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LXXXIII.

LXXXV. " If you want armor or aught else, go in,

'Twas an immeasurable giant's, who Look o'er the wardrobe, and take what you choose By the great Milo of Agrante fell, And cover with it o'er this giant's skin."

Before the abbey many years ago.
Orlando answer'd, “If there should lie loose The story on the wall was figured well;
Some armor, ere our journey we begin,

In the last moment of the abbey's foe,
Which might be turn'd to my companion's use, Whó long had waged a war implacable :
The gift would be acceptable to me.

Precisely as the war occurr'd they drew him, The abbot said to him, " Come in and see.” And there was Milo as he overthrew him. LXXXIV.

LXXXVI. And in a certain closet, where the wall

Seeing this history, Count Orlando said Was covered with old armor like a crust,

In his own heart, “Oh God, who in the sky The abbot said to them, “I give you all.”

Know'st all things ! how was Milo hither led?
Morgante rummaged piecemeal from the d'ast | Who caused the giant in this place to die?"
The whole, which, save one cuirass, was too small, And certain letters, weeping, then he read,

And that too had the mail inlaid with ru'st. : | So that he could not keep his visage dry,
They wonder'd how it fitted him exactly,

As I will tell in the ensuing story.
Which ne'er had suited others so compactly. From evil keep you the high King of glory!

THE PROPHECY OF DANTE.

6 'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before."

CAMPBELL,

DEDICATION.

| “On this hint I spake," and the result has been

the following four cantos, in terza rima, now offered LADY! if for the cold and cloudy clime

to the reader. If they are understood and approved, Where was I born, but where I would not die, it is my purpose to continue the poem in various Of the great Poet-Sire of Italy

other cantos to its natural conclusion in the present I dare to build the imitative rhyme,

age. The reader is requested to suppose that Dante Harsh Runic copy of the South's sublime,

addresses him in the interval between the conclusion Thou art the cause; and howsoever I

of his Divina Commedia and his death, and shortly Fall short of his immortal harmony,

before the latter event, foretelling the fortunes of Thy gentle heart will pardon me the crime. Italy in general in the ensuing centuries. In adopting Thou, in the pride of Beauty and of Youth, this plan I have had in my mind the Cassandra of Spak'st; and for thee to speak and be obey'd Lycophron, and the Prophecy of Nereus by Horace, Are one; but only in the sunny South

as well as the Prophecies of Holy Writ. The meaSuch sounds are utter'd, and such charms display'd, sure adopted is the terza rima of Dante, which I am So sweet a language from so fair a mouth

not aware to have seen hitherto tried in our language, Ah! to what effort would it not persuade?

except it may be by Mr. Hayley, of whose translaRavenna, June 21, 1819.

tion I never saw but one extract, quoted in the notes to Caliph Vathek; so that-if I do not err--this poem may be considered as a metrical experiment. The cantos are short, and about the same length of

those of the poet whose name I have borrowed, and PREFACE.

most probably taken in vain.

Among the inconveniences of authorg in the In the course of a visit to the city of Ravenna in present day, it is difficult for any who have a name, the summer of 1819, it was suggested to the author good or bad, to escape translation. I have had the that having composed something on the subject of fortune to see the fourth canto of Childe Harold Tasso's confinement, he should do the same on translated into Italian versi sciolti that is, a poem

Jante's exile-the tomb of the poet forming one of written in Spenserean stanza into blank verse, with.hc principal objects of interest in that city, both to out regard to the natural divisions of the stanza, or the native sad to the strange“.

of the sense. If the present poem, being on : national topic should chance to undergo the same, By tyrannous faction, and the brawling crowd; fate, I would request the Italian reader to remember! And though the long, long conflict hath been spent that when I have failed in the imitation of his great In vain, and never more, save when the cloud “Padre Alighier,” I have failed in imitating that which overhangs the Apennine, my mind's eye which all study and few understand, since to this Pierces to fancy Florence, once so proud very day it is not yet settled what was the meaning of me, can I return, though but to die, of the allegory in the first canto of the Inferno, Unto my native soil, they have not yet unless Count Marchetti's ingenious and probable Quench'd the old exile's spirit, stern and high conjecture may be considered as having decided But the sun, though not overcast, must set, the question.

