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We rested ; and the verse was verse divine ! Fell from beneath a starry diadem ;
We could not err—Perhaps he was the last- And on her dazzling neck a jewel shone,
For none took up the strain, none answerd him ; Ruby or diamond or dark amethyst;
And when he ceased, he left upon my ear A jewell'd chain, in many a winding wreath,
A something like the dying voice of Venice. Wreathing her gold brocade.

Before the Churcn,
The moon went down; and nothing now was seen That venerable Pile on the sea-brink, (56)
Save here and there the lamp of a Madonna, Another train they met, no strangers to them,
Glimmering—or heard, but when he spoke, who Brothers to some, and to the rest still dearer ;
stood

Each in his hand bearing his cap and plume, Over the lantern at the prow, and cried,

And, as he walk'd, with modest dignily
Turning the corner of some reverend pile,

Folding his scarlet mantle, his tabarro.
Some school or hospital of old renown,
Though haply none were coming, none were near,
" Hasten or slacken." I

They join, they enter in, and, up the aisle
But at length Night fled;

Led by the full-voiced choir in bright procession, And with her fled, scattering, the sons of Pleasure. Range round the altar. In his vestments there

The Patriarch stands; and, while the anthem flows, Suar after star sbot by, or, meteor-like, Cross'd me and vanish'd lost at once among

Who can look on unmoved ?-mothers in secret Those hundred Isles that tower majestically,

Rejoicing in the beauty of their daughters,

Sons in the thought of making them their own; That rise abruptly from the water-mark, Not with rough crag, but marble, and the work

And they-array'd in youth and innocence, Of noblest architects. I linger'd still ;

Their beauty heighten'd by their hopes and fears. Nor struck my threshold, till the hour was come

At length the rite is ending. All fall down And past, when, flitting home in the grey light,

In earnest prayer, all of all ranks together;
The young Bianca found her father's door, (52)
That door so often with a trembling hand,

And, stretching out his hands, the holy man
So often—then so lately left ajar,

Proceeds to give the general bencdiction;

When hark, a din of voices from without, Shut; and, all terror, all perplexity,

And shricks and groans and outcries as in battle. Now by her lover urged, now by her love,

And lo, the door is burst, the curtain rent,
Fled o'er the waters to return no more.

And armed ruffians, robbers from the deep,
XV.

Savage, uncouth, led on by Barbarigo,

And his six brothers in their coats of steel,
THE BRIDES OF VENICE.

Are standing on the threshold! Statue-like,
It was Sl Mary's Eve,(53) and all pour'd forth Awhile they gaze on the fallen multitude,
As to some grand solemnity. The fisher

Each with his sabre up, in act to strike; Came from bis islet, bringing o'er the waves

Then, as at once recovering from the spell, His wife and little one; the husbandman

Rush forward to the altar, and as soon
Frora the Firm Land, along the Po, the Brenta,

Are gone again-amid no clash of arms
Crowding the common ferry. All arrived ; Bearing away the maidens and the treasures.
And in his straw the prisoner turn'd and listen'd,
So great the stir in Venice. Old and young

Where are they now?-plowing the distant waves Throng d her three hundred bridges ; the grave Standing triumphant. To the east they go,

Their sails all set, and they upon the deck
Turk,
Turban'd, long-vested, and the cozening Jew,

Steering for Istria; their accursed barks
In yellow hat and threadbare gaberdine,

(Well are they known, the galliot and the galley),(57) Hurrying along. For, as the custom was,

Freighted with all that gives to life its value !
The noblest sons and daughters of the State,

The richest argosies were poor to them!
They of Patrician birth, the flower of Venice,
Whome names are written in the Book of Gold,

Now might you see the matrons running wild Were on that day to solemnize their nuptials.

