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Who, when Vice revell’d, and along the street To catch a thrush on every lime-twig there;
Or in the tavern by the highway-side
Doffing his rustic suit, and, duly clad, Sate down in the high grass and in the shade Entering his closet, and, among his books, Of many a tree sun-proof-day after day,
Among the Great of every age and clime, When all was still and nothing to be heard A numerous court, turning to whom he pleased, But the Cicala's voice among the olives,
Questioning each why he did this or thai, Relating in a ring, to banish care,
And learning how to overcome the fear Their hundred novels.
of poverty and death? Round the hill they went, (95)
Nearer we hail Round underneath—first to a splendid house, Thy sunny slope, Arcetri, sung of Old Gherardi, as an old tradition runs,
For its green wine (100)-dearer to me, to most, That on the left, just rising from the vale ;
As dwelt on by that great Astronomer,' A place for Luxury—the painted rooms,
Seven years a prisoner at the city-gate, (101) The open galleries and middle court
Let in but in his grave-clothes. Sacred be Not unprepared, fragrant and gay with flowers. His cottage (justly was it callid The Jewel !) (102) Then westward to another, nobler yet;
Sacred the vineyard, where, while yet his sight That on the right, now known as the Palmieri, Glimmer'd, at blush of dawn he dress'd his vines, Where Art with Nature vied—a Paradise, Chanting aloud in gaiety of heart With verdurous walls, and many a trellis'd walk Some verse of Ariosto. There, unseen. (103) All rose and jasmine, many a forest-vista
In manly beauty Milton stood before him, Cross’d by the deer. Then to the Ladies' Valley; Gazing with reverent awe-Milton, his guest, And the clear lake, that seem'd as by enchantment Just then come forth, all life and enterprise ; To lift up to the surface every stone
He in his old age and extremity, Of lustre there, and the diminutive fish
Blind, at noon-day exploring with his staff; Innumerable, dropt with crimson and gold, His eyes upturn'd as to the golden sun, Now motionless, now glancing to the sun. His eye-balls idly rolling. Liule then
Did Galileo think whom he bade welcome; Who has not dwelt on their voluptuous day? That in his hand he held the hand of one The morning-banquet by the fountain-side, (96) Who could requite him—who would spread his name The dance that follow'd, the noon-tide slumber; O'er lands and seas-great as himself, nay greater; Then the tales told in turn, as round they lay Milton as little that in him he saw, On carpets, the fresh waters murmuring;
As in a glass, what he himself should be, And the short interval fill'd up with games Destined so soon to fall on evil days of Chess, and talk, and reading old Romances, And evil tongues--s0 soon, alas, to live Till supper-time, when many a syren-voice In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round, Sung down the stars, and in the grass the torches And solitude. Burnt brighter for their absence.
Well pleased, could we pursue He,' whose dream The Arno, from his birth-place in the clouds, It was it was no more) sleeps in Val d'Elsa, So near the yellow Tiber's (104)-springing up Sleeps in the church, where in his car I ween) From his four fountains on the Apennine, The Friar pour'd out his catalogue of treresures; (97) That mountain-ridge a sea-mark to the ships A ray, imprimis, of the star that shone
Sailing on either Sea. Downward he runs, To the Wise Men; a phial-full of sounds,
Scattering fresh verdure through the desolate wild, The musical chimes of the great bells that hung Down by the City of Hermits, (105) and, ere-long, In Solomon's Temple; and, though last not least, The venerable woods of Vallombrosa ; A feather from the Angel Gabriel's wing,
Then through these gardens to the Tuscan sea, Dropt in the Virgin's chamber.
Reflecting castles, convents, villages,
That dark ridge And those great Rivals in an elder day,
His troubled waters. Oit, alas, were seen,
When flight, pursuit, and hideons rout were there, Exile and want, and the keen shafts of Malice, Hands, clad in gloves of steel, held up imploring;(106) With an unclouded mind. The glimmering tower The man, the hero, on his foaming steed, On the grey rock beneath, his land-mark once, Borne underneath-already in the realms Now serves for ours, and points out where he ate Of Darkness. His bread with cheerfulness.
