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XXXVI. There is a tomb in Arqua,-rear'd in air,
And Tasso is their glory and their shame. Pillar'd in their sarcophagus, repose
Hark to his strain ! and then survey his cell! The bones of Laura's lover; here repair
And see how dearly earn'd Torquato's fame, Many familiar with his well-sung woes,
And where Alfouso bade his poet dwell: The pilgrims of his genius. He arose
The miserable despot could not quell To raise a language, and his land reclaim The insulted mind he sought to quench, and blend From the dull yoke of her barbaric foes:
With the surrounding maniacs, in the hell Watering the tree which bears his lady's name 15 Where he had plunged it. Glory without end With his melodious tears, he gave himself to fame. Scatter'd the clouds away-and on that name attend
XXXVII. They keep his dust in Arqua, where he died ; 16 The tears and praises of all time; while thine The mountain-village where his latter days Would rot in its oblivion-in the sink Went down the vale of years; and 'tis their pride Of worthless dust, which from thy boasted line An honest pride-and let it be their praise, Is shaken into nothing; but the link To offer to the passing stranger's gaze
Thou formest in his fortunes bids us think His mansion and his sepulchre; both plain Of thy poor malice, naming thee with scornAnd venerably simple, such as raise
Alfonso ! how thy ducal pageants shrink A feeling more accordant with his strain,
From thee! if in another station born,
Hadst a more splendid trough and wider sty: And sought a refuge from their hopes decay'd He with a glory round his furrow'd brow, In the deep umbrage of a green hill's shade, Which emanated then, and dazzles now, Which shows a distant prospeet far away
In face of all his foes, the Cruscan quire, Of busy cities, now in vain display'd,
And Boileau, whose rash envy could allow 18 [lyre, For they can lure no further; and the ray No strain which shamed his country's creaking Of a bright sun can make sufficient holiday,- That whetstone of the teeth-monotony in wire! XXXIII.
XXXIX. Developing the mountains, leaves and lowers,
Peace to Torquato's injured shade! 'twas his And shining in the brawling brook, where-by,
In life and death to be the mark where Wrong Clear as its current, glide the sauntering hours
Aim'd with her poison'd arrows, but to miss. With a calm languor, which, though to the eye
Oh, victor unsurpass'd in modern song! dlesse it seem, hath its morality.
Each year brings forth its millions; but how long Af from society we learn to live,
The tide of generations shall roll on, "Tis solitude should teach us how to die;
And not the whole combined and countiess throng It liath no flatterers; vanity can give o hollow aid; alone-man with his God must strive: Condensed their scatter'd rays, they would not form
Compose a mind like thine, though all in one
Great as thou art, yet paralell’d by those,
Thy countrymen, before thee born to shine, Of moody texture from their earliest day,
The bards of Hell and Chivalry: first rose And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay,
The Tuscan father's comedy divine ; Deeming themselves predestined to a doom Then not unequal to the Florentine, Which is not of the pangs that pass away;
The southern Scott, the minstrel who call'd forth Making the snn like blood, the earth a tomb,
A new creation with his magic line, The tomb a hell and hell itself a murkier gloom.
And, like the Ariosto of the North,
Sang ladye-love and war, romance and knightly XXXV.
XLI. l'errara! in thy wide and grass-grown streets, Whose symmetry was not for solitude,
The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust 19 There seems as 'twere a curse upon the seats The iron crown of laurel's mimic'd leaves Of former sovereigns, and the antique brood Nor was the ominous element unjust, Of Este, which for many an age made good For the true laurel-wreath which Glory weaves 40 Its strength within thy walls, and was of yore Is of the tree no bolt of thunder cleaves, Patron or tyrant, as the changing mood
And the false semblance but disgraced his brow; Of petty power impell’d, of those who wore Yet still if fondly Superstition grieves, The wreath which Dante's brow alone had worn Know, that the lighning sanctifies below 2 beforo
Whate'er it strikes ;-yon head is doubly sacred now
XLVIII. Italia! oh Italia! thou who hast 22
But Arno wins us to the fair white walls, The fatal gift of beauty, which became
Where the Etrurian Athens claims and keeps A funeral dower of present woes and prst, A softer feeling for her fairy halls. On thy sweet brow is sorrow plough'd by shame, Girt by her theatre of hills, she reaps And annals graved in characters of flame.