Along the beach ; the men half-arm'd and arming,

One with a shield, one with a casque and spear; At doon, a distant murmur through the crowd, One with an axe hewing the mooring-chain Rising and rolling on, announced their coming ; Of some old pinnace. Not a raft, a plank, And never from the first was to be seen

But on that day was drifting. In an hour Such splendor or such beauty. (54) Two and two

Half Venice was afloat. But long before, (The richest tapestry unroll'd before them),

Frantic with grief and scorning all control,
First came the Brides in all their loveliness; The youths were gone in a light brigantine,
Each in her veil, and by two bride-maids follow'd, Lying at anchor near the Arsenal ;
Daly less lovely, who behind her bore

Each having sworn, and by the holy rood,
The precious caskets that within contain'd To slay or to be slain.
The dowry and the presents. On she moved,

And from the tower
Her eyes cast down, and holding in her hand The watchman gives the signal. In the East
A fun, that gently waved, of ostrich-feathers. A ship is seen, and making for the Port;
Fler veil, transparent as the gossamer, (55)

Her flag St. Mark's.-And now she turns the point,

Over the waters like a sea-bird flying! 1 Premi o sta. Ha, 't is the same, 't is theirs! from stern to prow

64

Hung with green boughs, she comes, she comes, re- "T is Foscari, the Doge. And there is one, storing

A young man, lying at his feet, stretch'd out All that was lost.

In torture. "T is his son, his only one; Coasting, with narrow search, | "T is Giacomo, the blessing of his age, Friuli-like a tiger in his spring,

(Say, has he lived for this ?) accused of murder, They had surprised the Corsairs where they lay The murder of the Senator Donato. Sharing the spoil in blind security

Last night the proofs, if proofs they are, were dropt
And casting lots—had slain them, one and all, Into the lion's mouth, the mouth of brass,
All to the last, and Aung them far and wide That gapes and gorges; and the Doge himself
Into the sea, their proper element;

Must sit and look on a beloved Son
Him first, as first in rank, whose name so long Suffering the Question.
Had hush'd the babes of Venice, and who yet,

Twice, to die in peace, Breathing a little, in his look retain'd

To save a falling house, and turn the hearts The fierceness of his soul.

Of his fell Adversaries, those who now,
Thus were the Brides Like hell-hounds in full cry, are running down
Lost and recover'd; and what now remain'd His last of four, twice did he ask their leave
But to give thanks? Twelve breast-plates and twelve To lay aside the Crown, and they refused him,
crowns,

An oath exacting, never more to ask it;
Flaming with gems and gold, the votive offerings And there he sits, a spectacle of woe,
Of the young victors to their Patron-Saint, By them, his rivals in the State, compellid,
Vow'd on the field of battle, were ere-long

Such the refinement of their cruelty,
Laid at his feet; (53) and to preserve for ever To keep the place he sigh'd for.
The memory of a day so full of change,

Once again
From joy to grief, from grief to joy again, The screw is turn'd; and, as it turns, the Son
Through many an age, as oft as it came round, Looks up, and, in a faint and broken accent,
T was held religiously with all observance. Murmurs “My Father!" The old man shrinks back
The Doge resign'd his crimson for pure ermine; And in his mantle muffles up his face.
And through the city in a stately barge (59) Art thou not guilty ?" says a voice, that once
Of gold, were borne, with songs and symphonies, Would greet the Sufferer long before they met,
Twelve ladies young and noble. Clad they were And on his ear strike like a pleasant music-
In bridal white with bridal ornaments,

Art thou not guilty?"_" No! Indeed I am not!" Each in her glittering veil ; and on the deck, But all is unavailing. In that Court As on a burnish'd throne, they glided by ;

Groans are confessions; Patience, Fortitude, No window or balcony but adorn'd

The work of Magic; and, released, upheld, With hangings of rich texture, not a roof

For Condemnation, from his Father's lips But cover'd with beholders, and the air

He hears the sentence, “ Banishment to Candia: Vocal with joy. Onward they went, their oars Death, if he leaves it." Moving in concert with the harmony,

And the bark sets sail;
Through the Rialto (60) to the Ducal Palace And he is gone from all he loves—for ever!
And at a banquet there, served with due honor, His wife, his boys, and his disconsolate parente !
Sate representing, in the eyes of all,

Gone in the dead of night-unseen of any-
Eyes not unwet, I ween, with grateful tears, Without a word, a look of tenderness,
Their lovely ancestors, the Brides of Venice. To be call’d up, when, in his lonely hours

He would indulge in weeping.
XVI.

