribe. Maintain: F. maintenir (main and tenir); fr. the L. man'us, a hand, ten'eo, I hold; to hold in hand; to keep.. Massacre: F. massacrer, to slaughter; probably connected with L. macel'lum, a meat market. Mausoleum: fr. the gorgeous tomb of Mau'solus, king of Caria, which his widow erected. . . Modern: F. moderne; fr. L. mō'do, just now, but of late.



By the WEATHER-GLEAM the poet means a sudden shoot of light in the direction from which the wind blows. In line 7 BORNE is not a perfect rhyme to MORN; in borne o is long as in bore; in morn it has the sound of o in nor. In lines 33, 34, SHONE should be pronounced shon, GONE, gon. The unaccented vowel is sounded in ves'sel, but not in heav'en.


MAGNIFICENT creature! so stately and bright!
In the pride of thy spirit pursuing thy flight;
For what hath the child of the desert to dread,
Wafting up his own mountains that far-beaming head,
Or borne like a whirlwind down, down on the vale?
Hail, king of the wild and the beautiful, hail!
Hail, idol divine, whom Nature hath borne

O'er a hundred hill-tops since the mists of the morn!
Whom the pilgrim, lone wandering on mountain and moor,
As the vision glides by him may blameless adore;
For the joy of the happy, the strength of the free,
Are spread in a garment of glory o'er thee!


Up, up to yon cliff, like a king to the throne,
O'er the black silent forest piled lofty and lone!
A throne which the eagle is glad to resign
Unto footsteps so fleet and so fearless as thine.

There the bright heather springs up in love of thy breast;
Lo! the clouds in the depths of the sky are at rest,
And the race of the wild winds is o'er on the hill-
In the hush of the mountains, ye antlers, lie still;
For your branches now toss in the storm of delight
Like the arms of the pine on yon shelterless height.
One moment, thou bright apparition, delay!
Then melt o'er the crags like the sun from the day.


Aloft on the weather-gleam, scorning the earth,
The wild spirit hung in majestical mirth;

In dalliance with danger he bounded in bliss
O'er the fathomless gloom of each moaning abyss;
O'er the grim rocks careering with prosperous motion
Like a ship by herself in full sail o'er the ocean;
Then proudly he turned ere he sank to the dell,
And shook from his forehead a haughty farewell,
While his horns in a crescent of radiance shone
Like a flag burning bright when the vessel is gone.


His voyage is o'er! As if struck by a spell
He motionless stands in the hush of the dell;
There softly and slowly sinks down on his breast,
In the midst of his pastime enamored of rest.
A stream in a clear pool that endeth its race,
A dancing ray chained to one sunshiny place,
A cloud by the wind to calm solitude driven,
A hurricane dead in the silence of heaven.



1. "You say that coal is transformed vegetable matter, but can you show us how the transformation takes place? Is it possible, according to known natural laws?" The chemist must answer that. And he tells us that wood can become lignite, or wood-coal, by parting with its oxygen in the shape of carbonic acid gas or choke-damp, and then common or bituminous coal by parting with its hydrogen chiefly in the form of carbureted hydrogen-the gas with which we light our streets. That is about as much as the unscientific reader need know. But it is a fresh corroboration of the theory that coal has been once vegetable fibre, for it shows how vegetable fibre can, by the laws of nature, become coal. And it certainly helps us to believe that a thing has been done if we are shown that it can be done.

2. This fact explains also why, in mines of wood-coal, carbonic acid—i. e., choke-damp—alone is given off. For in the wood-coal a great deal of the hydrogen still remains. But in mines of true coal, not only is choke-damp given off, but that more terrible pest of the miners, fire-damp or explosive carbureted hydrogen and olefiant gases. Now, the occurrence of that fire-damp in mines proves that changes are still going on in the coal; that it is getting rid of its hydrogen and so progressing toward the state of anthracite or culm-stone-coal, as it is sometimes called. In the Pennsylvanian coal-fields, some of the coal has actually done this, under the disturbing force of earthquakes, for the coal, which is bituminous, becomes gradually anthracite.

3. And is a further transformation possible? Yes, and more than one. If we conceive the anthracite cleared of all but its last atoms of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen, till it has become all but pure carbon, it would become, as it has become in certain rocks of immense antiquity, graphite, what we miscall black lead. And after that it might go through one transformation more, and that the most startling of all. It would need only perfect purification and crystallization to become a diamond; nothing less. We may consider the coal upon the fire as the middle term of a series, of which the first is live wood and the last diamond, and indulge safely in the fancy that every diamond in the world has probably, at some remote, epoch, formed part of a growing plant. A strange transformation, which will look to us more strange, more truly poetical, the more steadily we consider it.

4. The coal on the fire, the table at which I write, what are they made of? Gas and sunbeams with a small percentage of ash or earthy salts, which need hardly be taken in account. Gas and sunbeams. Strange, but true. The life of the growing plant-and what that life is, who can tell?-laid hold of the gases in the air and in the soil, of the carbonic acid, the atmospheric air, the water, for that too is gas. It drank them in through its rootlets; it breathed them in through its leafpores, that it might distill them into sap and bud and leaf and

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