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New wonders to the world; and while still stands
The austere Pantheon, into heaven shall soar
A dome, its image, while the base expands* Into a fane surpassing all before,
Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in : ne'er
Such sight hath been unfolded by a door As this, to which all nations shall repair
And lay their sins at this huge gate of heaven.
And the bold Architect unto whose care The daring charge to raise it shall be given,
Whom all hearts shall acknowledge as their lord,
Whether into the marble chaos driven His chisel bid the Hebrew, at whose wordt
Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone,
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
meg The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realins
Which form the empire of eternity.
The age which I anticipate, no less
Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelins, Calamity the nations with distress,
The genius of my country shall arise,
A cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, Lovely in all its branches to all eyes,
Yet some have been untouch'd who learn d to The Alp's snow summit nearer heaven is seen bear,
Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest, Some whom no power could ever force to droop,
Whose splendour from the black abyss is flung, Who could resist themselves even, hardest care! While the scorch'd mountain, from whose burnAnd task most hopeless; but some such have ing breast been,
A temporary torturing fame is wrung, And if iny name amongst the number were,
Shines for a night of terror, then repels That destiny austere, and yet serene,
Its fire back to the hell from whence it sprung, Were prouder than more dazzling fame un
The hell which in its entrails ever dwells. bless'd;
CANTO THE FOURTH.
MANY are poets who have never penn'd
Unlaurell'd upon earth, but far more bless'd
From overfeeling good or ill; and aim
And be the new Prometheus of new men, Bestowing fire from heaven, and then, too late, Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain,
And vultures to the heart of the bestower,
So be it : we can bear.-But thus all they
One noble stroke with a whole life may glow,
Or deify the canvas till it shine
Break no commandment, for high heaven is there
Faints o'er the labour unapproved-Alas!
Art shall resume and equal even the sway
The Grecian forms at least from their decay,
* The Cupola of St. Peter's.
Siede gigante; e le più illustre, e conte
Le labbia si, che le parole ascolto ?
Onor del mento, e 'l doppio raggio in fronte,
É gran parte del Nume avea nel volto.
Acquc ei sospese a se d' intorno, e tale
Quando il mar chiuse, e ne fè tomba altrui.
Alzata aveste imago a questa eguale !
Ch' era men fallo I adorar costui.
I have read somewhere (if I do not 'err, for I cannot recollect where), that Dante was so great it favourite of Michael Angelo's, that he had designed the whole of the Divina Commedia : but that thie volume containing these studies was lost by sea.
Fragrant as fair, and recognised afar,
The sway of petty tyrants in a state;
Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and gaze As swept off sooner; in all deadly things,
Which make men hate themselves, and one an.
other, Shall feel the power of that which they destroy ; In discord, cowardice, cruelty, all that springs, And Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise
From Death the Sin-boru's incest with his mother, To tyrants who but take her for a toy,
In rank oppression in its rudest shape, Emblems and monuments, and prostitute
The faction Chief is but the Sultan's brother, Her charms to pontiffs proud, * who but employ And the worst despot's far less human ape : The man of genius as the meanest brute
Florence when this lone spirit, which so long To bear a burthen, and to serve a need,
Yearn'd, as the captive toiling at escape, To sell his labours, and his soul to boot.
To fly back to thee in despite of wrong,
An exile, saddest of all prisoners,
Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed and feed, Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge for bars,
Which shut him from the sole sınall spot of earthi,
Where-whatsoe'er his fate-he still were hers, Is it that they on earth, whose earthly power His country's, and might die where he had birthIs likest thine in heaven in outward show,
Florence ! when this lone spirit shall return Least like to thee in attributes divine,
To kindred spirits, thou wilt feel my worth, Tread on the universal necks that bow,
And seek to honour with an empty urn And then assure us that their rights are thine ?
The ashes thou shalt ne'er obtain-Alas! And how is it that they, the sons of fame,
•What have I done to thee, my people ?'* Stern Whose inspiration seems to them to shine
Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass From high, they whom the nations oftest name,
The limits of man's common malice, for
All that a citizen could be I was ;
done : From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain,
I may not overleap the eternal bar In their own souls sustain a harder proof,
Built up between us, and will die alone, The inner war of passions deep and fierce ?
Beholding with the dark eye of a seer Florence when thy harsh sentence razed my The evil days to gifted souls foreshown, roof,
Foretelling them to those who will not hear. I loved thee, but the vengeance of my verse,
As in the old time, till the hour be come The hate of injuries which every year
When truth shall strike their eyes through many Makes greater, and accumulates my curse,
a tear, Shall live, outliving all thou holdest dear,
And make them own the Prophet in his tomb. Thy pride, thy wealth, thy freedom, and eyen
that, The most infernal of all evils here,
* 'E scrisse più volte non solamente a particolari cittadini del reggimento ma ancora al popolo, e intra
l' altre una Epistola assai lunga che comincia: Po. * See the treatment of Michael Angelo by Julius II., pule mi, quid feci tibi?"-Vita di Dante scritta da and his neglect by Leo X.