And the night cometh ; I am old in days, He may also pardon my failure the more, as I am And deeds, and contemplation, and have met not quite sure that he would be pleased with my Destruction face to face in all his ways. success, since the Italians, with a pardonable. The world hath left me, what it found me, puro, nationality, are particularly jealous of all that is And if I have not gather'd yet its praise, left them as a nation-their literature; and in the I sought it not by any baser lure; present bitterness of the classic and romantic war, Man wrongs, and Time avenges, and my name are but ill disposed to permit a foreigner even to May form a monument not all obscure, approve or imitate them without finding fault with Though such was not my ambition's end or aim, his ultramontane presumption. I can easily enter To add to the rain-glorious list of those into all this, knowing what would be thought in Who dabble in the pettiness of fame, England of an Italian imitator of Milton, or if a And make men's fickle breath the wind that blows translation of Monti, or Pindemonte, or Arici, Their sail, and deem it glory to be class'd should be held up to the rising generation as a With conquerors, and virtue's other foes, model for their future poetical essays. But I per- In bloody chronicles of ages past. ceive that I am deviating into an address to the I would have had my Florence great and free ;3 Italian reader, when my business is with the English! Oh Florence! Florence! unto me thou wast one, and be they few or many, I must take my leave Like that Jerusalem which-the-Almighty He of both.

Wept over, “but thou would'st not;" as the bird

Gathers its young, I would have gather'd thee
Beneath a parent pinion, hadst thou heard
My voice; but as the adder, deaf and fierce,

Against the breast that cherished thee was stirr')

Thy venom, and my state thou didst amerce,
CANTO I.

And doom this body forfeit to the fire.

Alas! how bitter is his country's curse ONCE more in man's frail world! which I had left To him who for that country would expire, So long that 'twas forgotten; and I feel

But did not merit to expire by her, The weight of clay again,-too soon bereft

And loves her, loves her even in her ire. Of the immortal vision which could heal

The day may come when she will cease to err, My earthly sorrows, and to God's own skies

The day may come she would be proud to have Lift me from that deep gulf without repeal,

The dust she dooms to scatter, and transfer Where late my ears rung with the damned cries Of him whom she denied a home, the grave.

Of souls in hopeless bale; and from that place But this shall not be granted ; let my dust
Of lesser torment, whence men may arise

Lie where it falls ; nor shall the soil which gave Pure from the fire to join the angelic race;

Me breath, but in her sudden fury thrust Midst whom my own bright Beatrice bless'di 1. Me forth to breathe elsewhere, so reassume My spirit with her light; and to the base

My indignant bones, because her angry gust Of the eternal Triad! first, last, best,

Forsooth is over, and repeal'd her doom; Mysterious, three, sole, infinite, great God! No,-she denied me what was mine-my roof, Soul universal ! led the mortal guest,

And shall not have, what is not hers-my tomb. Unblasted by the glory, though he trod

Too long her armed wrath hath kept aloof From star to star to reach the almighty throne. The breast which would have bled for her, the heart Oh Beatricē! whose sweet limbs the sod

That beat, the mind that was temptation procf, So long hath prest, and the cold marble stone, The man who fought, toil'd, travelled, and each part Thou sole pure seraph of my earliest love,

Of a true citizen fulfill'd, and saw Love so ineffable, and so alone,

For his reward the Guelf's ascendant art That nought on earth could more my bosom move, Pass his destruction even into a law.

