Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

XXV.

But my soul wanders; I demand it back
To meditate amongst decay, and stand
A ruin amidst ruins; there to track
Fall’n states and buried greatness, o'er a land
Which was the mightiest in its old command,
And is the loveliest, and must ever be
The master-mould of Nature's heavenly hand,

Wherein were cast the heroic and the free,
The beautiful, the brave—the lords of earth and sea,

XXVI.

The commonwealth of kings, the men of Rome!
And even since, and now, fair Italy !
Thou art the garden of the world, the home
Of all Art yields, and Nature can decree ;
Even in thy desert, what is like to thee?
Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste
More rich than other climes' fertility;

Thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced
With an immaculate charm which can not be defaced.

XXVII.

The Moon is up, and yet it is not night,
Sunset divides the sky with her-a sea
Of glory streams along the Alpine height
Of blue Friuli's mountains; Heaven is free
From clouds, but of all colours seems to be
Melted to one vast Iris of the West,
Where the Day joins the past Eternity;

While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest Floats through the azure air-an island of the blest!

XXVIII.
A single star is at her side, and reigns
With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
Rolld o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,
As Day and Night contending were, until
Nature reclaimd her order :-gently flows
The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil

The odorous purple of a new-born rose,
Which streams upon her stream, and glass'd within it glows,

XXIX.
Filld with the face of heaven, which, from afar,
Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,
Their magical variety diffuse :
And now they change, a paler shadow strews
Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day
Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues

With a new colour as it gasps away,
The last still loveliest, till—'tis gone—and all is gray.

XXX.

There is a tomb in Arqua ;-rear'd in air,
Pillard in their sarcophagus, repose
The bones of Laura's lover: here repair
Many familiar with his well-sung woes,
The pilgrims of his genius. He arose
To raise a language, and his land reclaim
From the dull yoke of her barbaric foes :

Watering the tree which bears his lady's name
With his melodious tears, he gave himself to fame.

[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

They keep his dust in Arqua, where he died;
The mountain-village where his latter days
Went down the vale of years; and 'tis their pride-
An honest pride—and let it be their praise,
To offer to the passing stranger's gaze
His mansion and his sepulchre; both plain
And venerably simple, such as raise

A feeling more accordant with his strain
Than if a pyramid form’d his monumental fane.

XXXII

And the soft quiet hamlet where he dwelt
Is one of that complexion which seems made
For those who their mortality have felt,
And sought a refuge from their hopes decay'd
In the deep umbrage of a green hill's shade,
Which shows a distant prospect

far

away Of busy cities, now in vain display'd,

For they can lure no further ; and the ray Of a bright sun can make sufficient holiday,

XXXIII.

Developing the mountains, leaves, and flowers,
And shining in the brawling brook, where-by,
Clear as its current, glide the sauntering hours
With a calm languor, which, though to the eye
Idlesse it seem, hath its morality.
If from society we learn to live,
'Tis solitude should teach us how to die;

It hath no flatterers; vanity can give
No bollow aid ; alone-man with his God must strive:

XXXIV.

Or, it may be, with demons, who impair
The strength of better thoughts, and seek their prey
In melancholy bosoms, such as were
Of moody texture from their earliest day,
And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay,
Deeming themselves predestined to a doom
Which is not of the pangs that pass away;

Making the sun like blood, the earth a tomb,
The tomb a hell, and hell itself a murkier gloom.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Ferrara! in thy wide and grass-grown streets,
Whose symmetry was not for solitude,
There seems as 'twere a curse upon the seats
Of former sovereigns, and the antique brood
Of Este, which for many an age made good
Its strength within thy walls, and was of yore
Patron or tyrant, as the changing mood

Of petty power impell’d, of those who wore
The wreath which Dante's brow alone had worn before.

« ElőzőTovább »