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AND now farewell to ITALY-perhaps
For ever! Yet, methinks, I could not go,
I could not leave it, were it mine to say,
'Farewell for ever!' Many a courtesy,
That sought no recompense, and met with none
But in the swell of heart with which it came,

* Written at Susa, May 1, 1822.

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


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,

* The Po. Chaque maison est pourvue de bateaux, et lorsque l'inondation s'annonce,' &c.-Lettres de Chateauvieux.

Slowly uplifted over field and fence,
Floats on a world of waters-from that low,
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;*

Where the wild-boar retreats, when hunters chafe,
And, when the day-star flames, the buffalo-herd,
Afflicted, plunge into the stagnant pool,

*It was somewhere in the Maremma, a region so fatal to so many, that the unhappy Pia, a Siennese lady of the family of Tolommei, fell a sacrifice to the jealousy of her husband. Thither he conveyed her in the sultry time,

"tra'l Luglio e'l Settembre;"

having resolved in his heart that she should perish there, even though he perished there with her. Not a word escaped from him on the way, not a syllable in answer to her remonstrances or her tears; and in sullen silence he watched patiently by her till she died.

"Siena mi fe; disfecemi Maremma.

Salsi colui, che'nnanellata pria,

Disposando, m'avea con la sua gemma."

The Maremma is continually in the mind of Dante; now as swarming with serpents, and now as employed in its great work of destruction.

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.*
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 temples of Pæstum.

+ Who has travelled and cannot say with Catullus,

"O quid solutis est beatius curis ?

Quum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino
Labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum,

Desideratoque acquiescimus lecto."

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!

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