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No further chance or choice remained; and right After the first fierce peal, as they pulled nigher, For the first further rock which met their sight They heard the voice of Christian shout, 'Now, “They steered, to take their latest view of land,
fire ! And yield as victims, or die sword in hand;
And ere the word upon the echo died, Dismissed the natives and their shallop, who Two fell; the rest assailed the rock's rough side, Would still have battled for that scanty crew; And, furious at the madness of their foes, But Christian bade them seek their shore again, Disdained all further efforts, save to close. Nor add a sacrifice which were in vain;
But steep the crag, and all without a path, For what were simple bow and savage spear Each step opposed a bastion to their wrath, Against the arms which must be wielded here? While, placed midst clefts the least accessible,
Which Christian's eye was trained to mark full XI.
well, They landed on a wild but narrow scene,
The three maintained a strife which must not Where few but Nature's footsteps yet had been;
yield, Prepared their arms, and with that gloomy eye,
In spots where eagles might have chosen to Stern and sustained, of man's extremity,
build. When hope is gone, nor glory's self remains
Their every shot told ; while the assailant sell, To cheer resistance against death or chains.
Dashed on the shingles like the limpet shell ; They stood, the three, as the three hundred stood
But still enough survived, and mounted still, Who dyed Thermopyläe with holy blood.
Scattering their numbers here and there, until But, ah! how different I 'tis the cause makes all, Surrounded and commanded, though not nigh Degrades or hallows courage in its fall.
Enough for seizure, near enough to die, O'er them no fame, eternal and intense,
The desperate trio held aloof their fate Blazed through the clouds of death and beckoned
But by a thread, like sharks who've gorged the hence;
bait; No grateful country, smiling through her tears,
Yet to the very last they battled well, Begun the praises of a thousand years;
And not a groan informed their foes who fell. No nation's eyes would on their tomb be bent, Christian died last-twice wounded ; and once No horoes envy them their monument;
inore However boldly their warm blood was spilt,
Mercy was offered when they saw his gore ; Their life was shame, their epitaph was guilt. Too late for life, but not too late to die, And this they knew and felt, at least the one, With, though a hostile hand, to close his eye. The leader of the band he had undone ;
A limb was broken, and he drooped along Who, born perchance for better things, had set
The crag, as doth a falcon rest of young. His life upon a cast which lingered yet :
The sound revived him, or appeared to wake But now the die was to be thrown, and all
Some passion which a weakly gesture spake: The chances were in favour of his fall :
He beckoned to the foremost, who drew nigh, And such a fall! But still he faced the shock,
But, as they neared, he reared his weapon highObdurate as a portion of the rock
His last ball had been aimed, but from his breast Whereon he stood, and fixed his levell'd gun,
He tore the topmost button from his vest, * Dark as a sullen cloud before the sun.
Down the tube dashed it, levelled, fired, and XII.
As his foe fell; then, like a serpent, coil'd The boat drew nigh, well armed, and firm the
His wounded, weary form, to where the steep To act whatever duty bade them do;
Looked desperate as himself along the deep, Careless of danger, as the onward wind
Cast one glance back, and clenched his hand, and
shook Is of the leaves it strews, nor looks behind. And yet perhaps they rather wished to go
His last rage 'gainst the earth which he forsook; Against a nation's than a native foe,
Then plunged: the rock below received like And felt that this poor victim of self-will,
glass Briton no more had once been Britain's still.
His body crushed into one gory mass, They hailed him to surrender–no reply;
• In Thibault's account of Frederick the Second Their arms were poised, and glittered in the sky.
of Prussia, there is a singular relation of a young They hailed again-no answer; yet once more Frenchman, who with his mistress appeared to be of They offered quarter louder than before.
some rank. He enlisted and deserted at Schweidnitz; The echoes only, from the rocks rebound,
and after a desperate resistance was retaken, having
killed an officer, who attempted to seize him after he Took their last farewell of the dying sound.
was wounded, by the discharge of his musket loaded Then flashed the fint, and blazed the volleying with a button of his uniform. Some circumstances on flame,
his court-martial raised a great interest amongst his
judges, who wished to discover his real situation in And the smoke rose between them and their aim, life, which he offered to disclose, but to the king only, While the rock rattled with the bullets' knell, to whom he requested permission to write. This was
refused, and Frederick was filled with the greatest Which pealed in vain, and flattened as they fell : Then flew the only answer to be given
indignation, from bafiled curiosity, or sonie other
motive, when he understood that his request had By those who had lost all hope in earth or heaven. been denied.
