« AnteriorContinuar »
Feeling of that which is, and fancy of
Of poesy, which peoples but the air
Storm be still scattered? Yes, and it must be ; The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected,
Faints o'er the labor unapproved-Alas!
| Despair and Genius are too oft connected. Back to their native mansion, soon they find Within the ages which before me pass,
Earth's mist with their pure pinions not agree, | Art shall resume and equal even the sway, And die or are degraded, for the mind
Which with Apelles and old Phidias, Succumbs to long infection, and despair,
She held in Hellas' unforgotten day. And vulture passions flying close behind,
Ye shall be taught by Ruin to revive . Await the moment to assail and tear;
The Grecian forms at least from their decay, And when at length the winged wanderers stoop, And Roman souls at last again shall live
Then is the prey-'sird's triumph, then they share In Roman works wrought by Italian hands, The spoil, o'erpower'd at length by one fell swoop. And temples, loftier than the old temples, give
Yet some have been untouch'd who learn’d to bear, New wonders to the world; and while still stands
Some whom no power could ever force to droop, The austere Pantheon, into heaven shall soar Who could resist themselves even, hardest care! A dome,i2 its image, while the base expands And task most hopeless; but some such have been, Into a fame surpassing all before,
And if my name among the number were, | Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in: ne'er That destiny austere, and yet serene,
Such sight hath been unfolded by a door Were prouder than more dazzling fame unblest; As this, to which all nations shall repair,
The Alp's snow summit nearer heaven is seen, 1 And lay their sins at this gate of heaven. Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest,
1 And the bold Architect unto whose care Whose splendor from the black abyss is flung, The daring charge to raise it shall be given, While the scorch'd mountain, from whose burning Whom all arts shall acknowledge as their lord, A temporary torturing flame is wrung, [breast Whether into the marble chaos driven Shines for a night of terror, then repels
His chisel bid the Hebrew, 13 at whose word Its fire back to the hell from whence it sprung, Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone, l'he hell which in its entrails ever dwells.
Or hues of Hell be by his pencil pour'd
Such as I saw them, such as all shall see,
Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown,
The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from CANTO IV.
The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realms MANY are poets who have never penn'd
Which form the empire of eternity. Their inspiration, and perchance the best:
Amidst the clash of swords, and clang of helms,
The god within them, and rejoin'd the stars Calamity the nations with distress,
The genius of my country shall arise, l'han those who are degarded by the jars
A Cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, Of passion, and their frailties link'd to fame, Lovely in all its branches to all eyes,
Conquerors of high renown, but full of scars. Fragrant as fair, and recognized afar, Many are poets, but without the name,
Wafting its native incense through the skies. For what is poesy but to create
Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport of war, From overfeeling good or ill; and aim
Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and gaze At an external life beyond our fate,
On canvas or on stone; and they who mar And be the new Prometheus of new men, All beauty upon earth, compellid to praise,
Bestowing fire from heaven, and then, too late, Shall feel the power of that which they destroy, Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain,
And Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise And vultures to the heart of the bestower, To tyrants, who but take her for a toy, Who having lavish'd his high gift in vain,
Emblems and monuments, and prostitute Lies chain'd to his lone rock by the sea-shore ? Her charms to pontiffs proud, 16 who but employ So be it: we can bear.-But thus all they
The man of genius as the meanest brute Whose intellect is an o'ermastering power
To bear a burden, and to serve a need, Which still recoils from its incumbering clay,
To sell his labors and his soul to boot. Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er
Who toils for nations may be poor indeed, The form which their creations may essay,
But free; who sweats for monarch is no more Are bards; the kindled marble's bust may wear Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed and More poesy upon its speaking brow,
fee'd, Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear; Stands sleek and slavish, bowing at his door. One noble stroke with a whole life may glow
Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest! how Or deify the canvass till it shine
Is it that they on earth, whose earthly power With beauty so surpassing all below,
Is likest thine in heaven in outward show, That they who kneel to idols so divine
Least like to thee in attributes divine, Break no commandment, for high heaven is there Tread on the universal necks that bow, Transfused, transfigurated : and the line
And then assure us that their right are thine ?
And how is it that they, the sons of fame, | Florence! when this lone spirit, which so long
Whose inspiration seems to them to shine 1 Yearn'd, as the captive toiling at escape, From high, they whom the nations oftest name, To fly back to thee in despite of wrong, Must pass their days in penury or pain, | An exile, saddest of all prisoners, :
Or step to grandeur through the paths of shame, Who has the whole world for a dungeon strong, And wear a deeper brand and gaudier chain ? Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge for barš, Or if their destiny be born aloof
Which shut him from the sole small spot of earth From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain, 1 Where--whatsoe'er his fate-he still were hers, In their own souls sustain a harder proof,
His country's, and might die where he had birth The inner war of passions deep and fierce ?
Florence! when this lone spirit shall return
| The ashes thou shalt ne'er obtain-Alas! Makes greater, and accumulates my curse,
“What have I done to thee, my people ?'”17 St.rn Shall live, outliving all thou holdest dear,
Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass Thy pride, thy wealth, thy freedom, and even that, The limits of man's common malice, for The most infernal of all evils here,
All that a citizen could be I was; The sway of petty tyrants in a state ;
Raised by thy will, all thine in peace or war, For such sway is not limited to kings,
And for this thou hast warr'd with me.'Tis done: And demagogues yield to them but in date, I may not overleap the eternal bar As swept off sooner; in all deadly things (other, Built up between us, and will die alone,
Which make men hate themselves, and one an- Beholding with the dark eye of a seer
In discord, cowardice, cruelty, all that springs | The evil days to gifted souls foreshown, From Death the Sin-born's incest with his mother, Foretelling them to those who will not hear. In rank oppression in its rudest shape,
As in the old time, till the hour be come [a tear, The faction Chief is but the Sultan's brother, When truth shall strike their eyes through many And the worst despot's far less human ape:
And make them own the Prophet in his tomb.