And meeting thee in heaven was but to meet these things are not made for forgetfulness

That without which my soul, like the arkless dove, Florence shall be forgotten first; too raw
Had wander'd still in search of, nor her feet The wound, too deep the wrong, and the distress

Relieved her wing till found; without thy lightOf such endurance too prolong'd to make
My paradise had still been incomplete.2

My pardon greater, her injustice less,
Since my tenth sun gave summer to my sight Though late repented; yet-yet for her sake

Thou wert my life, the essence of my thought, l I feel some fonder yearnings, and for thine

Loved ere I knew the name of love, and bright My own Beatrice, I would hardly take Still in these dim old eyes, now overwrought Vengeance upon the land which once was mine,

With the world's war, and years, and banishment, And still is hallow'd by thy dust's return,

And tears for thee, by other woes untaught; Which would protect the murderess like a shrine For mine is not a nature to be bent

And save ten thousand foes by thy sole urn,

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Though, like old Marius from Minturnæ's marsh | Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she, 5

And Carthage ruins, my lone breast may burn | Their mother, the cold partner who hath brought At times with evil feelings hot and harsh,

| Destruction for a dowry—this to see And sometimes the last pangs of a vile foe And feel, and know without repair, hath taught Writhe in a dream before me, and o'erarch

A bitter lesson; but it leaves me free:
My brow with hopes of triumph,--let them go! | I have not vilely found, nor basely sought,
Such are the last infirmities of those

They made an exile-not a slave of me.
Who long have suffer'd more than mortal wo,
And yet being mortal still, have no repose,

But on the pillow of Revenge-Revenge,

Who sleeps to dream of blood, and waking glows
With the oft-baffled, slakeless thirst of change,
When we shall mount again, and they that trod

CANTO II.
Be trampled on, while Death and Até range
O’er humbled heads and sever'd necks- Great God! The Spirit of the fervent days of Old,

Take these thoughts from me-to thy hands I yield When words were things that came to pass, and
My many wrongs, and thine almighty rod

thought Will fall on those who smote me,-be my shield ! Flash'd o'er the future, bidding men behold As thou hast been in peril, and in pain,

Their children's children's doom already brought In turbulent cities, and the tented field

| Forth from the abyss of time which is to be, In toil, and many troubles borne in vain

The chaos of events, where lie half-wrought For Florence, I appeal from her to Thee ! Shapes that must undergo mortality;

Thee, whom I late saw in thy loftiest reign, What the great Seers of Israel wore within, Even in that glorious vision, which to see

That spirit was on them, and is on me, And live was never granted until now,

And if Cassandra-like, amidst the din And yet thou hast permitted this to me.

Of conflict none will hear, or hearing heed Alas! with what a weight upon my brow

This voice from out the Wilderness, the sin The sense of earth and earthly things come back, Be theirs, and my own feelings be my meed, Corrosive passions, feelings dull and low,

The only guerdon I have ever known.
The heart's quick throb upon the mental rack, · Hast thou not bled ? and hast thou still to bleed

Long day, and dreary night; the retrospect Italia ? Ah! to me such things, foreshown
Of half a century bloody and black,

With dim sepulchral light, bid me forget
And the frail few years I may yet expect

In thine irreparable wrongs my own; Hoary and hopeless, but less hard to bear, We can have but one country, and even yet

For I have been too long and deeply wreck'd Thou’rt mine-my bones shall be within thy On the lone rock of desolate Despair

breast, To lift my eyes more to the passing sail

My soul within thy language, which once set Which shuns that reef so horrible and bare, With our old Roman sway in the wide West; Nor raise my voice-for who would heed my wail ? | But I will make another tongue arise I am not of this people, nor this age,

As lofty and more sweet, in which expresť And yet my harpings will unfold a tale

The hero's ardor, or the lover's sighs, Which shall preserve these times when not a page Shall find alike such sounds for every theme Of their perturbed annals could attract

That every word, as brilliant as thy skies, An eye to gaze upon their civil rage,

Shall realize a poet's proudest dream, Did not my verse embalm full many an act

And make thee Europe's nightingale of song ; Worthless as they who wrought it: 'tis the doom So that all present speech to thine shall seem Of spirits of my order to be rack'd

