Page images

Burn ever.


Of Saint Antonio in the City of PADUA.
Perhaps, if thou hast ever gone so far,
Thou wilt direct my course.'— Most willingly ;
But thou hast much to do, much to endure,
Ere thou hast entered where the silver lamps

Tell ... I would not transgress,
Yet ask I must what could have brought thee forth,
Nothing in act or thought to be atoned for?'-
. It was a vow I made in


distress. We were so blest, none were so blest as we, Till Sickness came. First, as death-struck, I fell ; Then


beloved Sister; and ere long, Worn with continual watchings, night and day, Our saint-like mother. Worse and worse she grew; And in my anguish, my despair, I vowed, That if she lived, if Heaven restored her to us, I would forthwith, and in a Pilgrim's weeds, Visit that holy shrine. My vow was heard ; And therefore am I come.'— Blest be thy steps ; And

may those weeds, so reverenced of old, Guard thee in danger!'— They are nothing worth. But they are worn in humble confidence ; Nor would I for the richest robe resign them, Wrought, as they were, by those I love so well,

Lauretta and my sister; theirs the task,
But none to them, a pleasure, a delight,
To ply their utmost skill, and send me forth
As best became this service. Their last words,
“ Fare thee well, Carlo. We shall count the hours !"
Will not go from me.'—' Health and strength be thine
In thy long travel ! May no sun-beam strike;
No vapour cling and wither! May'st thou be,
Sleeping or waking, sacred and secure;
And, when again thou com’st, thy labour done,
Joy be among ye! In that happy hour
All will pour forth to bid thee welcome, Carlo;
And there is one, or I am much deceived,
One thou hast named, who will not be the last.'-—

Oh, she is true as Truth itself can be !
But ah, thou know'st her not. Would that thou couldst!
My steps I quicken when I think of her;
For, though they take me further from her door,
I shall return the sooner.'


[graphic][merged small]

PLEASURE, that comes unlooked-for, is thrice welcome;
And, if it stir the heart, if aught be there,
That may hereafter in a thoughtful hour
Wake but a sigh, 'tis treasured up among
The things most precious ! and the day it came
Is noted as a white day in our lives.

The sun was wheeling westward, and the cliffs
And nodding woods, that everlastingly

[ocr errors]

(Such the dominion of thy mighty voice,*
Thy voice, VELINO, uttered in the mist)
Hear thee and answer thee, were left at length
For others still as noon; and on we strayed
From wild to wilder, nothing hospitable
Seen up or down, no bush or green or dry,
That ancient symbol at the cottage-door,
Offering refreshment-when Luigi cried,

Well, of a thousand tracks we chose the best !'
And, turning round an oak, oracular once,
Now lightning-struck, a cave, a thorough-fare
For all that came, each entrance a broad arch,
Whence many a deer, rustling his velvet coat,
Had issued, many a gipsy and her brood
Peered forth, then housed again-the floor yet grey
With ashes, and the sides, where roughest, hung
Loosely with locks of hair-I looked and saw
What, seen in such an hour by Sancho Panza,
Had given his honest countenance a breadth,
His cheeks a flush of pleasure and surprise
Unknown before, had chained him to the spot,
And thou, Sir Knight, hadst traversed hill and dale,

* An allusion to the CASCATA DELLE MARMORE, a celebrated fall of the VELINO near TERNI.

Squire-less. Below and winding far away,
A narrow glade unfolded, such as Spring
Broiders with flowers, and, when the moon is high,
The hare delights to race in, scattering round
The silvery dews.* Cedar and cypress threw
Singly their depth of shadow, chequering
The greensward, and, what grew in frequent tufts,
An underwood of myrtle, that by fits
Sent up a gale of fragrance. Through the midst,
Reflecting, as it ran, purple and gold,
A rain-bow's splendour (somewhere in the east
Rain-drops were falling fast) a rivulet
Sported as loth to go; and on the bank
Stood (in the eyes one, if not of both,
Worth all the rest and more) a sumpter-mule
Well-laden, while two menials as in haste
Drew from his ample panniers, ranging round
Viands and fruits on many a shining salver,
And plunging in the cool translucent wave
Flasks of delicious wine.-Anon a horn


This upper region, a country of dews and dewy lights, as described by Virgil and Pliny, and still, I believe, called La Rosa, is full of beautiful scenery. Who does not wish to follow the footsteps of Cicero there, to visit the Reatine Tempe and the Seven Waters?

« PreviousContinue »