NOTES TO THE PROPHECY OF DANTE.
Midst whom my own sweet Beatrice bless'd.
The dust she dooms to scatter.
Page 511, line 103. THE reader is requested to adopt the Italian pro-l. “Ut si quis predictorum ullo tempore in fortiam nunciation of Beatrice, sounding all the syllables. dicti: communis pervenerit, tallis perveniens igne
comburatur, sic quod moriatur.”
Second sentence of Florence against Dante, My paradise had still been incomplete.
and the fourteen accused with him.-—The Latin Page 511, line 55.
is worthy of the sentence. " Che sol per le belle opre Che fanno in Cielo il sole e l'altre stelle
Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she.
Page 512, line 69.
This lady, whose name was Gemma, sprung from
one of the most powerful Guelf families, named Canzone, in which Dante describes the person of Donati. Corso Donati was the principal adversary Beatrice, Strophe third.
of the Ghibellines. She is described as being "Ad3.
modum morosa, ut de Xantippe Socratis philosophi
conjuge. scriptum esse legimus,” according to GianI would have had my Florence great and free.
nozzo Manetti. But Lionardo Aretino is scanPage 511, line 87.
dalized with Boccace, in his life of Dante, for “L’Esilio che m'è dato onor mi tegno. saying that literary men should not marry. - Qui * .* . * *: *
il Boccaccio non ha pazienza, e dice, le mogli esser Cader tra' buoni è pur di lode degno.” contrarie agli studj ; e non si ricorda che Socrate
Sonnet of Dante, il più nobile filosofo che mai fosse, ebbe moglie e In which he represents Right, Generosity, and figliuoli e uffici della Repubblica nella sua Città ; e Temperance as banished from among men, and Aristotele che, &c., &c., ebbe due mogli in varj seeking refuge from Love, who inhabits his bosom. I tempi, ed ebbe figliuoli, e ricchezze assai.-E Marco
Tullio Catonene Varronee Seneca-ebbero
13. moglie," &c., &c. It is odd that honest Lionardo's
His chisel bid the Hebrew. examples, with the exception of Seneca, and for
Page 615, line 91. any thing I know of Aristotle, are not the most felicitous. Tully's. Terentia, and Socrates' Xan-,
| The statue of Moses on the monument of
Julius II. tippe, by no means contributed to their husbands' Julius happiness, whatever they might do to their philos
SONETTO ophy-Cato gave away his wife-of Varro's we know nothing-and of Seneca's, only that she was dis
Di Giovanni Battista Zappi. posed to die with him, but recovered, and lived several years afterwards. But says Lionardo,
Chi è costui, che in dura pietra scolto, “L'uomo è animald civile, secondo piace a tutti il
Siede gigante; e le più illustre, e conte filosofi.” And thence concludes that the greatest
Prove dell' arte avvanza, e ha vive, e pronte proof of the animal's civism is “la prima congiun
Le labbia si, che le parole ascolto ? zione, dalla quale multiplicata nasce la Città.”
Quest' è Mosé; ben me 'l diceva il folto
Onor del mento; e il doppio raggio in fronte, 6.
Quest? è Mosè, quando scendea del monte,
E gran parte del Nume avea nel volto. Nine moons shall rise oʻer scenes like this and set. |
Tal era allor, che le sonanti, e vaste
Page 513, line 40. Acque ei sospese a se d'intorno, e tale See “Sacco di Roma," generally attributed to . Quando il mar chiuse, e ne fè tomba altrui
icciardini. There is another written by a Jacopo E voi sue turbe un rio vitello alzate ? Buonaparte, Gentiluomo Samminiatese che vi si Alzata aveste imago a questa eguale! trovo presente.
Ch'era men fallo 1' adorar costui
Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far wave.
Page 514, line 15.
Over the damn'd before the Judgment throne. Alexander of Parma, Spinola, Pescara, Eugene
Page 515, line 94. of Savoy, Montecucco.
The Last Judgment, in the Sistine chapel. Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name.
Pago 514, line 16. Columbus, Americus Vespusius, Sebastian Cabot.
The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me
Page 515, line 97. 8.
I have read somewhere (if I do not err, for I can
not recollect where) that Dante was so great a He who once enters in a tyrant's hall, &c.
favorite of Michael Angelo's, that he had designed Page 514, line 49. th
the whole of the Divina Commedia ; but that the A verse from the Greek tragedians, with which volume containing these studies was lost by sea. Pompey took leave of Cornelia on entering the boat in which he was slain.
16. 10. Her charms to pontiff's proud, who but employ, 8c.
Page 515, line 117. And the first day which sees the chain enthral, sc. |
Page 514, line 53. I See the treatment of Michael Angelo by Julius The verse and sentiment are taken from Homer. 111., and his neglect by Leo ..
17. And he, their prince, shall rank among my peers. “ What have I done to thee, my people ?" Page 514, line 69.
Page 516, line 41. Petrarch.
“E scrisse più volte non solamente a particolari
cittydini del reggimento, ma ancora al popolo, e A dome, its image.
intra l'altre una Epistola assai lunga che comincia:
Page 515, line 81. — Popule mi, quid feci tibi ?'" The cupola of St. Peters.
Vita di Dante, scritta da Lionardo Aretino.