The note of meaner birds, and every tongue In life, to wear their hearts out, and consume

Confess its barbarism, when compared with thine Their days in endless strife, and die alone;

This shalt thou owe to him thou didst so wrong, Then future thousands crowd around their tomb, Thy Tuscan Bard, the banish'd Ghibelline. And pilgrims come from climes where they have Wo! wo! the veil of coming centuries known

Is rent,-a thousand years which yet supine The name of him—who now is but a name, Lie like the ocean waves ere winds arise,

And wasting homage o'er the sullen stone, Heaving in dark and sullen undulation, Spread his-by him unheard, unheeded-fame; Float from eternity into these eyes ;

And mine at least hath cost me dear: to die The storms yet sleep, the clouds still keep their Is nothing, but to wither thusto tame

station, My mind down from its own infinity

The unborn earthquake yet is in the womb, To live in narrow ways with little men,

The bloody chaos yet expects creation, A common sight to every common eye,

But all things are disposing for thy doom ; A wanderer, while even wolves can find a den,

The elements await but for the word, Ripp'd from all kindred, from all home, all things “Let there be darkness !" and thou grow'st a That make communion sweet, and softer pain

tomb! To feel me in the solitude of kings

Yes! thou so beautiful, shall feel the sword,
Without the power that makes them bear a crown Thou, Italy! so fair that Paradise,
To envy every dove his nest and wings

Revived in thee, blooms forth to man restored ;
Which waft him where the Apennine looks down Ah! must the sons of Adam lose it twice ?
On Arno, till he perches, it may be,

Thou, Italy! whose ever golden fields, Within my all inexorable town,

Plough'd by the sunbeams solely, would suffice

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For the world's granary; thou, whose sky heaven of an invader ? is it they, or ye,

That to each host the mountain-gate unbar, With brighter stars, and robes with deeper blue; ! And leave the march in peace, the passage free?

Thou, in whose pleasant places Summer builds Why, Nature's self detains the victor's car, Her palace, in whose cradle Empire grew, . | And makes your land impregnable, if earth And form’d the Eternal City's ornaments

Could be so; but alone she will not war, From spoils of kings whom freemen overthrew; Yet aids the warrior worthy of his birth Birthplace of heroes, sanctuary of saints,

In a soil where the mothers bring forth men : Where earthly first, then heavenly glory made Not so with those whose souls are little worth;

Her home; thou, all which fondest fancy paints, For them no fortress can avail,—the den And finds her prior vision but portray'd

Of the poor reptile which preserves its sting In feeble colors, when the eye-from the Alp Is more secure than walls of adamant, when

Of horrid snow, and rock, and shaggy shade The hearts of those within are quivering. Of desert-loving pine, whose emerald scalp

Are ye not brave? Yes, yet the Ausonian soil Nods to the storm-dilates and dotes o'er thee, Hath hearts, and hands, and arms, and hosts to And wistfully implores, as 'twere, for help

bring To see thy sunny fields, my Italy,

Against Oppression; but how vain the toil, Nearer and nearer yet, and dearer still

While still Division sows the seeds of wo. The more approach'd, and dearest were they free,! And weakness, till the stranger reaps the spoil Thou-Thou must wither to each tyrant's will; Oh! my own beauteous land! so long laid low, The Goth hath been,--the German, Frank and So long the grave of thy own children's hopes, Hun.