Nor did night or burning noon Who sees him not Bring respite. Oft, as that great Artist saw,” (107) ('T is his own sketch—he drew it from himself) (99) Whose pencil had a voice, the cry “To arms." Playing the bird-catcher, and sallying forth And the shrill trumpet, hurried up the bank In an autumnal morn, laden with cages,
Those who had stolen an hour to breast the tide,
2 Michael Angelo.
And wash from their unharness'd limbs the blood Stood at her door ; and, like a sorceress, flung And sweat of battle. Sudden was the rush, Her dazzling spell. Subtle she was, and rich, Violent the tumult; for, already in sight,
Rich in a hidden pearl of heavenly light, Nearer and nearer yet the danger drew;
Her daughter's beauty; and too well she knew Each every sinew straining, every feature, Its virtue! Patiently she stood and watch'd ; Each snatching up, and girding, buckling on Nor stood alone-but spoke not.-In her breast Morion and greave and shirt of twisted mail, Her purpose lay; and, as a youth pass'd by, As for his life—no more perchance to taste, Clad for the nuptial rite, she smiled and said, Arno, the grateful freshness of thy glades, Lifting a corner of the maiden's veil, Thy waters where, exulting, he had felt
This had I treasured up in secret for thee. A swimmer's transport, there, alas, to float
This hast thou lost!" He gazed, and was undone! And welter. Nor between the gusts of War, Forgetting—not forgot-he broke the bond, When tlocks were feeding, and the shepherd's pipe And paid the penalty, losing his life Gladden'd the valley, when, but not unarmd, At the bridge-foot ;(111) and hence a world of woe! The sower came forth, and, following him who Vengeance for vengeance crying, blood for blood; plow'd,
No intermission! Law, that slumbers not, Threw in the seed-did thy indignant waves And, like the Angel with the flaming sword, Escape pollution. Sullen was the splash,
Sits over all, at once chastising, healing, Heavy and swift the plunge, when they received Himself the Avenger, went; and every street The key that just had grated on the ear
Ran red with mutual slaughter-though sometimes Of Ugolino-closing up for ever
The young forgot the lessons they had learnt,
Thee and thy Paolo. When last ye met
In that still hour (the heat, the glare was gone, When many a winter-flood, thy tributary,
Not so the splendor-ihrough the cedar-grove Was through its rocky glen rushing, resounding,
A radiance stream'd like a consuming fire, And thou wert in thy might, to save, restore
As though the glorious orb, in its descent, A charge most precious. To the nearest ford,
Had come and rested there) when last ye met, Hastening, a horseman from Arezzo came,
And those relentless brothers dragg'd him forth, Careless, impatient of delay, a babe
It had been well, hadst thou slept on, Imelda, (112) Slung in a basket to the knotty staff
Nor from thy trance of fear awaked, as night That lay athwart his saddle-bow. He spurs,
Fell on that fatal spot, to wish thee dead, He enters; and his horse, alarm'd, perplex'd.
To track him by his blood, to search, to find, Halts in the midst. Great is the stir, the strife;
Then fling thee down to catch a word, a look, And lo, an atom on that dangerous sea, (108)
A sigh, if yet thou couldst (alas, thou couldst not) The babe is floating! Fast and far he flies;
And die, unseen, unthought of—from the wound Now tempest-rock’d, now whirling round and round, Sucking the poison. (113) But not to perish. By thy willing waves
Yet, when Slavery came, Borne to the shore, among the bulrushes
Worse follow'd.(114) Genius, Valor left the land, The ark has rested; and unhurt, secure,
Indignant-all that had from age to age As on his mother's breast he sleeps within,
Adorn’d, ennobled ; and headlong they fell, All peace! or never had the nations heard
Tyrant and slave. For deeds of violence, That voice so sweet, which still enchants, inspires; Done in broad day and more than half-redeemid That voice, which sung of love, of liberty.
