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His eyelids; and the grandsire, when we came,
Emboldened by his love and by his fear,
His fear lest night o'ertake them on the road,
Humbly besought me to convey them both
A little onward. Such small services
Who can refuse? - Not I; and him who can,
Blest though he be with every earthly gift,
I cannot envy. He, if wealth be his,
Knows not its uses. So from noon till night,
Within a crazed and tattered vehicle,318
That yet displayed, in rich emblazonry,
A shield as splendid as the BARDI wear,
We lumbered on together; the old man
Beguiling many a league of half its length,
When questioned the adventures of his life,
And all the dangers he had undergone;

His shipwrecks on inhospitable coasts,

And his long warfare. They were bound, he said,
To a great fair at REGGIO; and the boy,
Believing all the world were to be there,
And I among the rest, let loose his tongue,
And promised me much pleasure. His short trance,
Short as it was, had, like a charmed cup,
Restored his spirit, and, as on we crawled,
Slow as the snail (my muleteer dismounting,
And now his mules addressing, now his pipe,
And now Luigi), he poured out his heart,
Largely repaying me. At length the sun
Departed, setting in a sea of gold;
And, as we gazed, he bade me rest assured
That like the setting would the rising be.
Their harp it had a voice oracular,

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And in the desert, in the crowded street,

Spoke when consulted. If the treble chord
Twanged shrill and clear, o'er hill and dale they went,
The grandsire, step by step, led by the child;
And not a rain-drop from a passing cloud
Fell on their garments. Thus it spoke to-day;
Inspiring joy, and, in the young one's mind,
Brightening a path already full of sunshine.


DAY glimmered; and beyond the precipice
(Which my mule followed as in love with fear,
Or as in scorn, yet more and more inclining
To tempt the danger where it menaced most)
A sea of vapor rolled. Methought we went
Along the utmost edge of this, our world,
And the next step had hurled us headlong down
Into the wild and infinite abyss;

But soon the surges fled, and we descried,

Nor dimly, though the lark was silent yet,
Thy gulf, LA SPEZZIA. Ere the morning-gun,
Ere the first day-streak, we alighted there;
And not a breath, a murmur! Every sail
Slept in the offing. Yet along the shore
Great was the stir; as at the noontide hour,
None unemployed. Where from its native rock
A streamlet, clear and full, ran to the sea,
The maidens knelt and sung as they were wont,
Washing their garments. Where it met the tide,
Sparkling and lost, an ancient pinnace lay-

Keel upward, and the fagot blazed, the tar
Fumed from the caldron; while, beyond the fort,
Whither I wandered, step by step led on,
The fishers dragged their net, the fish within
At every heave fluttering and full of life,
At every heave striking their silver fins
'Gainst the dark meshes.

Soon a boatman's shout Reëchoed; and red bonnets on the beach, Waving, recalled me. We embarked and left That noble haven, where, when GENOA reigned, A hundred galleys sheltered in the day When lofty spirits met, and, deck to deck, DORIA, PISANI fought: that narrow field Ample enough for glory. On we went, Ruffling with many an oar the crystalline sea, On from the rising to the setting sun In silence — underneath a mountain-ridge, Untamed, untamable, reflecting round The saddest purple; nothing to be seen Of life or culture, save where, at the foot, Some village and its church, a scanty line, Athwart the wave gleamed faintly. Fear of ill Narrowed our course, fear of the hurricane, And that still greater scourge, the crafty Moor, Who, like a tiger prowling for his prey, Springs and is gone, and on the adverse coast (Where TRIPOLI and TUNIS and ALGIERS Forge fetters, and white turbans on the mole Gather whene'er the crescent comes displayed Over the cross) his human merchandise To many a curious, many a cruel eye

Exposes. Ah! how oft, where now the sun
Slept on the shore, have ruthless scimitars
Flashed through the lattice, and a swarthy crew
Dragged forth, ere long to number them for sale,
Ere long to part them in their agony,

Parent and child! How oft, where now we rode 322
Over the billow, has a wretched son,

Or yet more wretched sire, grown gray in chains,
Labored, his hands upon the oar, his eyes

Upon the land—the land that gave him birth
And, as he gazed, his homestall through his tears
Fondly imagined; when a Christian ship
Of war appearing in her bravery,

A voice in anger cried, "Use all your strength!"
But when, ah! when do they that can, forbear
To crush the unresisting? Strange, that men,
Creatures so frail, so soon, alas! to die,

Should have the power, the will to make this world
A dismal prison-house, and life itself,

Life in its prime, a burden and a curse

To him who never wronged them! Who that breathes
Would not, when first he heard it, turn away
As from a tale monstrous, incredible?
Surely a sense of our mortality,

A consciousness how soon we shall be gone,
Or, if we linger - but a few short years-
How sure to look upon our brother's grave,
Should of itself incline to pity and love,
And prompt us rather to assist, relieve,
Than aggravate the evils each is heir to.

At length the day departed, and the moon Rose like another sun, illumining

Waters and woods and cloud-capt promontories,
Glades for a hermit's cell, a lady's bower,
Scenes of Elysium, such as Night alone
Reveals below, nor often-scenes that fled
As at the waving of a wizard's wand,
And left behind them, as their parting gift,
A thousand nameless odors. All was still;
And now the nightingale her song poured forth
In such a torrent of heart-felt delight,

So fast it flowed, her tongue so voluble,

As if she thought her hearers would be gone
Ere half was told. 'T was where in the north-west,

Still unassailed and unassailable,

Thy pharos, GENOA, first displayed itself,
Burning in stillness on its craggy seat;
That guiding star so oft the only one,
When those now glowing in the azure vault
Are dark and silent. 'T was where o'er the sea
(For we were now within a cable's length)
Delicious gardens hung; green galleries,
And marble terraces in many a flight,
And fairy arches flung from cliff to cliff,
Wildering, enchanting; and, above them all,
A palace, such as somewhere in the East,
In Zenastan or Araby the blest,
Among its golden groves and fruits of gold,
And fountains scattering rainbows in the sky,
Rose, when ALADDIN rubbed the wondrous lamp;
Such, if not fairer; and, when we shot by,
A scene of revelry, in long array

As with the radiance of a setting sun,
The windows blazing. But we now approached
A city far-renowned; and wonder ceased.

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