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Perchance in such a cell we suffer more
Than the wreck'd sailor on his desert shore;
The world is all before him-mine is here,
Scarce twice the space they must accord my bier.
What though he perish, he may lift his eye,
And with a dying glance upbraid the sky;
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
Unwonted lights along my prison shine,
And a strange demon, who is vexing me
With pilfering pranks and petty pains, below
The feeling of the healthful and the free ;
But much to One, who long hath suffer'd so,
Sickness of heart, and narrowness of place,
And all that may be borne, or can debase.
I thought mine enemies had been but Man,
But Spirits may be leagued with them; all Earth
Abandons, Heaven forgets me in the dearth
Of such defence the Powers of Evil can,
It may be, tempt me further, and prevail
Against the outworn creature they assail.
Why in this furnace is my spirit proved,
Like steel in tempering fire? because I loved?
Because I loved what not to love, and see,
Was more or less than mortal, and than me.




I once was quick in feeling-that is o'er ;
My scars are callous, or I should have dash'd
My brain against these bars, as the sun flash'd
In mockery through them: If I bear and bore
The much I have recounted, and the more
Which hath no words,-'tis that I would not die
And sanction with self-slaughter the dull lie
Which snared me here, and with the brand of shame
Stamp Madness deep into my memory,
And woo Compassion to a blighted name,



Sealing the sentence which my foes proclaim.
No-it shall be immortal! and I make
A future temple of my present cell,
Which nations yet shall visit for my sake.
While thou, Ferrara! when no longer dwell
The ducal chiefs within thee, shalt fall down,
And crumbling piecemeal view thy hearthless halls,
A poet's wreath shall be thine only crown,-
A poet's dungeon thy most far renown,
While strangers wonder o'er thy unpeopled walls!
And thou, Leonora ! thou-who wert ashamed
That such as I could love-who blush'd to hear
To less than monarchs that thou couldst be dear,
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
From long infection of a den like this,
Where the mind rots congenial with the abyss,—
Adores thee still; and add-that when the towers
And battlements which guard his joyous hours
Of banquet, dance, and revel, are forgot,
Or left untended in a dull repose,-
This, this, shall be a consecrated spot!
But Thou when all that Birth and Beauty throws
Of magic round thee is extinct-shalt have
One half the laurel which o'ershades my grave.
No power in death can tear our names apart,
As none in life could rend thee from my heart.
Yes, Leonora ! it shall be our fate
To be entwined for ever-but too late!






LADY! if for the cold and cloudy clime,
Where I was born, but where I would not die,
Of the great Poet-Sire of Italy
I dare to build the imitative rhyme,
Harsh Runic copy of the South's sublime,
THOU art the cause; and howsoever I
Fall short of his immortal harmony,
Thy gentle heart will pardon me the crime.
Thou, in the pride of Beauty and of Youth,

Spakest; and for thee to speak and be obey'd
Are one; but only in the sunny South

Such sounds are uttered, and such charms display'd, So sweet a language from so fair a mouth

Ah! to what effort would it not persuade ?

RAVENNA, June 21, 1819.



ONCE more in man's frail world! which I had left
So long that 'twas forgotten; and I feel
The weight of clay again,—too soon bereft
Of the immortal vision which could heal

My earthly sorrows, and to God's own skies
Lift me from that deep gulf without repeal,
Where late my ears rung with the damned cries

Of souls in hopeless bale; and from that place Of lesser torment, whence inen may arise Pure from the fire to join the angelic race;



Midst whom my own bright Beatrice bless'd My spirit with her light; and to the base Of the eternal Triad! first, last, best,

Mysterious, three, sole, infinite, great God!
Soul universal! led the mortal guest,
Unblasted by the glory, though he trod

From star to star to reach the almighty throne.
Oh Beatrice! whose sweet limbs the sod
So long hath press'd, and the cold marble stone,
Thou sole pure seraph of my earliest love,
Love so ineffable, and so alone,

That nought on earth could more my bosom move,

And meeting thee in heaven was but to meet

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That without which my soul, like the arkless dove, Had wander'd still in search of, nor her feet


Relieved her wing till found: without thy light
My paradise had still been incomplete.
Since my tenth sun gave summer to my sight

Thou wert my life, the essence of my thought,
Loved ere I knew the name of love, and bright
Still in these dim old eyes, now overwrought

With the world's war, and years, and banishment, And tears for thee, by other woes untaught; For mine is not a nature to be bent

Unto my native soil,-they have not yet
Quench'd the old exile's spirit, stern and high.
But the sun, though not overcast, must set,

And the night cometh; I am old in days,
And deeds, and contemplation, and have met
Destruction face to face in all his ways.

By tyrannous faction, and the brawling crowd, And though the long, long conflict hath been spent In vain,—and never more, save when the cloud Which overhangs the Apennine my mind's eye Pierces to fancy Florence, once so proud Of me, can I return, though but to die,

The world hath left me, what it found me, pure,
And if I have not gather'd yet its praise,

I sought it not by any baser lure;

Man wrongs, and Time avenges, and my name




May form a monument not all obscure,
Though such was not my ambition's end or aim,
To add to the vain-glorious list of those
Who dabble in the pettiness of fame,

And make men's fickle breath the wind that blows
Their sail, and deem it glory to be class'd
With conquerors, and virtue's other foes,
In bloody chronicles of ages past.

I would have had my Florence great and free;
Oh Florence! Florence! unto me thou wast
Like that Jerusalem which the Almighty He

Wept over,' but thou wouldst not;' as the bird
Gathers its young, I would have gather'd thee
Beneath a parent pinion, hadst thou heard

My voice; but as the adder, deaf and fierce,
Against the breast that cherish'd thee was stirr'd
Thy venom, and my state thou didst amerce,
And doom this body forfeit to the fire.
Alas! how bitter is his country's curse
To him who for that country would expire,
But did not merit to expire by her,



And loves her, loves her even in her ire!
The day may come when she will cease to err,
The day may come she would be proud to have
The dust she dooms to scatter, and transfer
Of him, whom she denied a home, the grave.
But this shall not be granted; let my


Lie where it falls; nor shall the soil which gave Me breath, but in her sudden fury thrust

Me forth to breathe elsewhere, so reassume My indignant bones, because her angry gust Forsooth is over, and repeal'd her doom;

No, she denied me what was mine-my roof, And shall not have what is not hers-my tomb. Too long her armed wrath hath kept aloof

The breast which would have bled for her, the heart That beat, the mind that was temptation proof, The man who fought, toil'd, travell'd, and each part

Of a true citizen fulfill'd, and saw

For his reward the Guelf's ascendant art



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