By many a great and generous sacrifice
A swarthy cheek, black brow, and eye of flame.
Struck upward—then slunk off, or, if pursued,
Made for the Sanctuary, and there along
Misnamed to lull suspicion,
In every Palace was The Laboratory, (115)
Where he within brew'd poisons swift and slow, Of brass, that held in war and festival-time
That scatter'd terror till all things seem'd poisonous, Their family-standards) fatal was the day
And brave men trembled if a hand held out
A nosegay or a letter; while the Great
Drank from the Venice-glass, that broke, that shiver'd,
If aught malignant, aught of thine was there,
For the miraculous gem that to the wearer
It was an hour of universal joy.
The lark was up and at the gate of heaven, Leads to another which awaits your coming,
Singing, as sure to enter when he came; One in the floor—now left, alas, unbolled, (118)
The butterfly was basking in my path, No eye detects it—lying under-foot,
His radiant wings unfolded. From below Just as you enter, at the threshold-stone;
The bell of prayer rose slowly, plaintively; Ready to fall and plunge you into darkness,
And odors, such as welcome in the day, Darkness and long oblivion!”
Such as salute the early traveller,
And come and go, each sweeter than the last,
Were rising. Hill and valley breathed delight; No seat of pleasure glittering half-way down,
In every bush and brake there was a voice Ņo hunting-place—but with some damning spot
From the Thrasymene, that now
And from the shore that once, when armies met, (123) scends,
The rage, the slaughter, I had turn'd away; And hill and dale are lost, veil'd with his beams,
The path, that led me, leading through a wood The fair Venetian' died—she and her lord,
A fairy-wilderness of fruits and flowers, Died of a posset drugg'd by him who sate
And by a brook (124) that, in the day of strife, And saw them suffer, flinging back the charge,
Ran blood, but now runs amber—when a glade, The murderer on the murder'd.
Far, far within, sunn'd only at noon-day,
Sobs of Grief, Suddenly open'd. Many a bench was there, Sounds inarticulate—suddenly stopt,
Each round its ancient elm; and many a track, And follow'd by a struggle and a gasp,
Well known to them that from the highway loved A gasp in death, are heard yet in Cerreto,
Awhile to deviate. In the midst a cross Along the marble halls and staircases,
Of mouldering stone as in a temple stood, Nightly al twelve; and, at the self-same hour, Solemn, severe; coeval with the trees Shrieks, such as penetrate the inmost soul, That round it in majestic order rose ; Such as awake the innocent babe to long, And on the lowest step a Pilgrim knelt, Long wailing, echo through the emptiness Clasping his hands in prayer. He was the first Of that old den far up among the hills, (121) Yet seen by me (save in a midnight-masque, Frowning on him who comes from Pietra-Mala : A revel, where none cares to play his part, In them, in both, within five days and less, And they, that speak, at once dissolve the charm) Two unsuspecting victims, passing fair,
The first in sober truth, no counterfeit;
And, when his orisons were duly paid,
A traveller's greeting.
Young, and of an age One blaze of glory—What but now we saw
When Youth is most attractive, when a light As though it were not, though it had not been! Plays round and round, reflected, if I err not, He lingers yet, and, lessening to a point,
From some attendant Spirit, that ere-long Shines like the eye of Heaven—then withdraws;
(His charge relinquish'd with a sigh, a tear) And from the zenith to the utmost skirts
Wings his flight upward—with a look be won All is celestial red! The hour is come,
| My favor; and, the spell of silence broke, When they that sail along the distant seas
I could not but continue. Languish for home; and they that in the morn
“ Whence," I ask'd, Said to sweet friends “ farewell,” melt as at parting; “Whence art thou ?"—" From Mont'alto,” he replied, When, journeying on, the pilgrim, if he hears, My native village in the Apennines." As now we hear it, echoing round the hill, " And whither journeying?”—“To the holy shrine The bell that seems to mourn the dying day, Of Saint Antonio, in the City of Padua. Slackens his pace and sighs, and those he loved Perhaps, if thou hast ever gone so far, Loves more than ever. But who feels it not? Thou will direct my course.”—“Most willingly; And well may we, for we are far away.
