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To offer to the passing stranger's gaze
Of worthless dust, which froin thy boasted line His mansion and his sepulchre ; both plain
Is shaken into nothing ; but the link And venerably simple, such as raise
Thou formest in his fortunes bids us think A feeling more accordant with his strain,
Of thy poor malice, naming thee with scornThan if a pyramid form'd his monumental fane. Alfonso ! how thy ducal pageants shrink XXXII.
From theel if in another station born, And the soft quiet hamlet where he dwelt
Scarce fit to be the slave of him thou mad'st to
mourn: Is one of that complexion which seems made
XXXVIII. For those who their mortality have felt,
Thou! form'd to eat, and be despised, and die, And sought a refuge from their hopes decay'd
Even as the beasts that perish, save that thou In the deep umbrage of a green hill's shade, Which shows a distant prospect far away
Hadst a more splendid trough, and wider sty: Of busy cities, now in vain display'd,
Her with a glory round his furrow'd brow, For they can lure no further; and the ray
Which emanated then, and dazzles now
In face of all his foes, the Cruscan quire,
And Boileau, whose rash envy could allow
No strain which shamed his country's creaking Developing the mountains, leaves, and flowers,
lyre, And shining in the brawling brook, where-by,
That whetstone of the teeth--monotony in wire! Clear as its current, glide the sauntering hours
Peace to Torquato's injured shade! 'twas his If from society we learn to live,
In life and death to be the mark where Wrong 'Tis solitude should teach us how to die;
Aim'd with her poison'd arrows-but to miss. It hath no flatterers; vanity can give
Oh, victor unsurpass'd in modern song! No hollow aid; alone-man with his God must
Each year brings forth its millions; but how long strive:
The tide of generations shall roll on,
And not the whole combined and countless throng Or, it may be, with demons, who impair
Coinpose a mind like thine? Though all in one The strength of better thoughts, and seek their
Condensed their scatter'd rays, they would not form prey
a sun. In melancholy bosoms, such as were
XL. Of moody texture from their earliest day,
Great as thou art, yet parallel'd by those, And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay,
Thy countrymen, before thee born to shine, Deeming themselves predestined to a doom
The Bards of Hell and Chivalry: first rose Which is not of the pangs that pass away;
The Tuscan father's comedy divine; Making the sun like blood, the carth a tomb,
Then, not unequal to the Florentine,
A new creation with his magic line,
And, like the Ariosto of the North,
worth. There seems as 'twere a curse upon the seats Of former sovereigns, and the antique brood
The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust Of Este, which for many an age made good
The iron crown of laurel's mimick'd leaves; Its strength within thy walls, and was of yore
Nor was the ominous element unjust, Patron or tyrant, as the changing mood
For the true laurel-wreath which Glory weaves of petty power impell'd, of those who wore
Is of the tree no bolt of thunder cleaves, The wreath which Dante's brow alone had worn
And the false semblance but disgraced his brow; before. XXXVI.
Yet still, if fondly Superstition grieves, And Tasso is their glory and their shame.
Know that the lightning sanctifies below Hark to his strain ! and then survey his cell !
Whate'er it strikes ;-yon head is doubly sacred And see how dearly earn'd Torquato's fame,
Italia! O Italia! thou who hast
The fatal gift of beauty, which became blend
A funeral dower of present woes and past, With the surrounding maniacs, in the hell
On thy sweet brow is sorrow ploughed by shame, Where he had plunged it. Glory without end
And annals graved in characters of flame. Scatter'd the clouds away-and on that name at.
O God I that thou wert in thy nakedness
Less lovely or more powerful, and couldst claim XXXVII.
Thy right, and awe the robbers back, who press The tears and praises of all time, while thine To shed thy blood, and drink the tears of thy Would rot in its oblivion-in the sink
Was modern Luxury of Commerce born, Then mightst thou more appal; or, less desired,
| And buried Learning rose, redeem'd to a new morn. Be homely and be peaceful, undeplored For thy destructive charms; then, still untired,
XLIX. Would not be seen the armed torrents pour'd
There, too, the Goddess loves in stone, and fills Down the deep Alps; nor would the hostile horde The air around with beauty; we inhale Of inany-nation'd spoilers from the Po
The ambrosial aspect, which, beheld, instils Quaff blood and water; nor the stranger's sword Part of its immortality; the veil Be thy sad weapon of defence, and so,
Of heaven is half undrawn ; within the pale Victor or vanquish'd, thou the slave of friend or foe. We stand, and in that form and face behold XLIV.