Like a ghost,
FOSCARI.

Day after day, year after year, he haunts

An ancient rampart, that o'erhangs the sea ; Let us lift up the curtain, and observe, Gazing on vacancy, and hourly starting What passes in that chamber. Now a sigh, To answer to the watch- -Alas, how changed And now a groan, is heard. Then all is still. From him, the mirror of the Youth of Venice, Twenty are sitting as in judgment there ; (61) In whom the slightest thing, or whim or chance, Men who have served their country, and grown grey Did he but wear his doublet so and so, In governments and distant embassies,

All follow'd; at whose nuptials, when at length Men eminent alike in war and peace;

He won that maid at once the fairest, noblcst, (62) Such as in effigy shall long adorn

A daughter of the House of Contarini, The walls of Venice to show what she has been! That House as old as Venice, now among Their garb is black, and black the arras is, Its ancestors in monumental brass And sad the general aspect. Yet their looks Numbering eight Doges—to convey her home, Are calm, are cheerful; nothing there like grief, The Bucentaur went forth; and thrice the Sun Nothing or harsh or cruel. Sull that noise, Shone on the Chivalry, that, front to front, That low and dismal moaning.

And blaze on blaze reflecting, met and ranged

Half withdrawn, To tournay in St. Mark's. A little to the left, sits one in crimson,

But lo, at last, A venerable man, fourscore and upward.

Messengers come. He is recall'd : his heart Cold drops of sweat stand on his furrow'd brow. Leaps at the tidings. He embarks : the boat His hands are clench'd; his eyes half-shut and glazed ; Springs to the oar, and back again he goes His shrunk and wither'd limbs rigid as marble. Into that very Chamber! there to lie

not;

In his old resting-place, the bed of torture; Affection, kindness, the sweet offices
And thence look up (five long, long years of Grief Of love and duty, were to him as needful
Have not killed either) on his wretched Sire, As was his daily bread ;-and to become
Still in that seat-as though he had not left it, A byword in the meanest mouths of Venice,
Immovable, enveloped in his mantle.

Bringing a stain on those who gave him life,

On those, alas, now worse than fatherless But now he comes, convicted of a crime To be proclaim'd a ruffian, a night-stabber, Great by the laws of Venice. Night and day, He on whom none before had breathed reproachBrooding on what he had been, what he was, He lived but to disprove it. That hope lost, T was more than he could bear. His longing fits Death follow'd. From the hour he went, he spoke Thicken'd upon him. His desire for home Became a madness; and, resolved to go,

And in his dungeon, when he laid him down, If but to die, in his despair he writes

He sunk to rise no more. Oh, if there be A letter to Francesco, Duke of Milan,

Justice in Heaven, and we are assured there is, Soliciting his influence with the State,

A day must come of ample Retribution!
And drops it to be found.—"Would ye know all ?
I have transgresa'd, offended wilfully; (63)

Then was thy cup, old Man, full to o'erflowing. And am prepared to suffer as I ought.

But thou wert yet alive; and there was one, But let me, let me, if but for an instant

The soul and spring of all that Enmity, (Ye must consent-for all of you are sons, Who would not leave thee; fastening on thy flank, Most of you husbands, fathers), let me first Hungering and thirsting, still unsatisfied; Indolge the natural feelings of a man,

One of a name illustrious as thine own! And, ere I die, if such my sentence be,

One of the Ten! one of the Invisible Three! (64) Press to my heart ('t is all I ask of you)

'Twas Loredano. My wife, my children—and my aged mother

When the whelps were gone, Say, is she yet alive ?"

He would dislodge the Lion from his den;
He is condemn'd

And, leading on the pack he long had led,
To go ere set of sun, go whence he came, The miserable pack that ever howl'd
A banish'd man-and for a year to breathe Against fallen Greatness, moved that Foscari
The vapor of a dungeon.—But his prayer Be Doge no longer; urging his great age,
(What could they less ?) is granted.