But thou hast much to do, much to endure,
Ere thou hast enter'd where the silver lamps
Yet ask I must what could have brought thee forth, 1 Bianca Capello. 2 See Note. Nothing in act or thought to be atoned for !"
" It was a vow I made in my distress.
With ashes, and the sides, where roughest, hung We were so blest, none were so blest as we, Loosely with locks of hair look'd and saw Till Sickness came. First, as death-struck, I fell; What, seen in such an hour by Sancho Panza, Then my beloved sister; and ere-long,
Had given his honest countenance a breadth, Worn with continual watchings, night and day, His cheeks a flush of pleasure and surprise, Our saint-like mother. Worse and worse she grew; Unknown before, had chain'd him to the spot, And in my arguish, my despair, I vow'd,
And thou, Sir Knight, hadst traversed hill and dale That if she lived, if Heaven restored her to us, Squire-less. I would forthwith, and in a Pilgrim's weeds,
Below and winding far away, Visit that holy shrine. My vow was heard ; A narrow glade unfolded, such as Spring (127) And therefore am I come.”-“
_" Thou hast done well; Broiders with flowers, and, when the moon is high, And may those weeds, so reverenced of old, The hare delights to race in, scattering round Guard thee in danger !"
The silvery dews. Cedar and cypress threw “They are nothing worth. Singly their length of shadow, chequering But they are worn in humble confidence; The greensward, and, what grew in frequent tufts, Nor would I for the richest robe resign them, An underwood of myrtle, that by fits Wrought, as they were, by thuse I love so well, Sent up a gale of fragrance. Through the midst, Lauretta and my sister; theirs the task,
Reflecting, as it ran, purple and gold,
A rainbow's splendor (somewhere in the east
Worth all the rest and more) a sumpter-mule (128)
And plunging in the cool translucent wave
Anon a horn
Its jocund note to other ears address'd, One thou hast named, who will not be the last."- Not ours; and, slowly coming by a path, Oh, she is true as Truth itself can be !
That, ere it issued from an ilex-grove,
Distinguish'd only by a fresher verdure,
In rich confusion slung, before, behind,
Leveret and quail and pheasant. All announced II.
The chase as over; and ere-long appear'd
Their horses full of fire, champing the curb,
For the white foam was dry upon the flank, PLEASURE, that comes unlook’d-for, is thrice wel- Two in close converse, each in each delighting, come;
Their plumage waving as instinct with life; And, if it stir the heart, if aught be there,
A Lady young and graceful, and a Youth, That may hereafter in a thoughtful hour
Yet younger, bearing on a falconer's glove, Wake but a sigh, 't is treasured up among
As in the golden, the romantic time, The things most precious; and the day it came,
His falcon hooded. Like some spirit of air, Is noted as a white day in our lives.
Or fairy-vision, such as feign'd of old,
The Lady, while her courser paw'd the ground, The sun was wheeling westward, and the cliffs Alighted ; and her beąuty, as she trod And nodding woods, that everlastingly
The enamell’d bank, bruising nor herb nor flower, Such the dominion of thy mighty voice, (125) That place illun:ined. Thy voice, Velino, utter'd in the mist)
Ah, who should she be, Hear thee and answer theo, were left at length And with her brother, as when last we met, For others still as noon; and on we stray'd (When the first lark had sung ere half was said, From wild to wilder, nothing hospitable
And as she stood, bidding adieu, her voice, Seen up or down, no bush or green or dry, (126) So sweet it was, recall’d me like a spell) That ancient symbol at the cottage-door,
Who but Angelica ? Offering refreshment when Luigi cried,
That day we gave
Another and another; hers a home
Of many an arch, o'erwrought and lavishly
Pour out my unpremeditated verse,
Where on his mule I might have met so oft Peopling the groves from Arcady, and lo,
Horace himself (132)—or climb the Palatine, Fair forms appear'd, murmuring melodious verse,(130) Dreaming of old Evander and his guest, -Then, in their day, a sylvan theatre,
Dreaming and lost on that proud eminence, Mossy the seats, the stage a verdurous floor, Longwhile the seat of Rome, hereafter found The scenery rock and shrub-wood, Nature's own; Less than enough (so monstrous was the brood Nature the Architect.
