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And, mingling all things earthly as in scorn,
Exalts the valley, lays the mountain low,
Pours many a torrent from his burning lake,
And in an hour of universal mirth,
What time the trump proclaims the festival,
Buries some capital city, there to sleep
The sleep of ages — till a plough, a spade,
Disclose the secret, and the eye of day
Glares coldly on the streets, the skeletons;
Each in his place, each in his gay attire,
And eager to enjoy.

Let us go round;
And let the sail be slack, the course be slow,
That at our leisure, as we coast along,
We may contemplate, and from every scene
Receive its influence. The CUMÆAN towers,
There did they rise, sun-gilt; and here thy groves,
Delicious BAIÆ. Here (what would they not ?)
The masters of the earth, unsatisfied,
Built in the sea; and now the boatman steers
O’er many a crypt and vault yet glimmering,
O'er many a broad and indestructible arch,
The deep foundations of their palaces ;
Nothing now heard, ashore, so great the change,
Save when the sea-mew clamors, or the owl
Hoots in the temple.

What the mountainous isle 200 Seen in the south ? 'Tis where a monster dwelt, Hurling his victims from the topmost cliff; Then and then only merciful, so slow, So subtle, were the tortures they endured. Fearing and feared he lived, cursing and cursed;

At a step

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And still the dungeons in the rock breathe out
Darkness, distemper. Strange, that 'one so vile
Should from his den strike terror through the world;
Should, where withdrawn in his decrepitude,
Say to the noblest, be they where they might,
“Go from the earth !” and from the earth they went.
Yet such things were --- and will be, when mankind,
Losing all virtue, lose all energy;
And for the loss incur the penalty,
Trodden down and trampled.

Let us turn the

prow, And in the track of him who went to die 293 Traverse this valley of waters, landing where A waking dream awaits us. Two thousand years roll backward, and we stand, Like those so long within that awful place, Immovable, nor asking, Can it be?

Once did I linger there alone till day Closed, and at length the calm of twilight came, So grateful, yet so solemn! At the fount, Just where the three ways meet, I stood and looked ('T was near a noble house, the house of Pansa), 235 And all was still as in the long, long night That followed, when the shower of ashes fell, When they that sought POMPEII sought in vain ; It was not to be found. But now a ray, Bright and yet brighter, on the pavement glanced, And on the wheel-track worn for centuries, And on the stepping-stones from side to side, O'er which the maidens, with their water-urns, Were wont to trip so lightly. Full and clear, The moon was rising, and at once revealed

The name of every dweller, and his craft;
Shining throughout with an unusual lustre,
And lighting up this city of the dead.

Mark, where within, as though the embers lived,
The ample chimney-vault is dun with smoke.
There dwelt a miller; silent and at rest
His mill-stones now. In old companionship
Still do they stand as on the day he went,
Each ready for its office — but he comes not.
And there, hard by (where one in idleness
Has stopt to scrawl a ship, an armed man;
And in a tablet on the wall we read
Of shows ere long to be a sculptor wrought,
Nor meanly; blocks, half-chiselled into life,
Waiting his call. - Here long, as yet attests
The trodden floor, an olive-merchant drew
From many an earthen jar, no more supplied;
And here from his a vintner served his guests
Largely, the stain of his o'erflowing cups
Fresh on the marble. On the bench, beneath,
They sate and quaffed and looked on them that passed,
Gravely discussing the last news from ROME.

But, lo! engraven on the threshold-stone,
That word of courtesy so sacred once,
HAIL! At a master's greeting we may enter.
And, lo! a fairy-palace; everywhere,
As through the courts and chambers we advance,
Floors of mosaic, walls of arabesque,
And columns clustering in patrician splendor.
But hark, a footstep! May we not intrude!
And now, methinks, I hear a gentle laugh,
And gentle voices mingling as in converse !

And now

— And now a harp-string as struck carelessly,

-along the corridor it comes I cannot err, a filling as of baths !

– Ah, no! 't is but a mockery of the sense, Idle and vain! We are but where we were ; Still wandering in a city of the dead !

THE BAG OF GOLD,

206

I DINE very often with the good old Cardinal * *, and, I should add, with his cats ; for they always sit at his table, and are much the gravest of the company. His beaming countenance makes us forget his age ;

nor did I ever see it clouded till yesterday, when, as we were contemplating the sunset from his terrace, he happened, in the course of our conversation, to allude to an affecting circumstance in his early life.

He had just left the University of PALERMO, and was entering the army, when he became acquainted with a young lady of great beauty and merit, a Sicilian of a family as illustrious as his own. Living near each other, they were often together; and, at an age like theirs, friendship soon turns to love But his father, for what reason I forget, refused his consent to their union; till, alarmed at the dcclining health of his son, he promised to oppose it no longer, if, after a separation of three years, they continued as much in love as ever.

Relying on that promise, he said, I set out on a long journey; but in my absence the usual arts were resorted to. Our letters were intercepted; and false rumors were spread - first of my indifference, then of my inconstancy, then of

my marriage with a rich heiress of SIENNA; and, when at length I returned to make her my own, I found her in a convent of Ursuline Nuns. She had taken the veil ; and I, said he with a sigh — what else remained for me? — I went into the church.

Yet many, he continued, as if to turn the conversation, very many have been happy, though we were not; and, if I am not abusing an old man's privilege, let me tell you a story with a better catastrophe. It was told to me when a : boy; and you may not be unwilling to hear it, for it bears some resemblance to that of the Merchant of Venice.

We were now arrived at a pavilion that commanded one of the noblest prospects imaginable ; the mountains, the sea, and the islands illuminated by the last beams of day; and, sitting down there, he proceeded with his usual vivacity; for the sadness that had come across him was gone.

There lived in the fourteenth century, near BOLOGNA, a widow-lady of the Lambertini family, called MADONNA LUCREZIA, who in a revolution of the state had known the bitterness of poverty, and had even begged her bread; kneeling day after day like a statue at the gate of the cathedral; her rosary in her left hand and her right held out for charity, her long black veil concealing a face that had once adorned a court, and had received the homage of as many sonnets as PETRARCH has written on LAURA.

But Fortune had at last relented; a legacy from a distant relation had come to her relief; and she was now the mistress of a small inn at the foot of the Apennines, where she entertained as well as she could, and where those only stopped who were contented with a little.

The house was still standing when in my youth I passed that way; though the sign of the White Cross,” the Cross of the Hospitallers,

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