« ElőzőTovább »
But from their nature will the tannen grow (10) si
Loftiest on loftiest and least sheltered rocks,
Rooted in barrenness, where nought below
Of soil supports them 'gainst the Alpine shocks
Of eddying storms; yet springs the trunk, and mocks
The howling tempest, till its height and frame
Are worthy of the mountains from whose blocks
Of bleak, grcy, granite, into life it came,
And grew a giant tree ;-the mind may grow the same.
Existence may be borne, and the deep root
Of life and sufferance makeits firm abode
In bare and desolated bosoms : mute
The camel labours with the heaviest load,
And the wolfdies in silence, not bestow'd
In vain should such example be ? if they,
Things of ignoble or of savage mood,
Endure and shrink not, we of nobler clay'
May temper it to bear,-it is but for a day:
All suffering doth destroy, or is destroy'd,
Even by the sufferer? and, in each event
Ends --Some, with hope replenish'd and rebuoy'd,
Return to whence they came with like intent,
And weave their web again :some, bow'd and bent,
Wax gray and ghastly, withering ere their time,
And perish with the reed on which they leant:
Some seek devotion, toil, war, good or crime,
According as their souls were form’d to sink or climb,
But ever and anon of griefs subdued
There comes a token like a scorpion's sting,
Scarce seen, but with fresh bitterness imbued !
And slight withal may be the things which bring
Back on the heart the weight which it would fing
Aside for ever : it may be a sound
A tone of music,-summer's eveor spring,
A flower--the wind-lhe ocean-which shall wound,
Striking the electric chain wherewith we are darkly bound
And how and why we know not, nor can trace
Home to its cloud this lightning of the mind,
But feel the shock renew'd nor can effacc
The blight and blackening which it leaves behind,
Which out of things familiar, undesign'd,
When least we deem of such, calls up to view
The spectres whom no exorcism can bind,
The cold-the changed-perchance the dead-manew, The mourn'd, the loved, the lost-too many :-yet how few!
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,
The commonwealth of kinds, 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 desart, 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.
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 (11) Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains Roll'd o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill, As Day and Night contending were, until Nature reclaim'd her order :-gently flows The deep.dyed Brenta, where their hues instil
The odorous purple of a new-born rose, glows, Which streams upon her stream, and glass'd within it
Fill'd 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.
There is a tomb in Arqua;-rear'd in air,
Pillar'd 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 rose
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 (12)
With his melodious tears, he gave himself to fame.
They keep his dust in Arqua, where he died; (13)
· 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 monumeutal fane.
And the soft quiet hamlet where he dwelt. ,
18 one of that complexion wbich seems made
For those who their mortality have telt,
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,
Developing the mountains, leaves, apd 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, bath 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 hollow aid ; alone-man with his God must strive :
Or, it may be, with demons, who impair(14)
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 predestin'd to a doom
Which is not of the paogs that pass away;
Making the sun like blood, the earth a tomb,
The tomb a hell, and bell itself a murkier gloomu. .
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.
XXXVI. And Tasso is their glory and their shame. Hark to his strain ! and then survey his cell! And see how dearly earn'd Torquato's fame, And where Alfonso bade his poet dwell; The miserable despot could not quell The insulted mind he sought to quench, and blend With the surrounding maniacs, in the bell
Where he had plung 'd it. Glory without end
Scatter'd the clouds away- and on that name attend
The tears and praises of all time; while thine
Would rot in its oblivion in the sink
Of worthless dust, which from thy boasted line
ls shaken into nothing; but the link
Thou formest in his fortunes bids us think
Of thy poor malice, naming thee with scorn
Alfonso ! how thy ducal pageants shrink
From thee! if in another station born,
Scarce fit to be the slave of him thou mad'st to moura.
Thou ! form'd to eat, and be despis'd, and die,
Even as the beast that perish, save.that thou
Hadst a more splendid trough and wider sty;
He! with a glory round his furrow'd brow,
Which emanated then, and dazzles now
- In face of all his foes, the Cruscan quire,
And Boileau, whose rash envy could allow (15)
No strain which shamed his country's creaking lyre, That whetstone of the teeth-monotony ip wire!
Peace to Torquato's injur'd shade! 'twas his
In life and death to be the mark where Wrong .
Aim'd with her poison arrows; but to miss.
Oh, victor unsurpass'd in modern song!
Each year brings forth its millions ! but how long
The tide of generations shall roll on,
And not the whole combin'd and countless throng
Compose a mind like thine ? though all in one
Condens'd their scatter'd rays, they would not form