Engender'd there, so Titan-like) to lodge
One in his madness ;? and, the summit gain'd, III.
Inscribe my name on some broad aloe-leaf,
That shoots and spreads within those very walls ROME.
Where Virgil read aloud his tale divine, I am in Rome! Oft as the morning-ray
Where his voice falter’d, (133) and a mother wep! Visits these eyes, waking at once I cry,
Tears of delight! Whence this excess of joy? What has befallen me?
But what a narrow space And from within a thrilling voice replies,
Just underneath! In many a heap the ground Thou art in Rome! A thousand busy thoughts Heaves, as though Ruin in a frantic mood Rush on my mind, a thousand images ;
Had done his utmost. Here and there appears, And I spring up as girt to run a race!
As left to show his handy-work not ours,
An idle column, a half-buried arch, Thou art in Rome! the City that so long A wall of some great temple. Reign'd absolute, the mistress of the world ;
It was once, The mighty vision that the prophets saw,
And long, the centre of their Universe, (134) And trembled ; that from nothing, from the least, The Forum-whence a mandate, eagle-wing’d, The lowliest village (what but here and there Went to the ends of the earth. Let us descend A reed-roof'd cabin by a river-side ?)
Slowly. At every step much may be lost Grew into everything; and, year by year,
The very dust we tread, stirs as with life; Patiently, fearlessly working her way
And not the lightest breath that sends not up O'er brook and field, o'er continent and sea,
Something of human grandeur. Not like the merchant with his merchandise,
We are come, Or traveller with staff and scrip exploring, Are now where once the mightiest spirits met But hand to hand and foot to foot, through hosts, In terrible conflict; this, while Rome was free, Through nations numberless in batile-array, The noblest theatre on this side Heaven! Each behind each, each, when the other fell,
Here the first Brutuş stood, when o'er the corse Up and in arms, at length subdued them all.
Of her so chaste all mourn'd, and from his cloud
Burst like a God. Here, holding up the knife Thou art in Rome! the City, where the Gauls,
That ran with blood, the blood of his own child, Entering at sun-rise through her open gales,
Virginius call’d down vengeance.—But whence spoke , And, through her streets silent and desolate, Marching to slay, thought they saw Gods, not men; To the twelve tables, (135) now with lifted hands
They who harangued the people ; turning now The City that, by temperance, fortitude,
To the Capitoline Jove, whose fulgent shape
In the unclouded azure shone far off,
And to the shepherd on the Alban mount (136)
Seem'd like a star new-risen? Where were ranged Where now she dwells, withdrawn into the wild, Still o'er the mind maintains, from age to age,
In rough array as on their element,
The beaks of those old galleys, destined still?
To brave the brunt of war--at last to know
A calm far worse, a silence as in death?
All spiritless ; from that disastrous hour All things that strike, ennoble from the depths
When he, the bravest, gentlest of them all," Of Egypt, from the classic fields of Greece,
Scorning the chains he could not hope 10 break, Her groves, her temples—all things that inspire
Fell on his sword! Wonder, delight! Who would not say the Forms
Along the Sacred Way Most perfect, most divine, had by consent
Hither the Triumph came, and, winding round Flock d thither to abide eternally,
With acclamation, and the martial clang Within those silent chambers where they dwell,
Of instruments, and cars laden with spoil,
Stopt at the sacred stair that then appear'd.
Then through the darkness broke, ample, star-bright, Ah, little thought I, when in school I sate,
As though it led to heaven. "T was night; but now A school-boy on his bench, at early dawn
A thousand torches, turning night to day, (137)
Blazed, and the victor, springing from his seat,
1 Nero. 2 The Rostra. 3 Marcus Junius Brutus.