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Humbly besought me to convey them both

A little onward.

Such small services

Who can refuse-Not I; and him who can,
Blest though he be with every earthly gift,
I cannot envy. He, if wealth be his,
Knows not its uses. So from noon till night,
Within a crazed and tattered vehicle,*
That yet displayed, in rich emblazonry,
A shield as splendid as the BARDI wear,†
We lumbered on together; the old man
Beguiling many a league of half its length,
When questioned the adventures of his life,
And all the dangers he had undergone;

His ship-wrecks on inhospitable coasts,
And his long warfare.-They were bound, he said,
To a great fair at REGGIO; and the boy,
Believing all the world were to be there,

* Then degraded, and belonging to a Vetturino.

† A Florentine family of great antiquity. In the sixty-third novel of Franco Sacchetti we read that a stranger, suddenly entering Giotto's study, threw down a shield and departed, saying, 'Paint me my arms in that shield;' and that Giotto, looking after him, exclaimed, ‘Who is he? What is he? He says, Paint me my arms, as if he were one of the BARDI! What arms does he bear?'

And I among the rest, let loose his tongue,

And promised me much pleasure. His short trance,
Short as it was, had, like a charmed cup,
Restored his spirit, and, as on we crawled,
Slow as the snail (my muleteer dismounting,
And now his mules addressing, now his pipe,
And now Luigi) he poured out his heart,
Largely repaying me. At length the sun
Departed, setting in a sea of gold;

And, as we gazed, he bade me rest assured
That like the setting would the rising be.
Their harp-it had a voice oracular,

And in the desert, in the crowded street,
Spoke when consulted. If the treble chord
Twanged shrill and clear, o'er hill and dale they went,
The grandsire, step by step, led by the child;
And not a rain-drop from a passing cloud
Fell on their garments. Thus it spoke to-day;
Inspiring joy, and, in the young one's mind,
Brightening a path already full of sunshine.


DAY glimmered; and beyond the precipice
(Which my mule followed as in love with fear,
Or as in scorn, yet more and more inclining
To tempt the danger where it menaced most)
A sea of vapour rolled. Methought we went
Along the utmost edge of this, our world,
And the next step had hurled us headlong down
Into the wild and infinite abyss;

But soon the surges fled, and we descried
Nor dimly, though the lark was silent yet,
Thy gulf, LA SPEZZIA. Ere the morning-gun,
Ere the first day-streak, we alighted there;
And not a breath, a murmur! Every sail
Yet along the shore

Slept in the offing.

Great was the stir;

as at the noontide hour,

None unemployed.

Where from its native rock

* A large boat for rowing and sailing, much used in the Mediterranean.

A streamlet, clear and full, ran to the sea,
The maidens knelt and sung as they were wont,
Washing their garments. Where it met the tide,
Sparkling and lost, an ancient pinnace lay

Keel upward, and the faggot blazed, the tar
Fumed from the cauldron; while, beyond the fort,
Whither I wandered, step by step led on,
The fishers dragged their net, the fish within
At every heave fluttering and full of life,
At every heave striking their silver fins

'Gainst the dark meshes.

Soon a boatman's shout

Re-echoed; and red bonnets on the beach,

Waving, recalled me. We embarked and left
That noble haven, where, when GENOA reigned,
A hundred galleys sheltered-in the day

When lofty spirits met and, deck to deck,
DORIA, PISANI * fought; that narrow field
Ample enough for glory. On we went

Ruffling with many an oar the crystalline sea,
On from the rising to the setting sun

In silence-underneath a mountain-ridge,

Paganino Doria, Nicolo Pisani; those great seamen, who balanced for so many years the fortunes of Genoa and Venice.

Untamed, untameable, reflecting round
The saddest purple; nothing to be seen
Of life or culture, save where, at the foot,
Some village and its church, a scanty line,
Athwart the wave gleamed faintly. Fear of Ill
Narrowed our course, fear of the hurricane,
And that still greater scourge, the crafty Moor,
Who, like a tiger prowling for his prey,
Springs and is gone, and on the adverse coast
Forge fetters, and white turbans on the mole
Gather whene'er the Crescent comes displayed
Over the Cross) his human merchandise

Το many a curious, many a cruel eye
Exposes. Ah, how oft, where now the sun
Slept on the shore, have ruthless scimitars
Flashed through the lattice, and a swarthy crew
Dragged forth, ere long to number them for sale,
Ere long to part them in their agony,

Parent and child! How oft, where now we rode
Over the billow, has a wretched son,

Or yet more wretched sire, grown grey in chains, Laboured, his hands upon the oar, his eyes

Upon the land-the land, that gave him birth;

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