When there is but required a single blow Are yet to come,-and on the imperial hill To break the chain, yet-yet the Avenger stops, Ruin, already proud of the deeds done

By the old barbarians, there awaits the new, And join their strength to that which with thee Throned on the Palatine, while lost and won

copes; Rome at her feet lies bleeding; and the hue What is there wanting then to set thee free, Of human sacrifice and Roman slaughter,

And show thy beauty in its fullest light? Troubles the clotted air, of late so blue,

To make the Alps impassable; and we, And deepens into red the saffron water

Her sons, may do this with one deedU nite. Of Tiber, thick with dead; the helpless priest,

And still more helpless nor less holy daughter, Vow'd to their God, have shrieking fled, and ceased

Their ministry; the nations take their prey,

Iberian, Almain, Lombard, and the beast
And bird, wolf, vulture, more humane than they,

CANTO III.
Are; these but gorge the flesh and lap the gore
Of the departed, and then go their way; FROM out the mass of never-dying ill,
But those, the human savages, explore

The Plague, the Prince, the Stranger, and the All paths of torture, and insatiate yet,

Sword, With Ugolino hunger prowl for more.

Vials of wrath but emptied to refill Nine moons shall rise o'er scenes like this and set;& And flow again, I cannot all record The chiefless army of the dead, which late

That crowds on my prophetic eye: the earth Beneath the traitor Prince's banner met,

And ocean written o'er would not afford Hath left its leader's ashes at the gate;

Space for the annal, yet it shall go forth ; Had but the royal Rebel lived, perchance

Yes, all, though not by human pen, is graven, Thou hadst been spared, but his involved thy fate. There where the farthest suns and stars have birth. Oh! Rome, the spoiler or the spoil of France, Spread like a banner at the gate of heaven,

From Brennus to the Bourbon, never, never The bloody scroll of our millennial wrongs

Shall foreign standard to thy walls advance Waves, and the echo of our groans is driven But Tiber shall become a mournful river.

Athwart the sounds of archangelic songs, Oh! when the strangers pass the Alps and Po, | And Italy, the martyr'd nation's gore, Crush them, ye rocks! ficods whelm them, and will not in vain arise to where belongs for ever!

Omnipotence and mercy evermore: , Why sleeps the idle avalanches so,

Like to a harpstring stricken by the wind, To topple on the lonely pilgrim's head?.

The sound of her lament shall, rising o'er Why doth Eridanus but overflow

The seraph voices, touch the Almighty Mind. The peasant's harvest from his turbid bed?

Meantime I, humblest of thy sons, and of
Were not each barbarous horde a nobler prey ? Earth's dust by immortality refined
Over Cambyses' host the desert spread

To sense and suffering, though the vain max seothie Her sandy ocean, and the sea waves' sway

And tyrants threat, and weeker victinas bow Roll'd over Pharaoh and his thousands,why Before the storm because its breath is rough,

Mountains and waters, do ye not as they ? To thee, my country! whom before, as now,
And you, ye men! Romans, who dare not die, 1 I loved and love, devote the mournful lyre
Sons of the conquerors who overthrew

And melancholy gift high powers allow
Those who overthrew.proud Xerxes, where yet lie To read the future; and if now my fire
The dead whose tomb Oblivion never knew,

Is not as once it shone o'er thee, forgive! Are the Alps weaker than Thermopylæ ?

I but foretell thy fortunes-them expire; Their passes more alluring to the view

| Think not that I would look on them and live

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A spirit forces me to see and speak,

In's mouth, lest truth should stammer through his And for my guerdon grants not to survive;

strain, My heart shall be pour'd over thee and break: But out of the long file of sonneteers Yet for a moment, ere I must resume

There shall be some who will not sing in vain, Thy sable web of sorrow, let me take

And he, their prince shall rank among my peers," Over the gleams that flash athwart thy gloom And love shall be his torment; but his grief A softer glimpse; some stars shine through thy Shall make an immortality of tears, night,

And Italy shall hail him as the Chief And many meteors, and above thy tomb

Of poet-lovers, and his higher song Leans sculptured Beauty, which Death cannot Of Freedom wreathe him with as green a leaf. blight;

But in a farther age shall rise along And from thine ashes boundless spirits rise

The banks of Po two greater still than he; To give thee honor, and the earth delight; The world which smiled on him shall do taem Thy soil shall still be pregnant with the wise,

wrong The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and the brave, Till they are ashes, and repose with me. Native to thee as summer to thy skies,