His incapacity and nothingness ;

In a hall Calling a Father's sorrows in his chamber
Open and crowded by the common rabble, Neglect of duty, anger, contumacy.
*T was there a trembling Wife and her four Sons “ I am most willing to retire,” said Foscari :
Yet young, a Mother, borne along, bedridden, · But I have sworn, and cannot of myself.
And an old Doge, mustering up all his strength, Do with me as ye please.”
That strength how small! assembled now to meet

He was deposed,
One so long lost, long mourn'd, one who for them He, who had reign'd so long and gloriously ;
Had braved so much-death, and yet worse than His ducal bonnet taken from his brow,
death

His robes stript off, his ring, that ancient symbol, To meet him, and to part with him for ever! Broken before him. But now nothing moved

The meekness of his soul. All things alike! Time and their heavy wrongs had changed them all; Among the six that came with the decree, Him most! Yet when the Wife, the Mother look'd Foscari saw one he knew not, and inquired Again, 't was he himself, 't was Giacomo,

His name.

“I am the son of Marco Memmo." Their only hope, and trust, and consolation! “Ah,” he replied, “ thy father was my friend." And all clung round him, weeping bitterly; Weeping the more, because they wept in vain. And now he goes. “It is the hour and past.

I have no business here."—" But wilt thou not Unnerved, unsettled in his mind from long Avoid the gazing crowd? That way is private." And exquisite pain, he sobs aloud and cries “No! as I enter'd, so will I retire." Kissing the old Man's cheek, “ Help me, my Father! And, leaning on his staff, he left the Palace, Let me, I pray thee, live once more among you:

His residence for four-and-thirty years, Let me go home.”—“My Son," returns the Doge, By the same staircase he came up in splendor, Mastering awhile his grief,“ if I may still The staircase of the Giants. Turning round, Call thee my Son, if thou art innocent,

When in the court below, he stopt and said As I would fain believe," but, as he speaks, My merits brought me hither. I depart, He falls, "submit without a murmur."

Driven by the malice of my Enemies."

Night, Then through the crowd withdrew, poor as he came That to the World brought revelry, to them And in his gondola went off, unfollow'd Brought only food for sorrow. Giacomo

But by the sighs of them that dared not speak. Embark'd—to die; sent to an early grave For thee, Erizzo, whose death-bed confession,

This journey was his last. When the bell rang, "He is most innocent! 'T was I who did it!" Next day, announcing a new Doge to Venice, Camne when he slept in peace. The ship, that saila It found him on his knees before the altar, (65) Swift as the winds with his recall to Honor, Clasping his aged hands in eamest prayer; Bore back a lifeless corse. Generous as brave, And there he died. Ere half its task was done,

61

It rang his knell.

Such as a shipwreck'd man might hope to build, But whence the deadly hate Urged by the love of home when I descended That caused all this the hate of Loredano ? Two long, long days' silence, suspense on board, It was a legacy his Father left him,

It was to offer at thy fount, Valclusa,
Who, but for Foscari, had reign'd in Venice, Entering the arched Cave, to wander where
And, like the venom in the serpent's bag, Petrarch had wander'd, in a trance to sit
Gather'd and grew! Nothing but turn'd to venom! Where in his peasant-dress he loved to sit,
In vain did Foscari sue for peace, for friendship, Musing, reciting—on some rock moss-grown,
Offering in marriage his fair Isabel.

Or the fantastic root of some old fig-tree,
He changed not; with a dreadful piety,

That drinks the living waters as they stream Studying revenge! listening alone to those Over their emerald-bed ; and could I now Who talk'd of vengeance ; grasping by the hand Neglect to visit Arqua, (69) where, at last, Those in their zeal (and none, alas, were wanting) When he had done and settled with the world, Who came to tell him of another Wrong,

When all the illusions of his Youth were fiod, Done or imagined. When his father died, Indulged perhaps too long, cherish'd too fondly, 'Twas whisper'd in his ear, “He died by poison !" He came for the conclusion? Half-way up He wrote it on the tomb ('t is there in marble) He built his house, (70) whence as by stealıh he caught, And in his ledger-book-(66) among his debtors Among the hills, a glimpse of busy life, Enter'd the name “FRANCESCO Foscari,"

That soothed, not stirr'd.—But knock, and enter in. And added, “ For the murder of my Father." This was his chamber. 'Tis as when he left it; Leaving a blank—to be fill'd up hereafter.

