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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, Disniissed 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 traincd to mark full
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 fell, 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 Thermopylae 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 leveil'd gun,
He tore the topmost button fronı 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 crew
Looked desperate as himself along the deep, To act whatever duty bade them do; Careless of danger, as the onward wind
Cast one glance back, and clenched his hand, and Is of the leaves it strews, nor looks behind.
His last rage 'gainst the earth which he forsook; And yet perhaps they rather wished to go
Then plunged: the rock below received like Against a nation's than a native foe, 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,
Jof 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 flint, and blazed the volleying with a button of his uniform. Some circumstances on
his court-martial raised a great interest amongst his flame,
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 Which pealed in vain, and flattened as they fell :
refused, and Frederick was filled with the greatest
indignation, from bafiled curiosity or some other Then flew the only answer to be given
motive, when he understood that his request had By those who had lost all hope in earth or heaven. heen denied.
With scarce a shred to tell of human formu,
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 inis-spent,
Told all she had seen, 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,
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,
A floating dungeon:-all was hope and home! Eternal with unsyinpathetic flow;
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 happy days Whilc yet a doubt sprung where its course might lie As only the yet infant world displays.
ADVERTISEMENT. I Ferrara, in the Library, are preserved the original MSS. of Tasso's Gierusalemme and of Guarini's Pastor Fido, with letters of Tasso, one from Titian to Ariosto, and the inkstand and chair, the tomb and he house, of the latter. But as misfortune has a greater interest for posterity, and little or none for the ontemporary, the cell where Tasso was confined in the hospital of St. Anna attracts a more fixed attention van the residence or the inonument of Ariosto-at least it had this effect on me. There are two inscriptions, ne on the outer gate, the second over the cell itself, inviting unnecessarily the wonder and the indignation f the spectator. Ferrara is much decayed and depopulated : the castle still exists entire; and I saw the ourt where Parising and Hugo were beheaded, according to the annal of Gibbon.
Thou too art ended-what is left me now?
LONG years !-It tries the thrilling frame to bear, And eagle-spirit of a child of SongLong years of outrage, calumny, and wrong; Inputed madness, prison'd solitude, And the mind's canker in its savage mood, When the impatient thirst of light and air Parches the heart; and the abhorred grate, Marring the sunbeams with its hideous shade, Works through the throbbing eyeball to the brain, With a hot sense of heaviness and pain; And bare, at once, Captivity display'd Stands scoffing through the never-open'd gate, Which nothing through its bars admits, save day, And tasteless food, which I have eat alone Till its unsocial bitterness is gone; And I can banquet like a beast of prey, Sullen and lonely, couching in the cave Which is my lair, and-it may be my grave. All this hath soniewhat worn me, and may wear, But must be borne. I stoop not to despair; For I have battled with mine agony, And made me wings wherewith to overfly The narrow circus of my dungeon wall, And freed the Holy Sepulchre from thrall; And revell'd among men and things divine, And pour'd my spirit over Palestine In honour of the sacred war for Him, The God who was on earth and is in heaven, For he has strengthen'd me in heart and limb. That through this sufferance I might be forgiven, I have employ'd my penance to record How Salem's shrine was won, and how adored.
11. But this is o'er-my pleasant task is done: My long-sustaining friend of many years! If I do blot thy final page with tears, Know that my sorrows have wrung from me none. But thou, my young creation ! my soul's child ! Which ever playing round me came and smiled, And woo'd me from myself with thy sweet sight, Thou too art gone--and so is my delight: And therefore do I weep and inly bleed With this last bruise upon a broken reed.
III Above me, hark I the long and maniac cry Of minds and bodies in captivity. And hark! the lash and the increasing howl, And the half-inarticulate blasphemy! There be some here with worse than frenzy foul, Some who do still goad on the o'erlabour'd mind, And dim the little light that's left behind With needless torture, as their tyrant will Is wound up to the lust of doing ill : With these and with their victims am I class'd, 'Mid sounds and sights like these long years have
pass'd; 'Mid sights and sounds like these my life may
close : So let it be-for then I shall repose.
IV I have been patient-let me be so yet; I had forgotten half I would forget, But it revives--oh! would it were my lot To be forgetful as I am forgot!
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 thes. Where laughter is not mirth, nor thought the The very love which lock'd me to my chain mind,
Hath lighten'd half its weight; and for the rest,
And foil the ingenuity of Pain,
My soul was drunk with love, which did pervade
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 men 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. No I-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 I can not forsake.
But undefined and wandering, till the day
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 flashes 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 rave! 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 reveal'd 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
And a strange demon, who is vexing me
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 .
I thought mine enemies had been but Man,
The ducal chiefs within thee, shalt fall down, But spirits may be leagued with them; all Earth And crumbling piecemeal view thy hearthless Abandons, Heaven forgets me: in the dearth
halls, Of such defence the Powers of Evil cam,
A poet's wreath shall be thy only crown It may be, tempt me further, and prevail
A poet's dungeon thy most far renown, Against the outworn creature they assail.
While strangers wonder o'er thy unpeopled walls ! Why in this furnace is my spirit proved
And thou, Leonora ! thou--who wert ashamed Like steel in tempering fire ?-because I loved ? That such as I could love--who blush'd to hear Because I loved what not to love, and see,
To less than monarchs that thou couldst be dear, Was more or less than mortal, and than me.
Go I tell thy brother that my heart, untamed
By grief, years, weariness-and it may be
A taint of that he would impute to me
From long infection of a den like this, My scars are callous, or I should have dash'd
Where the mind rots congenial with the abyss. My brain against these bars, as the sun flash'd Adores thce still; and add--that when the towers In mockery through them: If I bear and bore And battlements which guard his joyous hours The much I have recounted, and the more
Of banquet, dance, and revel are forgot,
This, this, shall be a consecrated spot!
Of magic round thee is extinct-shalt have And woo Compassion to a blighted name,
One half the laurel which o'ershades my grave. Sealing the sentence which my focs proclaim. No power in death can tear our names apart, No--it shall be immortal! and I make
As none in life could rend thee from my heart. A future temple of my present cell,
Yes, Leonora ! it shall be our fate Which nations yet shall visit for my sake.
To be entwined for ever--but too late! While 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,
THOU art the cause; and howsoever I
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. the course of a visit to the city of Ravenna in the summer of 1819, it was suggested to the author that, ving composed something on the subject of Tasso's confinement, he should do the same on Dante's cxile,• tomb of the poet forming one of the principal objects of interest in that city, both to the nativo and to stranger,