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And reading, in the eyes that sparkled round, The thousand love-adventures written there.

Can I forget-no never, such a scene So full of witchery! Night linger'd still, When, with a dying breeze, I left Bellaggio; But the strain follow'd me; and still I saw Thy smile, Angelica; and still I heard Thy voice-once and again bidding adicu.

VIII.

BERGAMO.

Risc like a curtain; now the sun looks out, Filling, o'erllowing with his glorious light This noble amphitheatre of mountains; And now appear as on a phosphor-sea Numberless barks, from Milan, from Pavia; Some sailing up, some down, and some at anchor, Lading, unlading at that small port-town Under the promontory-its tall tower And long flat roofs, just such as Poussin drew, Caught by a sun-beam slanting through a cloud; A quay-like scene, glittering and full of life, And doubled by reflection.

What delight, After so long a sojourn in the wild, To hear once more the sounds of cheerful labour! -But in a clime like this where are they not? Along the shores, among the hills 't is now The hey-day of the Vintage; all abroad, But most the young and of the gentler sex, Busy in gathering; all among the vines, Some on the ladder, and some underneath, Filling their baskets of

green wicker-work, While many a canzonet and frolic laugh Come through the leaves; the vines in light festoons From tree to tree, the trees in avenues, And every avenue a cover'd walk Hung with black clusters. 'Tis enough to make The sad man merry, the benevolent one Melt in to tears-so general is the joy! While up and down the cliffs, over the lake, Wains oxen-drawn, and pannier'd mules are scen, Laden with grapes, and dropping rosy wine.

Here I received from thee, Filippo Mori,
One of those courtesies so sweet, so rare!
When, as I rambled through thy vineyard-ground
On the hill-side, thou sent'st thy little son,
Charged with a bunch almost as big as he,
To press it on the stranger.

May thy vais
O'erflow, and he, thy willing gift-bearer,
Live to become ere-long himself a giver ;
And in due time, when thou art full of honour,
The staff of thine old age!

In a strange land
Such things, however trifling, reach the heart,
And through the heart the head, clearing away
The narrow notions that grow up at home,
And in their place grafting Good-Will to All.
At least I found it so; nor less at eve,
When, bidden as an English traveller
('T was by a little boat that gave me chase
With oar and sail, as homeward-bound I cross'd
The bay of Tramezzine), right readily
I turn'd my prow and follow'd, landing soon
Where steps of purest marble met the wave;
Where, through the trellises and corridors,
Soft music came as from Armida's palace,
Breathing enchantment o'er the woods, the waters;
And through a bright pavilion, bright as day,
Forms such as hers were flitting, lost among
Such as of old in sober pomp swept by,
Such as adorn the triumphs and the feasts
Painted by Cagliari; (16) where the world danced
Under the starry sky, while I looked on,
Admiring, listening, quaffing gramolata, (17)

Toe song was one that I had heard before,
But where I knew not. It inclined to sadness;
And, turning round from the delicious fare
My landlord's little daughter, Barbara,
Had from her apron just rolld out before me,
Figs and rock-melons--at the door I saw
Two boys of lively aspect. Peasant-like
They were, and poorly clad, but not unskill'd;
With their small voices and an old guitar
Winning their mazy progress to my heart
In that, the only universal language.
But soon they changed the measure, entering on
A pleasant dialogue of sweet and sour,
A war of words, and waged with looks and gestures,
Between Trappanti and his ancient dame,
Mona Lucilia. To and fro it went;
While many a titter on the stairs was heard,
And Barbara's among them.

When 't was done,
Their dark eyes flash'd no longer, yet, methought,
In many a glance as from the soul, express'd
More than enough to serve them. Far or near,
Few let them pass unnoticed ; and there was not
A mother round about for many a league,
But could repeat their story. Twins they were,
And orphans, as I learnt, cast on the world;
Their parents lost in the old ferry-boat
That, three years since, last Martinmas, went down
Crossing the rough Benacus."

May they live
Blameless and happy-rich they cannot be,
Like him who, in the days of Minstrelsy, (18)
Came in a beggar's weeds lo Petrarch's door,
Crying without, - Give me a lay to sing !»
And soon in silk (such then the power

of song)
Return'd to thank him; or like him, way-worn
and lost, who, by the foaming Adige
Descending from the Tyrol, as night fell,
Knock'd at a city-gate near the bill-foot,
The gate that bore so long, sculptured in stone,
An eagle on a ladder, and at once
Found welcome---nightly in the banner'd hall
Tuning his hard to tales of Chivalry
Before the great Mastino, (19) and his guests,
The three-and-twenty, by some adverse fortune,
By war or treason or domestic malice,
Reft of their kingly crowns, reft of their all,
And living on his bounty.