With scarce a shred to tell of human form,
But no! it came not; fast and far away Or fragment for the sea-bird or the worm;
The shadow lessened as it cleared the bay. A fair-haired scalp, besmear'd with blood and She gazed, and flung the sea-foam from her eyes, weeds,
To watch as for a rainbow in the skies. Yet reeked, the remnant of himself and deeds; On the horizon verged the distant deck, Some splinters of his weapons (to the last,
Diminished, dwindled to a very speckAs long as hand could hold, he held thein fast) Then vanished. All was ocean, all was joy! Yet glittered, but at distance-hurled away
Down plunged she through the cave to rouse her To rust beneath the dew and dashing spray.
boy; The rest was nothing-save a life mis-spent,
Told all she had scen, and all she hoped, and all And soul-but who shall answer where it went ? That happy love could augur or recall; 'Tis ours to bear, not judge the dead; and they Sprung forth again, with Torquil following free Who doom to hell, theinselves are on the way, His bounding nereid over the broad sea; Unless these bullies of eternal pains
Swam round the rock, to where a shallow cleft Are pardoned their bad hearts for their worse Hid the canoe that Neuha there had left brains.
Drifting along the tide, without an oar,
That eve the strangers chased them froin the The deed was over! All were gone or ta'en,
shore; The fugitive, the captive, or the slain,
But when these vanished, she pursued her prow, Chained on the deck, where once, a gallant crew, Regained, and urged to where they found it now: They stood with honour, were the wretched few Nor ever did more love and joy embark, Survivors of the skirmish on the isle;
Than now were wafted in that slender ark.
Again their own shore rises on the view,
No more polluted with a hostile hue ; But calm and careless heaved the wave below,
No sullen ship lay bristling o'er the foam, Eternal with unsyinpathetic flow;
A floating dungeon:-all was hope and home!
A thousand proas darted o'er the bay, Far o'er its face the dolphins sported on,
With sounding shells, and heralded their way: And sprung the flying fish against the sun,
The chiefs came down, around the people poured, Till its dried wing relapsed from its brief height,
And welcomed Torquil as a son restored; To gather moisture for another flight.
The women thronged, embracing and embraced XIV.
By Neuha, asking where they had been chased, 'Twas morn; and Neuha, who by dawn of day And how escaped? The tale was told; and then Swam smoothly forth to catch the rising ray,
One acclamation rent the sky again; And watch if aught approached the amphibious
And from that hour a new tradition gave lair
Their sanctuary the name of Neuha's Cave.' Where lay her lover, saw a sail in air :
A hundred fires, far flickering from the height, It flapped, it filled, and to the growing gale
Blazed o'er the general revel of the night, Bent its broad arch; her breath began to fail
The feast in honour of the guest, returned With fluttering fear, her heart beat thick and To peace and pleasure, perilously earned; high,
A night succeeded by such hapry days While yei a doubt sprung where its course might lie As only the yet infant world displays.
ADVERTISEMENT. Ferrara, in the Library, are preserved the original Mss. of Tasso's Gierusalemme and of Guarini's for Fido, with letters of Tasso, one from Titian to Ariosto, and the inkstand and chair, the tomb and house, of the latter. But as misfortune has a greater interest for posterity, and little or none for the emporary, the cell where Tasso was confined in the hospital of St. Anna attracts a more fixed attention the residence or the monuinent of Ariosto—at least it had this effect on me. There are two inscriptions, on the outer gate, the second over the cell itself, inviting unnecessarily the wonder and the indignation he spectator. Ferrara is much decayed and depopulated : the castle still exists entire; and I saw the t where Parisina and Hugo were beheaded, according to the annal of Gibbon.
