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A FAREWELL.830

AND now farewell to ITALY - perhaps
Forever! Yet, methinks, I could not go,
I could not leave it, were it mine to say,
"Farewell forever!" Many a courtesy,
That sought no recompense, and met with none
But in the swell of heart with which it came,
Have I experienced; not a cabin-door,
Go where I would, but opened with a smile;
From the first hour, when, in my long descent,
Strange perfumes rose, rose as to welcome me,
From flowers that ministered like unseen spirits;
From the first hour, when vintage-songs broke forth,
A grateful earnest, and the southern lakes,
Dazzlingly bright, unfolded at my feet;
They that receive the cataracts, and ere long
Dismiss them, but how changed-onward to roll
From age to age in silent majesty,
Blessing the nations, and reflecting round
The gladness they inspire.

Gentle or rude,

No scene of life but has contributed
Much to remember-from the POLESINE,

Where, when the south-wind blows and clouds on clouds
Gather and fall, the peasant freights his boat,
A sacred ark, slung in his orchard-grove;
Mindful to migrate when the king of floods
Visits his humble dwelling, and the keel,
Slowly uplifted over field and fence,
Floats on a world of waters — from that low,

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That level region, where no echo dwells,
Or, if she comes, comes in her saddest plight,
Hoarse, inarticulate on to where the path
Is lost in rank luxuriance, and to breathe
Is to inhale distemper, if not death; 332
Where the wild-boar retreats, when hunters chafe,
And, when the day-star flames, the buffalo-herd,
Afflicted, plunge into the stagnant pool,
Nothing discerned amid the water-leaves,
Save here and there the likeness of a head,
Savage, uncouth; where none in human shape
Come, save the herdsman, levelling his length
Of lance with many a cry, or, Tartar-like,
Urging his steed along the distant hill
As from a danger. There, but not to rest,
I travelled many a dreary league, nor turned
(Ah! then least willing, as who had not been?)
When in the south, against the azure sky,
Three temples rose in soberest majesty,
The wondrous work of some heroic race.

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But now a long farewell! Oft, while I live, If once again in England, once again In my own chimney-nook, as Night steals on, With half-shut eyes reclining, oft, methinks, While the wind blusters and the drenching rain Clatters without, shall I recall to mind The scenes, occurrences, I met with here, And wander in Elysium; many a note Of wildest melody, magician-like Awakening, such as the CALABRIAN horn Along the mountain-side, when all is still, Pours forth at folding-time; and many a chant,

Solemn, sublime, such as at midnight flows
From the full choir, when richest harmonies
Break the deep silence of thy glens, LA CAVA;
To him who lingers there with listening ear
Now lost and now descending as from Heaven!

AND now a parting word is due from him
Who, in the classic fields of ITALY

(If haply thou hast borne with him so long), Through many a grove by many a fount has led thee, By many a temple half as old as Time;

Where all was still awakening them that slept,
And conjuring up where all was desolate,
Where kings were mouldering in their funeral urns,
And oft and long the vulture flapped his wing-
Triumphs and masques.

Nature denied him much,
But gave him at his birth what most he values;
A passionate love for music, sculpture, painting,
For poetry, the language of the gods,

For all things here, or grand or beautiful,
A setting sun, a lake among the mountains.
The light of an ingenuous countenance,
And, what transcends them all, a noble action.335
Nature denied him much, but gave him more;
And ever, ever grateful should he be,

Though from his cheek, ere yet the down was there,
Health fled; for in his heaviest hours would come
Gleams such as come not now; nor failed he then
(Then and through life his happiest privilege)

Full oft to wander where the Muses haunt,

Smit with the love of song.

"T is now long since; And now, while yet 't is day, would he withdraw, Who, when in youth he strung his lyre, addressed A former generation. Many an eye,

Bright as the brightest now, is closed in night,

And many a voice, how eloquent, is mute,
That, when he came, disdained not to receive
His lays with favor.

1839.

NOTES.

(1) J. J. ROUSSEAU. "J'arrive essoufflé, tout en nage; le cœur me bat; je vois de loin les soldats leur poste; j'accours, je crie d'une voix étouffée. Il étoit trop tard." Les Confessions,

(2) "Lines of eleven syllables occur almost in every page of Milton; but though they are not unpleasing, they ought not to be admitted into heroic poetry; since the narrow limits of our language allow us no other distinction of epic and tragic measures."Johnson.

It is remarkable that he used them most at last. In the Paradise Regained they occur oftener than in the Paradise Lost in the proportion of ten to one; and let it be remembered that they supply us with another close, -another cadence, that they add, as it were, a string to the instrument; and, by enabling the poet to relax at pleasure, to rise and fall with his subject, contribute what is most wanted, compass, variety.

Shakspeare seems to have delighted in them, and in some of his soliloquies has used them four and five times in succession; an example I have not followed in mine. As in the following instance, where the subject is solemn beyond all others :

"To be, or not to be," &c.

They come nearest to the flow of an unstudied eloquence, and should therefore be used In the drama; but why exclusively? Horace, as we learn from himself, admitted the Musa Pedestris in his happiest hours, in those when he was most at his ease; and we cannot regret her visits. To her we are indebted for more than half he has left us; nor was she ever at his elbow in greater dishabille than when he wrote the celebrated Journey to Brundusium.

(3) BERNARD, Abbot of Clairvaux. "To admire or despise St. Bernard as he ought," says Gibbon, "the reader, like myself, should have before the windows of his library that incomparable landscape."

(4) The following lines were written on the spot, and may serve perhaps to recall to some of my readers what they have seen in this enchanting country.

I love to watch in silence till the sun

Sets; and MONT BLANC, arrayed in crimson and gold,
Flings his gigantic shadow o'er the lake;

That shadow, though it comes through pathless tracts,
Only less bright, less glorious than himself.
But, while we gaze, 't is gone! And now he shines
Like burnished silver; all, below, the Night's.

Such moments are most precious. Yet there are
Others that follow fast, more precious still;

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