What Mind can make, when Nature's self would
fail; Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him,
And to the fond idolaters of old The Roman friend of Rome's least mortal mind,
Envy the innate flash which such a soul could The friend of Tully: as my bark did skim
mould: The bright blue waters with a fanning wind, Came Megara before me, and behind
We gaze and turn away, and know not where, Ægina lay, Piræus on the right,
Dazzled and drunk with beauty, till the heart And Corinth on the left; I lay reclined
Reels with its fulness; there--for ever thereAlong the prow, and saw all these unite
Chain 'd to the chariot of triumphal Art, In ruin, even as he had seen the desolate sight;
We stand as captives, and would not depart. XLV.
Away !-there need no words, nor terms precise, For time hath not rebuilt them, but upreard
The paltry jargon of the marble mart, Barbaric dwellings on their shatter'd site,
Where Pedantry gulls Folly-we have eyes: Which only make more mourn'd and more en.
Blood, pulse, and breast, confirm the Dardan Shepdear'd
Appear'dst thou not to Paris in this guise:
Or to more deeply blest Anchises ? or, These sepulchres of cities, which excite
In all thy perfect goddess-ship, when lies Sad wonder, and his yet surviving page
Before thee thy own vanquish'd Lord of War? The moral lesson bears, drawn from such pil.
And gazing in thy face as toward a star, grimage.
Laid on thy lap, his eyes to thee upturn, . XLVI.
Feeding on thy sweet cheek! while thy lips are That page is now before me, and on mine
With lava kisses melting while they burn, His country's ruin added to the mass
Shower'd on his eyelids, brow, and mouth, as from Of perisi'd states he mourn'd in their decline,
an urn! And I in desolation: all that was Of then destruction is; and now, alas!
Glowing, and circuinfused in speechless love, Rome-Rome imperial, bows her to the storm,
Their full divinity inadequate In the same dust and blackness, and we pass
That feeling to express, or to improve, The skeleton of her Titanic form,
The gods become as mortals, and inan's fate Wrecks of another world, whose ashes still are
Has moments like their brightest I but the weight
Of earth recoils upon us ;-let it go! warm.
We can recall such visions, and create Yet, Italy ! through every other land
Trom what has been, or might be, things which Thy wrongs should ring, and shall, from side to
Into thy statue's form, and look like gods below. Mother of Arts! as once of Arms; thy hand
I leave to learned fingers, and wise hands,
The artist and his ape, to teach and teil Europe, repentant of her parricide,
How well his connoisseurship understands Shall yet redeem thee, and, all backward driven, The graceful bend, and the voluptuous swell: Roll the barbarian tide, and suc to be forgiven.
Let these describe the undescribable :
I would not their vile breath should crisp the XLVINI.
stream But Arno wins us to the fair white walls,
Wherein that image shall for ever dwell; Where the Etrurian Athens claims and keeps The unruffled mirror of the loveliest dream A softer feeling for her fairy halls.
That ever left the sky on the deep soul to beam. Girt by her theatre of hills, she reaps Her corn, and wine, and oil, and Plenty leaps
In Santa Croce's holy precincts lie
Even in itself an imortality,
LX. Though there were nothing save the past, and this
What is her pyramid of precious stones! The particle of those sublinities
Of porphyry, jasper, agate, and all hues Which have relapsed to chaos :-here repose
Or gem and marble, to encrust the bones Angelo's, Alfieri's bones, and his,
or merchant-dukes? the momentary dew's The starry Galileo, with his woes;
Which, sparkling to the twilight stars, infuse Here Machiavelli's earth returned to whence it rose.
Freshness in the green turf tha: wraps the dead,
Whose names are mausoleums of the Muse, LV.
Are gently prest with far more reverent tread These are four minds, which, like the elements,
Than ever paced the slab which paves the princely Might furnish forth creation :-Italy !
head. Time, which hath wrong'd thee with ten thousand
LXI. rents Of thine imperial garment, shall deny,
There be more things to greet the heart and eyes And hath denied, to every other sky,
In Arno's dome of Art's most princely shrine, Spirits which soar from ruin :-thy decay
Where Sculpture with her rainbow sister vies;
There be more marvels yet-but not for mine; Is still impregnate with divinity, Which gilds it with revivifying ray;
For I have been accustom d to entwine Such as the great of yore, Canova is to day.
My thoughts with nature rather in the fields,
Than Art in galleries: though a work divine LVI.
Calls for iny spirit's homage, yet it yields But where repose the all Etruscan three
Less than it feels, because the weapon which it Dante, and Petrarch, and, scarce less than they,
wields The Bard of Prose, creative spirit ! he
LXII. of the Hundred Tales of love--where did they lay|
Is of another temper, and I roam Their bones, distinguish'd from our common clay By Thrasimene's lake, in the defiles In death as life? Are they resolved to dust,
Tatal to Roman rashness, more at home; And have their country's marbles nought to say ! |
For there the Carthaginian's warlike wiles Could not her quarries furnish forth one bust?