ONG years !--It tries the thrilling frame to bear, nd cagle-spirit of a child of Song ong years of outrage, calumny, and wrong; puted madness, prison'd solitude, nd the mind's canker in its savage mood, hen the impatient thirst of light and air Irches the heart; and the abhorred grate, arring the sunbeams with its hideous shade, orks through the throbbing eyeball to the brain, ith a hot sense of heaviness and pain; nd bare, at once, Captivity display'd ands scoffing through the never-open'd gate, hich nothing through its bars admits, save day, ad tasteless food, which I have eat alone 11 its unsocial bitterness is gone; ad I can banquet like a beast of prey, llen and lonely, couching in the cave hich is my lair, and—it may be-my grave. I this hath somewhat worn me, and may wear, It must be borne. I stoop not to despair ; r I have battled with mine agony, id made me wings wherewith to overfly le narrow circus of my dungeon wall, id freed the Holy Sepulchre from thrall ; id revell'd among men and things divine, id pour'd my spirit over Palestine honour of the sacred war for Him, e God who was on earth and is in heaven, r he has strengthen'd me in heart and limb. at through this sufferance I might be forgiven, ave employ'd my penance to record w Salem's shrine was won, and how adored.
II. I this is o'er-my pleasant task is done: long-sustaining friend of many years ! do blot thy final page with tears, ow that my sorrows have wrung from me none.
thou, my young creation ! my soul's child ! lich ever playing round me came and smiled, d woo'd me from myself with thy sweet sight, ou too art gone--and so is my delight: d therefore do I weep and inly bleed h this last bruise upon a broken reed.
Thou too art ended-what is left me now?
pass'd; 'Mid sights and sounds like these my life may
Feel I not wroth with those who bade me dwell But thou art dearest still, and I should be
Fit for this cell, which wrongs me—but for thee. Where laughter is not inirth, nor thought the The very love which lock'd me to my chain mind,
Hath lighten'd half its weight; and for the rest, Nor words a language, nor even men mankind; Though heavy, lent me vigour to sustain, Where cries reply to curses, shrieks to blows,
And look to thee with undivided breast,
And foil the ingenuity of Pain.
It is no marvel--from my very birth call
My soul was drunk with love, which did pervade None ! save that One, the veriest wretch of all, And iningle with whate'er I saw on earth; Who was not made to be the mate of these,
Of objects all inanimate I made Nor bound between Distraction and Disease.
Idols, and out of wild and lonely flowers, Feel I not wroth with those who placed me here?
And rocks, whereby they grew, a paradise, Who have debased me in the minds of men,
Where I did lay me down within the shade Debarring me the usage of my own,
Of waving trees, and dream'd uncounted hours, Blighting my life in best of its career,
Though I was chid for wandering ; and the Wise Branding my thoughts as things to shun and fear? Shook their white aged heads o'er me, and said Would I not pay them back these pangs again,
Of such materials wretched inen were made, And teach them inward Sorrow's stifled groan, And such a truant boy would end in woe, The struggle to be calm, and cold distress?
And that the only lesson was a blow. Which undermines our stoical success?
And then they smote me, and I did not weep, Nol-still too proud to be vindictive-I
But cursed them in my heart, and to my haunt Have pardon'd princes'insults, and would die. Return'd and wept alone, and dream'd again Yes, Sister of my Sovereign! for thy sake
The visions which arise without a sleep, I weed all bitterness from out my breast,
And with my years my soul began to pant It hath no business where thou art a guest :
With feelings of strange tumult and soft pain; Thy brother hates--but I can not detest;
And the whole heart exhaled into One Want, Thou pitiest not-but can not forsake.
But undefined and wandering, till the day
And then I lost my being, all to be
Absorb'd in thine-the world was pass'd awayLook on a love which knows not to despair,
Thou didst annihilate the earth to me!