As if he now were busy in his garden. When Foscari's noble heart at length gave way, And this his closet. Here he sate and read. He took the volume from the shelf again

This was his chair; and in it, unobserved, Calmly, and with his pen fill'd up the blank, Reading, or thinking of his absent friends, Inscribing, “He has paid me."

He pass'd away as in a quiet slumber.

Ye who sit, Brooding from day to day, from day to day

Peace to this region! Peace to all who dwell here! Chewing the bitter cud, and starting up

They know his value-every coming step, As though the hour was come to whet your fangs,

That gathers round the children from their play, And, like the Pisan,' gnaw the hairy scalp

Would tell them if they knew not.—But could aught, Of him who had offended-if ye must,

Ungentle or ungenerous, spring up Sit and brood on; but oh! forbear to teach

Where he is sleeping ; where, and in an age
The lesson to your children.

Of savage warfare and blind bigotry,
He cultured all that could refine, exalı; (71)

Leading to better things?
XVII.

XVIII.
ARQUA.

GINEVRA.
THERE is, within three leagues and less of Padua
(The Paduan student knows it, honors it),

If ever you should come to Modena,
A lonely tomb-stone in a mountain-churchyard ; Where among other trophies may be seen
And I arrived there as the sun declined

Tassoni's bucket (in its chain it hangs, (72)
Low in the west. The gentle airs, that breathe Within that reverend tower, the Guirlandina),
Fragrance at eve, were rising, and the birds Stop at a Palace near the Reggio-gate,
Singing their farewell-song—the very song

Dwelt in of old by one of the Orsini,
They sung the night that tomb received a tenant; Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
When, as alive, clothed in his Canon's habit And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses,
And, slowly winding down the narrow path Will long detain you—but, before you go,
He came to rest there. Nobles of the land, Enter the house—forget it not, I pray-
Princes and prelates mingled in his train,

And look awhile upon a picture there. Anxious by any act, while yet they could,

"Tis of a Lady in her earliest youth, To catch a ray of glory by reflection ; And from that hour have kindred spirits flock’d (67) Done by Zampieri (73)—but by whom I care noi.

The last of that illustrious family ;
From distant countries, from the north, the south,

He, who observes itere he passes on,
To see where he is laid.
Twelve years ago,

Gazes his fill, and comes and comes again,
When I descended the impetuous Rhone,

That he may call it up, when for away. Its vineyards of such great and old renown, (68) She sits, inclining forward as to speak, Its castles, each with some romantic tale,

Her lips half-open, and her finger up, Vanishing fast-the pilot at the stern,

As though she said “ Beware!" her vest of gold He who had steer'd so long, standing aloft,

Broider'd with flowers, and clasp'd from head iu fool, His eyes on the white breakers, and his hands An emerald-stone in every golden clusp; On what at once served him for oar and rudder, And on her brow, fairer than alabaster, A huge misshapen plank-the bark itself

A coronet of pearls. Frail and uncouth, launch'd to return no more,

But then her face,

Su lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
1 Count Ugolino
The overflowings of an innucent heart-

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it haunts me still, though many a year has iled, When a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there, Like some wild melody!