But who now
Enters the chamber, flourishing a scroll
In his right hand, his left at every step

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Brushing the floor with what was once a hal

And through the ranks, from wing to wing, are scen Of ceremony. Gliding on, he comes,

Moving as once they were-instead of rage
Slip-shod, ungarter'd ; his long suit of black

Breathing deliberate valour.
Dingy and thread-bare, though renew'd in patches
Till it has almost ceased to be the old one.
At length arrived, and with a shrug that pleads

COLL'ALTO.
. 'T is my ne sity!, he stops and speaks,
Screwing a smile into his dinnerless face.

In this neglected mirror (23) (the broad frame

Of massive silver serves to testify « I am a Poet, Signor:-give me leave

That many a noble matron of the house To bid you welcome. Though you shrink from notice, Bas sate before it) once, alas, was seen The splendour of your name has gone before you; What led to many sorrows.

From that time And Italy from sea to sea rejoices,

The bat came hither for a sleeping-place; As well indeed she may! But I transgress :

And he, who cursed another in his heart,
I too have known the weight of praise, and ought Said, « Be thy dwelling through the day, the night,
To spare another.

Shunn'd like Coll'alto. ’T was in that old Castle,
Saying so,
he laid
Which flanks the cliff with its grey

battlements His sonnet, an impromptu, on my table,

Flung here and there, and, like an eagle's nest, And bow'd and left me; in his hollow hand

Hangs in the Trevisan, that thus the Steward, Receiving my small tribute, a zecchino,

Shaking his locks, the few that Time had left him, Unconsciously, as doctors do their fees.

Address'd me, as we enter'd what was callid

My Lady's Chamber.. On the walls, the chairs, My omelet, and a flacon of hull-wine,

Much yet remain'd of the rich tapestry; • The very best in Bergamo!, had long

Much of the adventures of Sir Lancelot Fled from all eyes; or, like the young Gil Blas

In the green glades of some enchanted forest. De Santillane, I had perhaps been seen

The toilet-table was of massive silver, Bartering my bread and salt for empty praise.

Florentine Art, when Florence was renown'd;

A gay confusion of the elements,
IX.

Dolphins and boys, and shells and fruits and flowers :

And from the ceiling, in his gilded cage,
ITALY.

llung a small bird of curious workmanship, Am I in Italy? Is this the Mincius ?

That, when his Mistress bade bim, would unfold Are those the distant turrets of Verona?

(So said at least the babbling Dame, Tradition) And shall I sup where Juliet at the Masque (20) Ilis emerald-wings, and sing and sing again Saw her loved Montague, and now sleeps by him? The song that pleased her. While I stood and look d, Such questions hourly do I ask myself ; (21)

A gleam of day yet lingering in the West, And not a finger-post by the road-side

The Steward went on. * To Mantua :-To Ferrara --but cxcites

« She had ('t is now long since) Surprise, and doubt. and self-congratulation.

A gentle serving-maid, the fair Cristina,

Fair as a lily, and as spotless too; O Italy, how beantiful thou art!

None so admired, beloved. They had grown up Yet I could weep--for thou art lying, alas!

As play-fellows; and some there were, wlio said, Low in the dust; and they who come, adınire thee Some who knew much, discoursing of Cristina, As we admire the beautiful in death.

She is not what she seems.' When unrequired, Thine was a dangerous gift, the gift of Beauty.

She would steal forth; her custom, her delight, Would thou hadst less, or wert as once thou wast, To wander through and through an ancient grove Inspiring awe in those who now enslave thee!

Self-planted half-way down, losing herself
--- But why despair? Twice hast thou lived already; Like one in love with sadness; and her veil
Twice shone among the nations of the world, (22) And vesture white, seen ever in that place,
As the sun shines among the lesser lights

Ever as surely as the hours came round,
Of heaven , and shalt again. The hour shall come, Among those reverend trees, gave her below
When they who think to bind the ethereal spirit, The name of The White Lady. But the day
Who, like the cagle cowering o'er his prey,

Is gone, and I delay you.
Watch with quick eye, and strike and strike again

In that chair If but a sinew vibrate, shall confess

The Countess, as it might be now, was sitting, Their wisdom folly. Even now the flame