DI MESSER LUIGI PULCI.
ADVERTISEMENT. The Morgante Maggiore, of the first canto of which this translation is offered, divides with the Orlando Innamorato the honour of having formed and suggested the style and story of Ariosto. The great defects of Boiardo were his treating too seriously the narratives of chivalry, and his harsh style. Ariosto, in his continuation, by a judicious mixture of the gaiety of Pulci, has avoided the one; and Berni in his reformation of Boiardo's poem, has corrected the other. Pulci may be considered as the precursor and model of Berni altogether, as he has partly been to Ariosto, however inferior to both his copyists. He is no less the founder of a new style of poetry very lateiy sprung up in England. I allude to that of the ingenious Whistlecraft. The serious poems on Roncesvalles in the same language, and more particularly the excellent one of Mr. Merivale, are to be traced to the same source. It has never yet been decided entirely whether Pulci's in. tention was or was not to deride the religion which is one of his favourite topics. It appears to me, that such an intention would have been no less hazardous to the poet than to the priest, particularly in that age and country; and the permission to publish the poem, and its reception among the classics of Italy, prove that it neither was nor is so interpreted. That he intended to ridicule the monastic life, and suffered his imagination to play with the simple dulness of his converted giant, seeins evident enough; but surely it were as unjust to accuse him of irreligion on this account, as to denounce Fielding for his Parson Adams, Barnabas, Thwackum, Supple, and the Ordinary in Jonathan Wild,—or Scott, for the exquisite use of his Covenanters in the Tales of my Landlord.'
In the following translation I have used the liberty of the original with the proper names : as Pulci uses Gan, Ganellon, or nellone; Carlo, Carlomagno, or Carlomano; Rondel, or Rondello, &c., as it suits his convenience; so has the translator. In other respects the version is faithful to the best of the translator's ability in combining his interpretation of the one language with the not very easy task of reducing it to the same versification in the other. The reader, on comparing it with the original, is requested to remember that the antiquated language of Pulci, however pure, is not easy to the generality of Italians themselves, from its great mixture of Tuscan proverbs; and he may therefore be more indulgent to the present attempt. How far the translator has succeeded, and whether or no he shall continue the work, are questions which the public will decide. He was induced to make the experiment partly by his love for, and partial intercourse with; the Italian language, of which it is so easy to acquire a slight knowledge, and with which it is so nearly impossible for a foreigner to becoine accurately conversant. The Italian linguage is like a capricious beauty, who accords her smiles to all, her favours to few, and sometimes least to those who liave courted her longest. The translator wished also to present in an English dress a part at least of a poem never yet rendered into a northern language; at the same time that it has been the original of some of the most cele. brated proçluctions on this side of the Alps, as well as of those recent experiinents in poetry in England which have been already mentioned.
CANTO THE FIRST.
Since to thy servants pity 's ne'er denied,
With flowing rhymnes, a pleasant style and free.
1. In the beginning was the Word next God:
God was the Word, the Word no less was he: This was in the beginning, to iny mode
Of thinking, and without him nought could be:
Benign and pious, bid an angel flee,
Of the same Lord, who gave to you each key
The day thy Gabriel said 'All hail !' to thee,
Weeps with her sister, who remembers and
His car (but temper'd by his sire's command)
Who was the son of the sad Ganellone, When I prepared my bark first to obey,
Were there, exciting too much gladness in As it should still obey, the helın, my mind,
The son of Pepin :-when his knights came hither, And carry prose or rhyme, and this my lay
He groaned with joy to see them all together. Of Charles the Emperor, whom you will find
But watchful fortune, lurking, takes good heed For all that I can see in prose or verse,
Ever some bar 'gainst our intents to bring, Have understood Charles badly-and wrote worse.
While Charles reposed him thus, in word and deed,
Orlando ruled court, Charles, and everything; V.
Curst Gan, with envy bursting, had such need Leonardo Aretino said already,
To vent his spite, that thus with Charles the king That if, like Pepin, Charles had had a writer One day he openly began to say, Of genius quick, ard diligently steady,
Orlando must we always then obey ?
A thousand times I've been about to say,
Orlando too presumptuously goes on; Certes, far more than yet is said or thought.
Here are wc, counts, kings, dukes, to own thy sway,
Hamo, and Otho, Ogier, Solomon,
Each have to honour thee and to obey;
But he has too much credit near the throne, The abbey, no great way from Manopell,
Which we won't suffer, but are quite decided Erected in the Abruzzi to his glory,
By such a boy to be no longer guided.
To let him know he was a gallant knight,
But I know who that day had won the fight VII.
If it had not for good Gherardo been; But the world, blind and ignorant, don't prize
The victory was Almonte's else; his sight His virtues as I wish to see them : thou,
He kept upon the standard, and the laurels Florence, by his great bounty don't arise,
In fact and fairness are his earning. Charles,
When there advanced the nations out of Spain, Is sprung from out the noble blood of France.
The Christian cause had suffer'd shamefully, VIII.
Had not his valour driven them back again.