Her corn, and wine, and oil, and Plenty leaps Oh God! that thou wert in thy nakedness
To laughing life, with her redundant horn. Less lovely or more powerful, and couldst claim Along the banks where smiling Arno sweeps,
'Thy right, and awe the robbers back, who press Was modern Luxury of Commerce born. To shed thy blood, and drink the tears of thy distress; And buried Learning rose, redeem'd to a new morn
XLIX. Then might'st thou more appal; or, less desired, There, too, the Goddess loves in stone, and fills Be homely and be peaceful, undeplored
The air around with beauty; we inhale For thy destructive charms; then, still untired, The ambrosial aspect, which, beheld, instils Would not be seen the armed torrents pour'd Part of its immortality; the veil Down the deep Alps; nor would the hostile horde Of heaven is half undrawn; within the pale Of many-nation'd spoilers from the Po
We stand, and in that form and face behold Quaff blood and water; nor the stranger's sword What mind can make, when Nature's self would Be thy sad weapon of defence, and so,
And to the fond idolaters of old
[fail : Victor or vanquish'd, thou the slave of friend or foe. Envy the innate flesh which such a soul could mould:
L. Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him, 23 We gaze and turn away, and know not where, The Roman friend of Rome's least mortal mind, Dazzled and drunk with beauty, till the heart The friend of Tully: as my bark did skim
Reels with its fulness; there-for erer there The bright blue waters with a fanning wind, Chain'd to the chariot of triumphal Art, Came Megara before me, and behind
We stand as captives, and would not depart. Ægina lay, Piræus on the right,
Away!-there need no words, nor terms preciso, And Corinth on the left; I lay reclined
The paltry jargon of the marble mart, Along the prow, and saw all these unite
Where Pedantry gulls Folly--we have eyes : In ruin, even as he had seen the desolate sight; Blood-pulsemand breast, confirm the Dardan Shep
Or to more deeply blest Anchises? or,
Feeding on thy sweet cheek ! 26 while thy lips are Sad wonder, and his yet surviving page
With lava kisses melting while they burn, The moral lesson bears, drawn from such pilgrimage. Shower'd on his eyelids, brow, and mouth, as from
an urn! XLVI.
LII. That page is now before me, and on mine
Glowing, and circumfused in speechless love, His country's ruin added to the mass
Their full divinity inadequate
The gods become as mortals, and man's fate Of Then destruction is; and now, alas !
Has moments like their brightest; but the weight Rome-Rome imperial, bows her to the storm, Of earth recoils upon us :-let it go! In the same dust and blackness, and we pass We can recall such visions, and create, [grow The skeleton of her Titanic form, 24
From what has been, or might be, things which Wrecks of another world, whose ashes still are warm. Into thy statue's form, and look like gods below.
LIII. Yet, Italy! through every other land
I leave to learned fingers, and wise hands, Thy wrongs should ring, and shall, from side to side; The artist and his ape, to teach and tell Mother of arts! as once of arms; thy hand How well his connoisseurship understands Was then our guardian, and is still our guide; The graceful bend and the voluptuous swell; Parent of our Religion! whom the wide
Let these describe the undescribable: [stream Nations have knelt to for the keys of heaven! I would not their vile breath should crisp the Europe, repentant of her parricide,
Wherein that image shall for ever dwell; Shall yet redeem thee, and, all backward driven, The unruffled mirror of the loveliest dream Roll the barbarian tide, and sue to be forgiven. | That ever left the sky on the deep soul to beam
What is her pyramid of precious stones : 34
Of gem and marble, to encrust the bones
Which, sparkling to the twilight stars, infuse
Whose names are the mausoleums of the muse,
Are gently prest with far more reverent tread
There be more things to greet the heart and eyes
In Arno's dome of Art's most princely shrine, Time, which hath wrong'd thee with ten thousand
Where Sculpture with her rainbow sister vies ; Of thine imperial garment, shall deny,
There be more marvels yet-but not for mind;
For I have been accustom'd to entwine
My thoughts with Nature rather in the fields,
Than Art in galleries: though a work arme
Calls for my spirit's homage, yet it yields
Less than it feels, because the weapon which it wields
Is of another temper, and I roam
By Thrasimene's lake, in the defiles
Fatal to Roman rashness, more at home,
For there the Carthaginian's warlike wiles
Come back before me, as his skitt beguiles
The host between the mountains and the shore.
Where Courage falls in her despairing files, And have their country's marbles nought to say?
And torrents, swoln to rivers with their gore, Could not her quarries furnish forth one bust?
Reek through the sultry plain, with legions scatter'd Did they not to her breast their filial carth intrust?
Like to a forest fell’d by mountain winds;
And such the storm of battle on this day,
And such the frenzy, whose convulsion blinds
To all save carnage, that, beneath the fray,
An earthquake reel'd unheedingly away!