Her gentle serving-maid, the fair Cristina, Bursts forth where once it burnt so gloriously, Combing her golden hair; and, through this door And, dying, left a splendour like the day,

The Count, her lord, was lastening, callid away That like the day diffused itself, and still

By letters of great urgency to Venice; Blesses the carth--the light of genius, virtue,

When in the glass she saw, as she believed, Greatness in thought and act, contempt of death,

('T was an illusion of the Evil Spirit God-like example. Echoes that have slept

Some say he came and cross'd it at the instant) Since Athens, Lacedemon, were theinselves,

A smile, a glance at partiny, given and answer'd, Since men invoked • By Those in Marathon!» | That turn d her blood to gall. That very night Awake along the Egean; and the dead,

The deed was done. That night, cre yet the Moon They of that sacred shore, have heard the call,

Was iip on Monte Calvo, and the wolf 1

Baying as still he does (oft do I hear him,

A vagrant crew, and careless of to-morrow, (28)
An hour and more by the old turret-clock)

Careless and full of mirth. Who, in that quaver,
They led her forth, the unhappy lost Cristina,

Sings « Caro, Caro?:-'T is the Prima Donna,
Helping her down in her distress-lo die.

And to her monkey, smiling in his face.

Who, as transported, cries, « Brava! Ancora ?»
• No blood was spilt; no instrument of death "T is a grave personage, an old macaw,
Lurkcd, or stood forth, declaring its bad purpose; Perch'd on her shoulder. But mark him who leaps
Nor was a hair of her unblemish'd head

Ashore, and with a shout urges along
Hurt in that hour. Fresh as a flower ungather'd, The lagging mules ; (29) then runs and climbs a tree
And warm with life, her youthful pulses playing, That with its branches overhangs the stream,
She was walld up within the Castle-wall. (24)

And, like an acorn, drops on deck again.
The wall itself was hollow'd to receive her;

'T is he who speaks not, stirs not, but we laugh;
Then closed again, and done to line and rule.

That child of fun and frolic, Arlecchino. (30)
Would

you

descend and see it?--'T is far down; And mark their Poct-with what emphasis And many a stair is gone. "T is in a vault

He prompts the young Soubrette, conning her part !
Under the Chapel: and there nightly now,

Iler tongue plays (ruant, and be raps his box,
As in the narrow niche, when smooth and fair, And prompts again; for ever looking round
And as though nothing had been done or thought of, As if in search of subjects for his wit,
The stone-work rose before her, till the light

His satire; and as often whispering
Glimmer'd and went--there, nightly, at that hour Things, though unheard, not unimaginable.
(You smile, and would it were an idle tale!
Would we could say so !) at that hour she stands Hlad I thy pencil, Crabbe (when thou hast done, -
Shuddering-- her eyes uplifted, and her hands

Late
may

it be--it will, like Prospero's staff,
Join'd as in prayer; then, like a Blessed Soul

Be buried fifty fathoms in the carth),
Bursting the tomb, springs forward, and away

I would portray the Italian- Now I cannot.
Flies o'er the woods, the mountains. Issuing forth, (25) Subtle, discerning, eloquent, the slave
The hunter meets her in his hunting track;

Of Love, of Hate, for ever in extremes ;
The shepherd on the heath, starting, exclaims

Gentle when unprovoked, easily won, (For still she bears the name she bore of old)

But quick in quarrel-through a thousand shades • 'T is the White Lady'!:

His spirit flits, cameleon-like; and mocks
The
eye

of the observer.
XI.

Gliding on,

At length we leave the river for the sea.
VENICE.

At length a voice aloft proclaims • Venezia !,
There is a glorious City in the Sea.

And, as call'd forth, it comes. The Sea is in the broad, the narrow streets,

A few in fear, Ebbing and flowing; and the salt sea-weed

Flying away from him whose boast it was, Clings to the marble of her palaces.

That the grass grew not where liis horse had trod, No track of men, no footsteps to and fro,

Gave birth to Venice. Like the water-fowl, Lead to her gates. The path lies o'er the Sea,

They built their nests among the ocean-waves; Invisible; and from the land we went,

And, where the sands were shifting, as the wind As to a floating City-steering in,

Blew from the north, the south; where they that came, And gliding up her streets as in a dream,

Vad to make sure the ground they stood upon, So smoothly, silently-by many a dome

Rose, like an exhalation, from the deep, Mosque-like, and many a stately portico,

Avast Metropolis, (31) with glittering spires,
The statues ranged along an azure sky;

With theatres, basilicas adorn'd;
By many a pile in nore than Eastern splendour, A scene of light and glory, a dominion,
Of old the residence of merchant-kings;

That has endured the longest among men.
The fronts of some, though Time had shatter'd them,
Still glowing with the richest hues of art, (26)

And whence the talisman, by which she rose,
As though the wealth within them had run o'er. Towering ? 'T was found there in the barren sea.