Best speak the truth when there's a reason why : Twelve Paladins had Charles in court, of whom The wisest and most famous was Orlando;
Know then, oh Emperor! that all complain;
As for myself, I shall repass the mounts Him traitor Gan conducted to the tomb
O'er which I cross'd with two and sixty Counts. In Roncesvalles, as the villain plann'd too, While the horn rang so loud, and knell'd the doom
XV. of their sad rout, though he did all knight can do; And Dante in his comedy hath given
“'Tis fit thy grandeur should dispense relief, To him a happy seat with Charles in heaven.
So that each here may have his proper part,
For the whole court is more or less in grief: IX.
Perhaps thou deem'st this lad a Mars in heart?" 'Twas Christmas-day; in Paris all his court
Orlando one day heard this speech in brief, Charles held; the chief, I say, Orlando was,
As by himself it chanced he sat apart: The Dane; Astolfo there too did resort,
Displeased he was with Gan because he said it, Also Ansuigi, the gay time to pass
But inuch more still that Charles should give him In festival and in triumphal sport,
credit. The much-renown'd St. Dennis being the cause;
XVI. Angiolin of Bayonne, and Oliver,
And with the sword he would have murder'd Gan, And gentle Belinghieri too came there :
But Oliver thrust in between the pair,
And from his hand extracted Durlindan,
And thus at length they separated were.
Orlando, angry too with Carloman,
Wanted but little to have slain him there; Wise Hamo, and the ancient Salemone,
Then forth alone from Paris went the chief, Walter of Lion's Mount and Baldovin,
And burst and madden'd with disdain and grief.
From savage brutes alone, too fierce to tame, From Ermellina, consort of the Danc,
'Twas fit our quiet dwelling to secure ; He took Cortana, and then took Rondell,
But now, if here we'd stay, we needs must guard And on towards Brara prick'd him o'er the plain;
Against domestic beasts with watch and ward. And when she saw him coming, Aldabelle
XXIV. Stretch'd forth her arms to clasp her lord again :
• These make us stand, in fact, upon the watch ; Orlando, in whose brain all was not well, As 'Welcome, my Orlando, home,' she said,
For late there have appear'd three giants rough;
What nation or what kingdom bore the batch Raised up his sword to smite her on the head.
I know not, but they are all of savage stuff";
When force and malice with some genius match, XVIII. Like him a fury counsels; his revenge
You know, they can do all--we are not enough
And these so much our orisons derange,
I know not what to do, till matters change.
Our ancient fathers living the desert in, And he dismounted from his horse, and spake
For just and holy works were duly sed; Of everything which pass d without demur,
Think not they lived on locusts sole, 'tis certain And then reposed himself some days with her.
That manna was rain'd down from heaven instead XIX,
But here 'tis fit we keep on the alert in
Our bounds, or taste the stones shower'd down Then full of wrath departed from the place,
for bread, And far as pagan countries roam'd astray, And while he rode, yet still at every pace
From off yon mountain daily raining faster, The traitor Gan remember'd by the way;
And flung by Passamont and Alabaster. And wandering on in error a long space,
XXVI. An abbey which in a lone desert lay,
•The third, Morgante's, savagest by far: he 'Midst glens obscure, and distant lands, he found,
Plucks up pines, beeches, poplar-trees, and oaks Which form'd the Christian's and the pagan's
And Aings them, our community to bury; bound.
And all that I can do but more provokes.'
While thus they parley in the cemetery,
A stone from one of their gigantic strokes, Descended froin Angrante: under cover
Which nearly crush'd Rondell, came tumbling over, Of a great mountain's brow the abbey stood,
So that he took a long leap under cover.
For God's sake, cavalier, come in with speed; Second and third, with certain slings, and throw The manna's falling now,' the abbot cried. In daily jeopardy the place below.
*This fellow does not wish my horse should feed,
Dear abbot,' Roland unto him replied.
• Of restiveness he'd cure him had he need; The monks could pass the convent gate no more,
That stone seems with good will and aim applied.' Nor leave their cells for water or for wood;
The holy father said, 'I don't deceive; Orlando knock'd, but none would ope, before
They'll one day fling the mountain, I believe.'
*Abbot,' he said, 'I want to find that fellow
Who flung at my good horse yon corner-stone. XXII.
Said the abbot, ‘Let not my advice seem shallow; Said the abbot, You are welcome; what is inine
As to a brother dear I speak alone; We give you freely, since that you believe
I would dissuade you, baron, from this strife,
As knowing sure that you will lose your life.
"That Passamont has in his hand three dartsThe reason why our gate was barr'd to you:
Such slings, clubs, ballast-stones, that yield you Thus those who in suspicion live must do.
You know that giants have much stouter hearts XXIII.
Than us, with reason, in proportion just: •When hither to inhabit first we came
If go you will, guard well against their arts, These mountains, albeit that they are obscure, For these are very barbarous and robust.' you perceive, yet wi out fear or blame
Orlando answer'd, This I'll see, be sure, They seem'd to promise an asylum sure :
And walk the wild on foot to be secure.'