None felt stern Nature rocking at his feet,
And yawning forth a grave for those who lay
Upon their bucklers for a winding sheet;
Such is the absorbing hate when warring nations
The Earth to them was as a rolling bark
Far other scene is Thrasimene now;
Her lake a sheet of silver, and her plain
Lay where their roots are; but a brook hath ta'en -
Of tuneful relics proudly claims and keeps, And Sanguinetto tells ye where the dead
From side to side, beneath the glittering morn,
By the distracted waters, bears serene And most serene of aspect, and most clear; Its brilliant hues with all their beams unshorn;
Surely that stream was unprofaned by slaughters- Resembling, 'mid the torture of the scene, A mirror and a bath for Beauty's youngest daugh- Love watching Madness with unalterable mien. ters! LXVII.
LXXIII. And on thy happy shore a temple still,
Once more upon the woody Apennine, Of small and delicate proportion, keeps,
The infant Alps, which-had I not before Upon a mild declivity of hill,
Gazed on their mightier parents, where the pine Its memory of thee; beneath it sweeps
Sits on more shaggy summits, and where roar Thy current's calmness ; oft from out it leaps The thundering lauwine-might be worshipp'd The finny darter with the glittering scales,
more: Who dwells and revels in thy glassy deeps ; But I have seen the soaring Jungfrau rear
While, chance, some scatter'd water-lily sails Her never trodden snow, and seen the hoar Down where the shallower wave still tells its bub Glaciers of bleak Mount-Blanc both far and near, bling tales.
And in Chimari heard the thunder-hills of fear, LXVIII. Pass not unblest the Genius of the place!
LXXIV. If through the air a zephyr more serene
Th' Acroceraunian mountains of old name; Win to the brow, 'tis his; and if ye trace
And on Parnassus seen the eagles fly Along his margin a more eloquent green,
Like spirits of the spot, as 'twere for fame, If on the heart the freshness of the scene
For still they soar'd unutterably high; Sprinkle its coolness, and from the dry dust I've look'd on Ida with a Trojan's eye; Of weary life a moment lave it clean
Athos, Olympus, Ætna, Atlas, made With Nature's baptism, --'tis to him ye must These hills seem things of lesser dignity, Pay orisons for this suspension of disgust.
All, save the lone Soracte's heights display'd
Not now in snow, which asks the lyric Roman's aid
For our remembrance, and from out the plain The fall of waters ! rapid as the ligné
Heaves like a long-swept wave about to break,
Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet Too much, to conquer for the poet's sake,
In my repugnant youth, with pleasure to record
LXXVI. And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again Returns in an unceasing shower, which round, Aught that recalls the daily drug which turn'a With its unemptied cloud of gentle rain,
My sickening memory; and, though Time hath Is an eternal April to the ground,
My mind to meditate what then it learn'd, (taught Making it all one emerald :-how profound Yet such the fix'd inveteracy wrought The gulf! and how the giant element
By the impatience of my early thought, From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound, That, with the freshness wearing cut before
Crushing the cliffs, which, downward worn and rent My mind could relish what it might have sought, With his fierce footsteps, yield in chasms a fearful If free to choose, I cannot now restore vent
Its health ; but what it then detested, stil abhor. LXXI. To the broad column which rolls on, and shows
LXXVII. More like the fountain of an infant sea
Then farewell, Horace; whom I hated so, Torn from the womb of mountains by the throes Not for thy faults, but mine; it is a curse of a new world, than only thus to be
To understand, not feel thy lyric flow,
Our little life, nor Bard prescribe his art,
Yet fare thee well-upon Soracte's ridge we part.
The dictatorial wreath,-couldst thou divine
By aught than Romans Rome should thus be laid?
Until the o'ercanopied horizon failid,
Sylla was first of victors; but our own
The sagest of usurpers, Cromwell; he
Too swept off senates while he hew'd the throne
Down to a block-immortal rebel! See
What crimes it costs to be a moment free
And famous through all ages! but beneath
His fate the moral lurks of destiny;
His day of double victory and death
Had all but crown'd him, on the selfsame day
Deposed him gently from his throne of force, She saw her glories star by star expire,
And laid him with the earth's preceding clay. 44 And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
And show'd not Fortune thus how fame and sway
And all we deem delightful, and consume
Our souls to compass through each arduous way,
Are in her eyes less happy than the tomb ?
Were they but so in man's, how different were his
And thou, dread statue! yet exist in 45
The austerest form of naked majesty,
At thy bathed base the bloody Cæsar lie,
Of gods and men, great Nemesis ! did he die,
And thou, too, perish, Pompey? have ye been
And thou, the thunder-stricken nurse of Rome!
She-wolf! whose brazen-imaged dugs impart
Which the great founder suck'd from thy wild teat,
Scorch'd by the Roman Jove's etherial dart, Her resurrection; all beside-decay.
And thy limbs black with lightning-dost thou yet Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see
Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond charge That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was
Thou dost;-but all thy foster babes are dead-
Save one vain man, who is not in the grave,