The first will make an epoch with his lyre
Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far ware, | And fill the earth with feats of chivalry;

Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name;8 His fancy like a rainbow, and his fire,
For thee alone they have no arm to save,

Like that of Heaven, immortal, and his thought And all thy recompense is in their fame,

Borne onward with a wing that cannot tire: A noble one to them, but not to thee

Pleasure shall, like a butterfly new caught, Shall they be glorious, and thou still the same? Flutter her lovely pinions o'er his theme, Oh! more than these illustrious far shall be

And Art itself seem into Nature wrought The being-and even yet he may be born By the transparency of his bright dream.The mortal saviour who shall set thee free,

The second, of a tenderer, sadder mood, And see thy diadem so changed and worn

Shall pour his soul out o'er Jerusalem; By fresh barbarians, on thy brow replaced ; He, too, shall sing of arms, and Christian blood And the sweet sun replenishing thy morn,

Shed where Christ bled for man; and his high harp
Thy moral morn, too long with clouds defaced Shall, by the willow over Jordan's flood,
And noxious vapors from Avernus risen,

Revive a song of Sion, and the sharp
Such as all they must breathe who are debased Conflict, and final triumph of the brave
By servitude, and have the mind in prison.

And pious, and the strife of hell to warp
Yet through this centuried eclipse of wo

Their hearts from their great purpose, until wave Some voices shall be heard, and earth shall listen; | The red-cross banners where the first red Cross Poets shall follow in the path I show,

Was crimson'd from his veins who died to save, And make it broader; the same brilliant sky Shall be his sacred argument; the loss Which cheers the birds to song shall bid them Of years, of favor, freedom, even of fame

Contested for a time, while the smooth gloss And raise their notes as natural and high;

Of courts would slide o'er his forgotten.name,

Many of love, and some of liberty,

To shield him from insanity or shame, But few shall soar upon that eagle's wing, Such shall be his meet guerdon! who was sent

And look in the sun's face with eagle's gaže, To be Christ's Laureat-they reward him well! All free and fearless as the feather'd king,

Florence dooms me but death or banishment, But fly more near the earth; how many a phrase Ferrara him a pittance and a cell,

Sublime shall lavish'd beson some small prince Harder to bear and less deserved, for I
In all the prodigality of praise !

Had stung the factions which I strove to quell; And language, eloquently false, evince

But this meek man, who with a lover's eye The harlotry of genius, which, like beauty, Will look on earth and heaven, and who will deign Too oft forgets its own self-reverence,

To embalm with his celestial flattery, And looks on prostitution as a duty.

As poor a thing as e'er was spawn'd to reign, 9He who once enters in a tyrant's hall

What will he do to merit such a doom?
As guest is slave, his thoughts become a booty, Perhaps he'll love,-and is not love in vain,
And the first day which sees the chain enthral Torture enough without a living tomb?

A captive, sees his half of manhood gone-10 Yet it will be so-he and his compeer,
The soul's emasculation saddens all

The Bard of Chivalry, will both consume
His spirit; thus the Bard too near the throne In penury and pain too many a year,

Quails from his inspiration, bound to please, And, dying in despondency, bequeath

How servile is the task to please alone!
To smooth the verse to suit his sovereign's ease A heritage enriching all who breathe
And royal leisure, nor too much prolong

With the wealth of a genuine poet's soul,
Aught save his eulogy, and find, and seize, And to their country a redoubled wreath,
Or force, or forge fit argument of song ?

Unmatch'd by time; not Hellas can unroll Thus trammell'd, thus condemn'd to Flattery's Through her olympiads such names, though one trebles,

Of hers be mighty ;-and is this the whole He toils through all, still trembling to be wrong: Of such men's destiny beneath the sun ? For fear some noble thoughts, like heavenly rebels, Must all the finer thoughts, the thrilling sense, Should rise up in high treason to his brain, | The electric blood with which their arteries run, He sings, as the Athenian spoke, with pebbles 'Their body's self-tuned soul with the intense

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