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Tyrant and slave. For deeds of violence,
Done in broad day and more than half redeemed
By many a great and generous sacrifice
Of self to others, came the unpledged bowl,
The stab of the stiletto. Gliding by
Unnoticed, in slouched hat and muffling cloak,
That just discovered, Caravaggio-like,
A swarthy cheek, black brow, and eye of flame,
The bravo stole, and o'er the shoulder plunged
To the heart's core, or from beneath the ribs
Slanting (a surer path, as some averred)
Struck upward - then slunk off, or, if pursued,
Made for the sanctuary, and there along
The glimmering aisle among the worshippers
Wandered with restless step and jealous look,
Dropping thick blood. - Misnamed to lull alarm,
In every palace was The Laboratory, 19
Where he within brewed poisons swift and slow,
That scattered terror till all things seemed poisonous,
And brave men trembled if a hand held out
A nosegay or a letter ; while the great
Drank only from the Venice-glass, that broke,
That shivered, scattering round it as in scorn,
If aught malignant, aught of thine was there,
Cruel TOPANA ; 19 and pawned provinces
For that miraculous gem, the gem that gave
A sign infallible of coming ill, 1:7
That clouded though the vehicle of death
Were an invisible perfume. Happy then
The guest to whom at sleeping-time ’t was said,
But in an under voice (a lady's page
Speaks in no louder), “ Pass not on. That door



Leads to another which awaits thy coming,
One in the floor

now left, alas ! unlocked. No eye detects it

detects it — lying under-foot, Just as thou enterest, at the threshold-stone; Ready to fall and plunge thee into night And long oblivion!" -- In that evil hour Where lurked not danger ? Through the fairy-land No seat of pleasure glittering half-way down, No hunting-place --- but with some damning spot That will not be washed out! There, at Caiano, Where, when the hawks were mewed and evening came, Pulci would set the table in a roar With his wild lay 200 — there, where the sun descends, And hill and dale are lost, veiled with his beams, The fair Venetian 901 died, she and her lord Died of a posset drugged by him who sate And saw them suffer, flinging back the charge; The murderer on the murdered.- Sobs of grief, Sounds inarticulate .. suddenly stopt, And followed by a struggle and a gasp, A gasp in death, are heard yet in Cerreto, Along the marble halls and staircases, Nightly at twelve ; and, at the self-same hour, Shrieks, such as penetrate the inmost soul, Such as awake the innocent babe to long, Long wailing, echo through the emptiness Of that old den far up among the hills, 202 Frowning on him who comes from Pietra-Mala : In them, alas ! within five days and less, Two unsuspecting victims, passing fair, Welcomed with kisses, and slain cruelly, One with the knife, one with the fatal noose.


But, lo! the sun is setting ; 203 earth and sky One blaze of glory.— What we saw but now, As though it were not, though it had not been ! He lingers yet; and, lessening to a point, Shines like the eye of Heaven — then withdraws; And from the zenith to the utmost skirts All is celestial red! The hour is come When they that sail along the distant seas Languish for home; and they that in the morn Said to sweet friends “farewell” melt as at parting; When, just gone forth, the pilgrim, if he hears, As now we hear it, wandering round the hill, The bell that seems to mourn the dying day, Slackens his pace and sighs, and those he loved Loves more than ever. But who feels it not? And well may we, for we are far away.



It was an hour of universal joy.
The lark was up and at the gate of heaven,
Singing, as sure to enter when he came ;
The butterfly was basking in my path,
His radiant wings unfolded. From below
The bell of prayer rose slowly, plaintively;
And odors, such as welcome in the day,
Such as salute the early traveller,
And come and go, each sweeter than the last,
Were rising. Hill and valley breathed delight;
And not a living thing but blessed the hour !

In every

bush and brake there was a voice Responsive!

From the THRASYMENE, that now Slept in the sun, a lake of molten gold, And from the shore that once, when armies met,206 Rocked to and fro unfelt, so terrible The rage, the slaughter, I had turned away; The path, that led me, leading through a wood, A fairy-wilderness of fruits and flowers, And by a brook that, in the day of strife,207 Ran blood, but now runs amber — when a glade, Far, far within, sunned only at noon-day, Suddenly opened. Many a bench was there, Each round its ancient elm; and many a track, Well known to them that from the highway loved A while to deviate. In the midst a cross Of mouldering stone as in a temple stood, Solemn, severe; coëval with the trees That round it in majestic order rose; And on the lowest step a pilgrim knelt In fervent prayer. He was the first I saw (Save in the tumult of a midnight-masque, A revel, where none cares to play his part, And they, that speak, at once dissolve the charm) The first in sober truth, no counterfeit ; And, when his orisons were duly paid, He rose, and we exchanged, as all are wont, A traveller's greeting.

Young, and of an age When youth is most attractive, when a light Plays round and round, reflected, while it lasts, From some attendant spirit, that ere long

(His charge relinquished with a sigh, a tear Wings his flight upward — with a look he won My favor; and, the spell of silence broke, I could not but continue.- Whence," I asked, “Whence art thou?" ----"From Mont' alto,” he replied, “My native village in the Apennines.” “And whither journeying ?" -- " To the holy shrine Of Saint Antonio in the city of PADUA. Perhaps, if thou hast ever gone so far, Thou wilt direct my course.” — “Most willingly; But thou hast much to do, much to endure, Ere thou hast entered where the silver lamps Burn ever.

Tell me ... I would not transgress, Yet ask I must ... what could have brought thee forth, Nothing in act or thought to be atoned for?" " It was a vow I made in my

distress. We were so blest, none were so blest as we, Till sickness came. First, as death-struck, I fell; Then my beloved sister; and ere long, Worn with continual watchings, night and day, Our saint-like mother. Worse and worse she grew; And in my anguish, my despair, I vowed, That if she lived, if Heaven restored her to us, I would forthwith, and in a pilgrim's weeds, Visit that holy shrine. My vow was heard ; And therefore am I come.” –“Blest be thy steps; And may those weeds, so reverenced of old, Guard thee in danger!” — " They are nothing worth. But they are worn in humble confidence ; Nor would I for the richest robe resign them, Wrought, as they were, by those I love so well. Lauretta and my sister; theirs the task,

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