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For its green wine ; 1" dearer to me, to most,
As dwelt on by that great astronomer,
Seven years a prisoner at the city-gate,
Let in but in his grave-clothes. 174 Sacred be
His villa (justly was it called The Gem !) 175
Sacred the lawn, where many a cypress threw
Its length of shadow, while he watched the stars !
Sacred the vineyard, where, while yet his sight
Glimmered, at blush of morn he dressed his vines,
Chanting aloud in gayety of heart
Some verse of ARIOSTO! - There, unseen,
In manly beauty MILTON stood before him,
Gazing with reverent awe — MILTON, his guest,
Just then come forth, all life and enterprise ;
He in his old age and extremity,
Blind, at noon-day exploring with his staff;
His eyes upturned as to the golden sun,
His eyeballs idly rolling. Little then
Did GALILEO think whom he received ;
That in his hand he held the hand of one
Who could requite him — who would spread his name
O'er lands and seas 179 --- great as himself, nay, greater;
MILTON as little that in him he

As in a glass, what he himself should be,
Destined so soon to fall on evil days
And evil tongues

so soon, alas! to live
In darkness, and with dangers compassed round,
And solitude.

Well pleased, could we pursue The ARNO, from his birthplace in the clouds, So near the yellow TIBER'S — springing up From his four fountains on the Apennine,




That mountain-ridge a sea-mark to the ships
Sailing on either sea.

Downward he runs,
Scattering fresh verdure through the desolate wild,
Down by the City of Hermits, 182 and the woods
That only echo to the choral hymn;
Then through these gardens to the TUSCAN sea,
Reflecting castles, convents, villages,
And those great rivals in an elder day,
FLORENCE and PISA153 — who have given him fame,
Fame everlasting, but who stained so oft
His troubled waters. Oft, alas ! were seen,
When flight, pursuit, and hideous rout were there,
Hands, clad in gloves of steel, held up imploring;
The man, the hero, on his foaming steed
Borne underneath, already in the realms
Of darkness. — Nor did night or burning noon
Bring respite. Oft, as that great artist saw, 185
Whose pencil had a voice, the cry " To arms !”
And the shrill trumpet hurried up the bank
Those who had stolen an hour to breast the tide,
And wash from their unharnessed limbs the blood
And sweat of battle. Sudden was the rush,
Violent the tumult; for, already in sight,
Nearer and nearer yet the danger drew;
Each every sinew straining, every nerve,
Each snatching up, and girding, buckling on
Morion and greave and shirt of twisted mail,
As for his life no more perchance to taste,
ARNO, the grateful freshness of thy glades,
Thy waters - where, exulting, he had felt
A swimmer's transport, there, alas ! to float
And welter. --Nor between the gusts of war,


When flocks were feeding, and the shepherd's pipe
Gladdened the valley, - when, but not unarmed,
The sower came forth, and, following him that ploughed,
Threw in the seed, — did thy indignant waves
Escape pollution. Sullen was the splash,
Heavy and swift the plunge, when they received
The key that just had grated on the ear
Of UGOLINO, ever closing up
That dismal dungeon thenceforth to be named
The Tower of Famine. Once indeed ’t was thine,
When many a winter-flood, thy tributary,
Was through its rocky glen rushing, resounding,
And thou wert in thy might, to save, restore
A charge most precious. To the nearest ford,
Hastening, a horseman from Arezzo came,
Careless, impatient of delay, a babe
Slung in a basket to the knotty staff
That lay ath wart his saddle-bow. He spurs,
He enters; and his horse, alarmed, perplexed,
Halts in the midst. Great is the stir, the strife;
And, lo ! an atom on that dangerous sea,
The babe is floating! Fast and far he flies ;
Now tempest-rocked, now whirling round and round
But not to perish. By thy willing waves
Borne to the shore, among the bulrushes
The ark has rested ; and unhurt, secure
As on his mother's breast, he sleeps within,
All peace! or never had the nations heard
That voice so sweet, which still enchants, inspires;
That voice, which sung of love, of liberty.
PETRARCHI lay there !--- And such the images
That here spring up forever, in the young


Kindling poetic fire! Such they that came
And clustered round our MILTON, when at eve,
Reclined beside thee, ARNO ; 188 when at eve,
Led on by thee, he wandered with delight,
Framing Ovidian verse, and through thy groves
Gathering wild myrtle. Such the poet's dreams;
Yet not such only. For, look round and say,
Where is the ground that did not drink warm blood,
The echo that had learnt not to articulate
The cry of murder ?

Fatal was the day
To FLORENCE, when ('t was in a narrow street
North of that temple, where the truly great
Sleep, not unhonored, not unvisited;
That temple sacred to the Holy Cross
There is the house -- that house of the DONATI,
Towerless, 1% and left long since, but to the last
Braving assault -- all rugged, all embossed
Below, and still distinguished by the rings
Of brass, that held in war and festival-time
Their family-standards) — fatal was the day
To Florence, when, at morn, at the ninth hour,
A noble dame in weeds of widowhood,
Weeds by so many to be worn so soon,
Stood at her door; and, like a sorceress, flung
Her dazzling spell. Subtle she was, and rich,
Rich in a hidden pearl of heavenly light,
Her daughter's beauty, and too well she knew
Its virtue! Patiently she stood and watched;
Nor stood alone — but spoke not.

- but spoke not. — In her breast
Her purpose lay; and, as a youth passed by,
Clad for the nuptial rite, she smiled and said,
Lifting a corner of the maiden's veil,

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" This had I treasured up in secret for thee:
This hast thou lost !" He gazed and was undone !
Forgetting — not forgot -- he broke the bond,
And paid the penalty, losing his life
At the bridge-foot ;19 and hence a world of woe ! 192
Vengeance for vengeance crying, blood for blood;
No intermission ! Law, that slumbers not,
And, like the angel with the flaming sword,
Sits over all, at once chastising, healing,
Himself the avenger, went; and every street
Ran red with mutual slaughter -- though sometimes
The young forgot the lesson they had learnt
And loved when they should hate -- like thee, IMELDA,
Thee and thy Paolo. When last

When last ye met
In that still hour (the heat, the glare was gone,
Not so the splendor — through the cedar-grove
A radiance streamed like a consuming fire,
As though the glorious orb, in its descent,
Had come and rested there) - when last ye met,
And thy relentless brothers dragged him forth,
It had been well hadst thou slept on, IMELDA,
Nor from thy trance of fear awaked, as night
Fell on that fatal spot, to wish thee dead,
To track him by his blood, to search, to find,
Then fling thee down to catch a word, a look,
A sigh, if yet thou couldst (alas ! thou couldst not),
And die, unseen, unthought of --- from the wound
Sucking the poison.193

Yet, when slavery came, Worse followed.194 Genius, Valor left the land, Indignant --- all that had from age to age Adorned, ennobled; and headlong they fell,


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