Come back before me, as his skill beguiles Did they not to her breast their filial earth entrust?
The host between the mountains and the shore,
Where Courage falls in her despairing files, - .. LVII.
And torrents, swoll'n to rivers with their gore, Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar,
Reek through the sultry plain, with legions scatter'd Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore;
o'er. Thy factions, in their worse than civil war,
LXIII. Proscribed the bard whose name for everinore
Like to a forest fell'd by mountain winds; Their children's children would in vain adore
And such the storm of battle on this day, With the remorse of ages; and the crown
And such the frenzy, whose convulsion blinds Which Petrarch's laureate brow supremely wore,
To all save carnage, that, beneath the fray, Upon a far and foreign soil had grown,
An carthquake reel'd unheededly away! His life, his fame, his grave, though rifled-not thine
Nonc felt stern Nature rocking at his feet, own.
And yawning forth a grave for those who lay cron 1 LVII.
Upon their bucklers for a winding-sheet; Boccaccio to his parent earth bequeathed
Such is the absorbing hate when warring nations His dust, and lies it not her Great among,
ineet! With many a sweet and solemn requiem breathed
The Earth to them was as a rolling bark
Which bore them to Eternity; they saw Uptorn, must bear the hyæna bigots' wrong,
The Ocean round, but had no time to mark No more amidst the meaner dead find room,
The motions of their vessel: Nature's law, Nor claim a passing sigh, because it told for whom !!
In them suspended, reck'd not of the awe
Which reigns when mountains tremble, and the 11 LIX.
birds And Santa Croce wants their mighty dust;
Plunge in the clouds for refuge, and withdraw Yet for this want more noted, as of yore
From their down-toppling nests; and bellowing The Caesar's pageant, shorn of Brutus' bust,
herds Did but of Rome's best son remind hier more:
Stumble o'er heaving plains, and man's dread hath Happier Ravennal on thy hoary shore,
no words. Fortress of falling empire ! honour'd sleeps
IX. The inimortal exile ;-Arqua, too, her store
Far other scene is Thrasimene now; Of tuneful relics proudly claims and keeps,
Her lake a sheet of silver, and her plain While Florence vainly begs her banish'd dead, and Rent by no ravage save the gentle plough weeps. is
Her aged trees rise thick as once the slain
Lay where their roots are ; but a brook hath
To the broad column which rolls on, and shows A little rill of scanty stream and bed
More like the fountain of an infant sea A name of blood from that day's sanguine rain; ||
Torn from the womb of mountains by the throes And Sanguinetto tells ye where the dead
Of a new world, than only thus to be Made the earth wet, and turn'd the unwilling waters Parent of rivers, which tlow gushingly, red.
With many windings through the vale:-Look LXVI.
back! But thou, Clitumnus ! in thy sweetest wave
Lo! where it comes like an eternity, Of the most living crystal that was c'er
As if to sweep down all things in its track, The haunt of river nymph, to gaze and lave
Charming the eye with drcad, -a matchless Her limbs where nothing hid them, thou dost
I.XXII. Thy grassy banks whereon the milk-white steer
Horribly beautifulbut on the verge, Grazes; the purest god of gentle waters!
From side to side, beneath the glittering morn, And most serene of aspect, and most clear:
An Iris sits, amidst the infernal surge, , Surely that stream was unprofaned by slaughters,
Like Hope upon a deathbed, and, unworn A mirror and a bath for Beauty's youngest
Its steady dyes, while all around is torn daugliters! LXVII.
By the distracted waters, bears serene
Its brilliant hues with all their beams unshorn : And on thy happy shore 2 Temple still,
Rescmbling, 'mid the torture of the scene, Of small and delicate proportion, keeps,
Love watching Madness with unalterable mien. Upon a mild declivity of hill, Its memory of thee; bencath it sweeps
Once inore upon the woody Apennine,
The infant Alps, which-had I not before
Gazed on their mightier parents, where the pine Down where the shallower wave still tells its bub.
Sits on more shaggy summits, and where roar
The thundering lauwine-might be worshipp'ii bling tales. LXVIII.
But I have seen the soaring Jungfrau rear Pass not unblest the Genius of the place!
Her never-trodden snow, and seen the hoar If through the air a zephyr more serene
Glaciers of bleak Mont Blanc both far and nsar, Win to the brow, 'tis his; and if ye trace
And in Chimari heard the thunder-hills of fear
The Acroceraunian mountains of old name; With Nature's baptism, --'tis to him yo must
And on Parnassus seen the cagles fly Pay orisons for this suspension of disgust.