Fasten'd her down for ever!
Alone it hangs
Over a mouldering heir-loom, its companion,

XIX.
Aa maken-chest, half-eaten by the worm,

BOLOGNA Bat richly carved by Antony of Trent

'Twas night; the noise and bustle of the day With scripture-stories from the Life of Christ; Were o'er. The mountebank no longer wrought A chest that came from Venice, and had held Miraculous cures—he and his stage were gone; "The ducal robes of some old Ancestor

And he who, when the crisis of his tale That by the way—it may be true or false Came, and all stood breathless with hope and fear, But don't forget the picture; and you will not, Sent round his cap; and he who thrumm'd his wire When you have heard the tale they told me there. And sang, with pleading look and plaintive strain

Melting the passenger. Thy thousand cries," She was an only child-her name Ginevra, So well portray'd and by a son of thine, The joy, the pride of an indulgent Father ; Whose voice had swellid the hubbub in his youth, And in her fifteenth year became a bride,

Were hush'd, Bologna ; silence in the streets, Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,

The squares, when hark, the clattering of fleet hoofs' Her playmate from her birth, and her first love. And soon a courier, posting as from far,

Housing and holster, boot and belted coat Jast as she looks there in her bridal dress,

And doublet, stain'd with many a various soil, She was all gentleness, all gaiety,

Stopt and alighted. 'Twas where hangs aloft Her pranks the favorite theme of every tongue.

That ancient sign, the pilgrim, welcoming But now the day was come, the day, the hour;

All who arrive there, all perhaps save those Now, frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time,

Clad like himself, with staff and scallop-shell, The nurse, that ancient lady, preach'd decorum;

Those on a pilgrimage: and now approach'd And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave

Wheels, through the lofty porticoes resounding, Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.

Arch beyond arch, a shelter or a shade
As the sky changes. To the gate they came;

And, ere the man had half his story done,
Great was the joy ; but at the Nuptial Feast,

Mine host received the Master-one long used When all sate down, the Bride herself was wanting. To sojourn among strangers, everywhere Nar was she to be found! Her Father cried,

(Go where he would, along the wildest track) T'is but to make a trial of our love!”

Flinging a charm that shall not soon be lost, And fill'd his glass lo all; but his hand shook,

And leaving footsteps to be traced by those And soon from guest to guest the panic spread.

Who love the haunts of Genius; one who saw, 'Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,

Observed, nor shunn'd the busy scenes of life, Laughing and looking back, and flying still,

But mingled not, and, 'mid the din, the stir, Hier ivory-tooth imprinted on his finger.

Lived as a separate Spirit. But now, alas, she was not to be found;

Much had pass'd Nor from that hour could anything be guess'd,

Since last we parted ; and those five short years— But that she was not !

Much had they told! His clustering locks were turn'd Weary of his life,

Grey; nor did aught recall the Youth that swam Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking,

From Sestos to Abydos. Yet his voice, Flug it away in battle with the Turk.

Still it was sweet; still from his eye the thought Orsini lived_and long might you have seen

Flash'd lightning-like, nor linger'd on the way, An old man wandering as in quest of something,

Waiting for words. Far, far into the night Something he could not find-he knew not what.

We sate, conversing—no unwelcome hour, When he was gone, the house remained awhile

The hour we met; and, when Aurora rose, Silent and tenantless-then went to strangers.

Rising, we climbed the rugged Apennine. Full fifty years were past, and all forgotten, Well I remember how the golden sun When on an idle day, a day of search

Fili'd with its beams the unfathomable gulfs, Mid the old lumber in the Gallery,

As on we travellid, and along the ridge, That mouldering chest was noticed; and 't was said 'Mid groves of cork and cistus and wild fig, By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra, His motley household came-Not last nor least, "Why not remove it from its lurking-place?" Battista, who upon the moonlight-sea "T' was done as soon as said; but on the way Of Venice, had so ably, zcalously It borst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton,

Served, and, at parting, flung his oar away
With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone, To follow through the world; who without stain
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold.

Had worn so long that honorable badge,a
All else hal perishd-save a wedding-ring,
And a small weal, her mother's legacy,

1 See the Cries of Bologna, as drawn by Annibal Carracci. Engraven with a name, the name of both,

He was of very humble origin; and, to correct bis brother's "Ginevra."

vanity, once went him a portrait of their father, the tailor, There then had she found a grave!

threading his needle. Within that chest had she conceal'd herself,

2 The principal gondolier, il fante di poppa, was almost al

ways in the confidence of his master, and employed on occaFlanering with joy, the happiest of the happy;

sions that required judgment and address.

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