To spend I know not what of life, remote
From all communion with existence, save The vivid thought still fashes through my frame, The maniac and his tyrant: had I been And for a moment all things as they were
Their fellow, many years ere this had seen Flit by me: they are gone-I am the same. My mind like theirs corrupted to its grave. And yet my love without ambition grew;
But who hath seen me writhe, or heard me rare! I knew thy state, my station, and I knew
Perchance in such a cell we suffer more A Princess was no love-mate for a bard:
Than the wreck'd sailor on his desert shore : I told it not, I breathed it not; it was
The world is all before him-mine is here, Sufficient to itself, its own reward:
Scarce twice the space they must accord my bier. And if my eyes reveald it, they, alas,
What though he perish, he may lift his eye, Were punished by the silentness of thine,
And with a dying glance upbraid the sky: And yet I did not venture to repine.
I will not raise my own in such reproof,
Although 'tis clouded by my dungeon roof.
Yet do I feel at times my mind decline,
But with a sense of its decay ;-I see Oh I not dismay'd—but awed, like One above; Unwonted lights along my prison shine, And in that sweet severity there was
And a strange demon, who is vexing me A something which all softness did surpass;
With pilfering pranks and petty pains, below I know not how-thy genius master'd mine
The feeling of the healthful and the free; My star stood still before thee: if it were
But much to One, who long hath suffer'd so, Presumptuous thus to love without design,
Sickness of heart, and narrowness of place, That sad fatality hath cost me dear;
And all that may be borne or can debase.
hought mine enemics had been but Man,
The ducal chiefs within thee, shall fall down, t spirits may be leagued with them; all Earth And crumbling piecemeal view thy hearthless randons, Heaven forgets me: in the dearth
halls, such defence the Powers of Evil can,
A poet's wreath shall be thy only crownmay be, tempt me further, and prevail
A poet's dungeon thy most far renown, ainst the outworn creature they assail.
While strangers wonder o'er thy unpeopled walls! 1y in this furnace is my spirit proved
And thou, Leonora ! thou--who wert ashamed ie steel in tempering fire?-because I loved? That such as I could love-who blush'd to hear cause I loved what not to love, and see,
To less than monarchs that thou couldst be dear, is more or less than mortal, and than me. Go! tell thy brother that my heart, untamed
By grief, years, weariness-and it may be
A taint of that he would impute to me!ce was quick in feeling—that is o'er :
From long infection of a den like this, scars are callous, or I should have dash'd Where the mind rots congenial with the abyssbrain against these bars, as the sun fash'd Adores thee sti!l; and add--that when the towers nockery through them: If I bear and bore And battlements which guard his joyous hours e much I have recounted, and the more
Of banquet, dance, and revel are forgot, ich hath no words-'tis that I would not die, Or left untended in a dull repose, d sanction with self-slaughter the dull lie
This, this, shall be a consecrated spot ! ich snared me here, and with the brand of shame But Thou—when all that Birth and Beauty throws mp Madness deep into my memory,
Of magic round thee is extinct-shalt have I woo Compassion to a blighted name,
One half the laurel which o'ershades my grave. lling the sentence which my foes proclaim. No power in death can tear our names apart, -it shall be immortal! and I make
As none in life could rend thee from my heart. ature temple of my present cell,
Yes, Leonora ! it shall be our fate ich nations yet shall visit for my sake.
To be entwined for ever-but too late! ile thou, Ferrara, when no longer dwell
THE PROPHECY OF DANTE,
"'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
Where I was born, but where I would not dic,
Of the great Poet-Sire of Italy
THOU art the cause; and howsoever I
Fall short of his immortal harmony,
Spakest; and for thee to speak and be obey'd
Such sounds are utter'd, and such charms display'd,
Ah! to what effort would it not persuade
PREFACE. course of a visit to the city of Ravenna in the summer of 1819, it was suggested to the author that, composed something on the subject of Tasso's confinement, he should do the same on Dante's cxile. nb of the poet forming one of the principal objects of interest in that city, both to the native and to anger.