The Invisible Column

A N Urn, upon a summit plac'd,
Was a mere implement of taste:
No parrot's ashes it contain'd,
Or linnet's early doom arraign'd,
Like other expletives on earth
In Beauty center'd all its worth,
An empty charm, a barren grace,
And the usurper of its place.
But nothing is on earth ensur'd:
The pedestal its crown abjur'd.
The urn, detach'd, like whirlwinds roll'd,
And, by the chisel uncontroll'd,
Its form disjointed by the way
Broke into mutilated clay.
A Rock the pedestal remain'd,
And, proudly firm, its root sustain'd:
I listen'd, and I heard its voice:
" A Naval Pillar is my choice,
Prophetic are my views to Fame,
And mine shall be the Hero's name. "
No sooner had the voice been heard
Than Courage and Renown concurr'd
Upon this pedestal to raise
A Pillar stamp'd with Hardinge's praise —
A wreath domesticated here,
To native rights and blessings dear.
" But where's the Pillar all the while? "
(Said Fame with a satiric smile):
With jealous anger, Love replies,
" No Column here for him shall rise,
'Tis the impertinence of Art: — "

*****
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