Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

SONETTO DI VITTORELLI.

PER MONACA.

Sonetto composto in nome di un genitore, a cui era morta poco innanzi

una figlia appena maritata ; è diretto al genitore della sacra sposa.

Di due vaghe donzelle, oneste, accorte

Lieti e miseri padri il ciel ne feo,
Il ciel, che degne di più nobil sorte

L'una e l'altra veggendo, ambo chiedeo.
La mia fu tolta da veloce morte

A le fumanti tede d'imeneo:

La tua, Francesco, in sugellate porte

Eterna prigioniera or si rendeo.
Ma tu almeno potrai de la gelosa

Irremeabil soglia, ove s' asconde,

La sua tenera udir voce pietosa.
Io verso un fiume d'amarissim' onda,

Corro a quel marmo, in cui la figlia or posa,
Batto, e ribatto, ma nessun risponde.

TRANSLATION FROM VITTORELLI.

ON A NUN.

Sonnet composed in the name of a father whose daughter had recently

died shortly after her marriage; and addressed to the father of her who had lately taken the veil.

Of two fair virgins, modest, though admired,

Heaven made us happy; and now, wretched sires,
Heaven for a nobler doom their worth desires,

And gazing upon either, both required.
Mine, while the torch of Hymen newly fired

Becomes extinguish’d, soon—too soon–expires:
But thine, within the closing grate retired,

Eternal captive, to her God aspires.
But thou at least from out the jealous door,

Which shuts between your never-meeting eyes,

May'st hear her sweet and pious voice once more:
I to the marble, where my daughter lies,

Rush,—the swoln flood of bitterness I pour,
And knock, and knock, and knock-but none replies.

ODE.

I.

Ou Venice! Venice! when thy marble walls

Are level with the waters, there shall be A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,

A loud lament along the sweeping sea! If I, a northern wanderer, weep for thee, What should thy sons do?—any thing but weep: And yet they only murmur in their sleep. In contrast with their fathers-as the slime, The dull green ooze of the receding deep, Is with the dashing of the spring-tide foam, That drives the sailor shipless to his home, Are they to those that were; and thus they creep, Crouching and crab-like, through their sapping streets. Oh! agony—that centuries should reap No mellower harvest! Thirteen hundred

years Of wealth and glory turn’d to dust and tears; And every monument the stranger meets, Church, palace, pillar, as a mourner greets ;

[ocr errors]

And even the Lion all subdued appears,
And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum,
With dull and daily dissonance, repeats
The echo of thy tyrant's voice along
The soft waves, once all musical to song,
That heaved beneath the moonlight with the throng
Of gondolas—and to the busy hum
Of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
Were but the overbeating of the heart,
And flow of too much happiness, which needs
The aid of age to turn its course apart
From the luxuriant and voluptuous flood
Of sweet sensations, battling with the blood.
But these are better than the gloomy errors,
The weeds of nations in their last decay,
When Vice walks forth with her unsoften'd terrors,
And Mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay;
And Hope is nothing but a false delay,
The sick man's lightning half an hour ere death,
When Faintness, the last mortal birth of Pain,
And apathy of limb, the dull beginning
Of the cold staggering race which Death is winning,
Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away;
Yet so relieving the o’er-tortured clay,

To him appears renewal of his breath,
And freedom the mere numbness of his chain;
And then he talks of life, and how again
He feels his spirits soaring—albeit weak,
And of the fresher air, which he would seek ;
And as he whispers knows not that he gasps,
That his thin finger feels not what it clasps,
And so the film comes o'er him-and the dizzy
Chamber swims round and round—and shadows busy,
At which he vainly catches, flit and gleam,
Till the last rattle chokes the strangled scream,
And all is ice and blackness,--and the earth
That which it was the moment ere our birth.

II.

There is no hope for nations !-Search the page

Of many thousand years—the daily scene, The flow and ebb of each recurring age,

The everlasting to be which hath been,

Hath taught us nought or little: still we lean
On things that rot beneath our weight, and wear
Our strength away in wrestling with the air ;
For 'tis our nature strikes us down: the beasts
Slaughter'd in hourly hecatombs for feasts

« AnteriorContinuar »