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Danger, nor shrink, wear he what shape he will;
That o'er the caldron, when the flood boils up,
Hang as in air, gazing and shuddering on
Till fascination comes and the brain turns! 50
The very path for them, that list, to choose
Where best to plant a monumental cross,
And live in story like EMPEDOCLES;
A track for heroes, such as he who came,
Ere long, to win, to wear the iron crown;
And (if aright I judge from what I felt
Over the DRANCE, just where the Abbot fell,
Rolled downward in an after-dinner's sleep)
The same as HANNIBAL'S. But now 't is passed,
That turbulent chaos; and the promised land
Lies at my feet in all its loveliness!

To him who starts up from a terrible dream,
And, lo! the sun is shining, and the lark
Singing aloud for joy to him is not
Such sudden ravishment as now I feel
At the first glimpses of fair ITALY.


I LOVE to sail along the LARIAN Lake

Under the shore- though not, where'er he dwelt, To visit PLINY; not, in loose attire,

When from the bath or from the tennis-court,


To catch him musing in his plane-tree walk,
Or angling from his window: and, in truth,
Could I recall the ages past and play

The fool with Time, I should perhaps reserve


My leisure for Catullus on his lake,
Though to fare worse, or VIRGIL at his farm
A little further on the way to Mantua.
But such things cannot be. So I sit still,
And let the boatman shift his little sail,
His sail so forked and so swallow-like,
Well-pleased with all that comes. The morning-air
Plays on my cheek how gently, flinging round
A silvery gleam! and now the purple mists
Rise like a curtain; now the sun looks out,
Filling, o'erflowing with his glorious light
This noble amphitheatre of hills;
And now appear as on a phosphor-sea
Numberless barks, from MILAN, from PAVIA;
Some sailing up, some down, and some at rest,
Lading, unlading at that small port-town
Under the promontory—its tall tower

And long flat roofs, just such as GASPAR drew,
Caught by a sunbeam slanting through a cloud;
A quay-like scene, glittering and full of life,
And doubled by reflection.

What delight,

After so long a sojourn in the wild,

To hear once more the peasant at his work!

But in a clime like this where is he not? Along the shores, among the hills, 't is now The hey-day of the vintage; all abroad, But most the young and of the gentler sex, Busy in gathering; all among the vines, Some on the ladder and some underneath, Filling their baskets of green wicker-work, While many a canzonet and frolic langh

Come through the leaves; the vines in light festoons From tree to tree, the trees in avenues,

And every avenue a covered walk

Hung with black clusters. 'Tis enough to make

The sad man merry, the benevolent one

Melt into tears so general is the joy!
While up and down the cliffs, over the lake,
Wains oxen-drawn and panniered mules are seen,
Laden with grapes and dropping rosy wine.
Here I received from thee, BASILICO,
One of those courtesies so sweet, so rare!
When, as I rambled through thy vineyard ground
On the hill-side, thy little son was sent,
Charged with a bunch almost as big as he,
To press it on the stranger. May thy vats
O'erflow, and he, thy willing gift-bearer,
Live to become a giver; and, at length,
When thou art full of honor and wouldst rest,
The staff of thine old age!

In a strange land
Such things, however trivial, reach the heart,
And through the heart the head, clearing away
The narrow notions that grow up at home,
And in their place grafting good-will to all.
At least I found it so, nor less at eve,
When, bidden as a lonely traveller
('T was by a little boat that gave me chase
With oar and sail, as homeward-bound I crossed
The bay of TRAMEZZINE), right readily
I turned my prow and followed, landing soon
Where steps of purest marble met the wave;

Where, through the trellises and corridors,
Soft music came as from ARMIDA's palace,
Breathing enchantment o'er the woods and waters;
And through a bright pavilion, bright as day,
Forms such as hers were flitting, lost among
Such as of old in sober pomp swept by,

Such as adorn the triumphs and the feasts


By PAOLO painted; where a fairy-queen,

That night her birth-night, from her throne received
(Young as she was, no floweret in her crown,
Hyacinth or rose, so fair and fresh as she)
Our willing vows, and by the fountain-side
Led in the dance, disporting as she pleased,
Under a starry sky — while I looked on,
As in a glade of CASHMERE or SHIRAZ,
Reclining, quenching my sherbet in snow,
And reading in the eyes that sparkled round
The thousand love-adventures written there.

Can I forget-no, never, such a scene,
So full of witchery. Night lingered still,
When with a dying breeze I left BELLAGGIO;
But the strain followed me; and still I saw
Thy smile, ANGELICA; and still I heard
Thy voice-once and again bidding adieu.


THE song was one that I had heard before,
But where I knew not. It inclined to sadness;
And, turning round from the delicious fare
My landlord's little daughter BARBARA

Had from her apron just rolled out before me,
Figs and rock-melons at the door I saw

Two boys of lively aspect. Peasant-like

They were, and poorly clad, but not unskilled;
With their small voices and an old guitar
Winning their way to my unguarded heart
In that, the only universal tongue.

But soon they changed the measure, entering on
A pleasant dialogue of sweet and sour,

A war of words, with looks and gestures waged
Between TRAPPANTI and his ancient dame,
MONA LUCILIA. To and fro it went;

While many a titter on the stairs was heard,
And BARBARA's among them. When it ceased,
Their dark eyes flashed no longer, yet, methought.
In many a glance as from the soul, disclosed
More than enough to serve them. Far or near,
Few looked not for their coming ere they came,
Few, when they went, but looked till they were gone;
And not a matron, sitting at her wheel,

But could repeat their story. Twins they were,
And orphans, as I learnt, cast on the world;

Their parents lost in an old ferry-boat


That, three years since, last Martinmas, went down,
Crossing the rough BENACUS. May they live
Blameless and happy-rich they cannot be,
Like him who, in the days of minstrelsy,


Came in a beggar's weeds to PETRARCH's door,
Asking, beseeching for a lay to sing,
And soon in silk (such then the power of song)
Returned to thank him; or like that old man,
Old not in heart, who by the torrent-side

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