Like spirits of the spot, as 'twere for fame,
For still they soar'd unutterably high:
I've look'd on Ida with a Trojan's eye;
Athos, Olympus, Ætna, Atlas, made Velino cleaves the wave-worn precipice;
These hills seem things of lesser dignity, The fall of waters! rapid as the light
All, save the lone Soracte's height display'd, The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss ; Not now in snow, which asks the lyric Reinan's The hell of waters! where they howl and hiss,
aid And boil in endless torture ; while the sweat
LXXV. Of their great agony, wrung out from this
For our remembrance, and from out the plain Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet Heaves like a long-swept wave about to break, That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set, And on the curl hangs pausing : not in vain
May he who will his recollections rake,
And quote in classic raptures, and awake And mounts in spray the skies, and thence! The hills with Latin echoes; I abhorr'd again
Too much to conquer for the poet's sake, Returns in an unceasing shower, which round, The drill'd dull lesson, forced down word by With its unesrptied cloud of gentle rain,
word Is an eternal April to the ground,
In my repugnant youth, with pleasure to racord Making it all one emerall. How profound The gulfi and how the giant element
LXVXI. From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound, Aught that recalls the daily drug which turn'd Crushing the cliffs, which, downward worn and My sickening memory; and, though Time hath rent
taught With his fierce footsteps, yield in chasins a fearful My mind to meditate what then it learu'il, vent
Yet such the fix'd inveteracy wronglit
By the in patience of my early thought,
Our hands, and cry 'Eureka! it is clear That, with the freshness wearing out before When but some false mirage of ruin rises near. My mind could relish what it might have sought,
LXXXI1. If free to choose, I cannot now restore
Alas, the lofty city! and alas, Its health ; but what it then detested, still abhor.
The trebly hundred triumphs !' and the day LXXVII.
When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away! Then farewell, Horace; whom I hated so,
Alas for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay. Not for thy faults, but mine ; it is a curse
And Livy's pictured page! But these shall be To understand, not feel thy lyric flow,
Her resurrection; all beside--decay. To comprehend, but never love thy verse,
Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see Although no deeper Moralist rehearse
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome Our little life, nor Bard prescribe his art,
was free! Nor livelier Satirist the conscience pierce, Awakening without wounding the touch'd
Othou, whose chariot rolled on Fortune's wheel, Yet fare thee well-upon Soracte's ridge we part.
Triumphant Sylla! Thou, who didst subdue
Thy country's foes ere thou wouldst pause to LXXVIII.
feel O Rome! my country'! city of the soul!
The wrath of thy own wrongs, or reap the due The orphans of the heart must turn to thee,
Of hoarded vengeance till thine eagles flew Lone mother of dead empires! and control
O'er prostrate Asia ;-thou, who with thy frown In their shut breasts their petty inisery.
Annihilated senates-Roman, too, What are our woes and sufferance ? Come With all thy vices, for thou didst lay down and see
With an atoning smile a more than earthly The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
crownO'er steps of broken thrones and temples, Ye !
LXXXIV. Whose agonies are evils of a day
The dictatorial wreath, --couldst thou divine A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.
To what would one day dwindle that which
Thec more than mortal ? and that so supine The Niobe of nations ! there she stands,
By aught than Romans Rome should thus be Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe ;
laid? An empty urn within her wither'd hands,
She who was named Eternal, and array'd Whose holy dust was scatter'd long ago;
Her warriors but to conquer-she who veil'd The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now;
Earth with her halighty shadow, and display'd, The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Until the o'er-canopied horizon fail'd, Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,
Her rushing wings-Oh! she who was Almighty Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness?
hail'd! Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her
LXXXV. distress! LXXX.
Sylla was first of victors; but our own, The Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood, and
The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell !---he
Too swept off senates while he hew'd the throne Fire.
Down to a block-immortal rebel! See Have dealt upon the seven-hill'd city's pride :
What crimes it costs to be a mon:ent free She saw her glories star by star expire,
And famous through all ages! But beneath And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
His fate the moral lurks of destiny ; Where the car climb'd the Capitol ; far and wide
His day of double victory and death Temple and tower went down, nor left a site
Beheld him win two realms, and, happier, yield his Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,
breath. O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light, And say, 'Here was, or is,' where all is doubly
The third of the same moon whose former LXXXI.
course The double night of ages, and of her,
Had all but crown'd him, on the self-same day Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt, and
Deposed him ger.tly from his throne of force, wrap
And laid him with the earth's preceding clay, All round us; we but reel our way to err: .
And show'd not Fortune thus how fame and The ocean hath its chart, the stars their map,
sway, And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap;
Orosius gives 320 for the number of triumphs. Ho Bat Rome is as the desert, where we steer is followed by Panvinius, and Panvinius by Mr. Gibbon tumbling o'er recollections: now we clap and the modern writers,