To Rafael

Thine was the scheme, and worthy to be thine,
O Painter--Poet! with care and regu'lar toil,
To raise those marvels from the' entombing soil
With which Greek Art made Rome a place divine.
Though Gothic rage with Christian zeal combine,
Earthquake with flood,--the desolating coil
Of plague two centuries old with Guiscard's spoil,--
Brancaleone's fierccly--sage design,
With other shocks,--of Pagan Rome to make
A mere blank memo'ry,--thou hadst bade awake
Rare shapes from their deep beds, had Sympathy
Lent thee good aid ... Still I could wish for thee
That thou had'st never yearned for them,--elate
To be in Christian Art so great among the Great.

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