Want led to Enterprise; and, far or near, Thither I came, and in a wondrous Ark,

Who met not the Venetian ?-now in Cairo; (That, long before we slipt our cable, rang

Ere yet the Califa came, (32) listening to hear As with the voices of all living things)

Its bells approaching from the Red-Sea coast; From Padua, where the stars are, night by night, Now on the Euxine, on the Sea of Azoph, Watch'd from the top of an old dungeon-tower,

In converse with the Persian, with the Russ, Whence blood ran once, the tower of Ezzelin-- (27) The Tartar; on his lowly deck receiving Not as he watch'd them, when he read his fate

Pearls from the gulph of Ormus, gems from Bagdad; And shudder'd. But of him I thought not then, Eyes brighter yet, that shed the light of love, Him or his horoscope; far, far from me

From Georgia, from Circassia. Wandering round, The forms of Guilt and Fear; though some were there,

When in the rich bazaar he display'd,
Sitting among us round the cabin-board,

Treasures from unknown climes, away he went,
Some who, like him, had cried, - Spill blood enough! And, travelling slowly upward, drew ere-long
And could shake long at shadows. They had play'd
Their parts at Padua, and were now returning;

I Attila

saw,

XII.

From the well-head, supplying all below;
Making the Imperial City of the East,
Herself, his tributary.

If we turn
To the black forests of the Rhine, the Danube,
Where o'er cach narrow glen a castle hangs,
And, like the wolf that hunger'd at his door,
The baron lived by rapine-there we meet,
In warlike guise, the Caravan from Venice;
When on its march, now lost and now emerging,
A glittering file, the trumpet heard, the scout
Sent and recall dbut at a city-gate
All gaiety, and look'd for ere it comes;
Winning its way with all that can attract,
Cages, whence every wild cry of the desert,
Jugglers, stage-dancers. Well might Charlemain,
And his brave peers, each with his visor up,
On their long lances lean and gaze awhile,
When the Venetian to their eves disclosed
The Wonders of the East! Well might they then
Sigh for new Conquests !

Thus did Venice rise, Thus flourish, till the unwelcome tidings came, That in the Tagus liad arrived a fleet From India, from the region of the Sun, Fragrant with spices, that a way was found, A channel open'd, and the golden stream Turn'd to enrich another. Then she felt Her strength departing, and at last she fell, Fell in an instant, blotted out and razed ; She who had stood yet longer than the longest Of the Four Kingdoms-who, as in an Ark, Had lloated down, amid a thousand wrecks, Uninjured, from the Old World to the New, From the last trace of civilized life-lo where Light shone again, and with unclouded splendour.

LUIGI.
He who is on his travels and loves ease,
Ease and companionship, should hire a youth,
Such as thou wert, Luigi. Thee I found,
Playing at Mora (33) on the cabin-roof
With Pulcinella-crying, as in wrath,

Tre! Quattro! Cinque!:—'T is a game to strike
Fire from the coldest heart. What then from thine ?
And, ere the twentieth throw, I had resolved,
Won by thy looks. Thou wert an honest lad;
Wert generous, grateful, not without ambition.
Had it depended on thy will and pleasure,
Thou wouldst have number'd in thy family
At least six Doges and twelve Procurators. (34)
But that was not to be. In thee I saw
The last of a long line of Carbonari,
Who in their forest, for three hundred years,
Had lived and labour'd, cuiting, charring wood;
Discovering where they were, to those astray,
By the re-echoing stroke, the crash, the fall,
Or the blue wreath that travellid slowly up
Into the sky. Thiy nobler destinies
Led thee away to justle in the crowd ;
And there I found thee—by thy own prescription
Crossing the sea to try once more a change
Of air and diel, landing and as gaily,
Near the Dogana--on the Great Canal,
As though thou knewest where to dine and sleep.

Through many an age in the mid-sea She dwelt, From her retreat calmly contemplating The changes of the Earth, berself unchanged. Before her pass'd, as in an awful dream, The mightiest of the mighty What are these, Clothed in their purple? O'er the globe they fling Their monstrous shadows; and, while yet we speak, Phantom-like, vanish with a dreadful scream! What-but the last that styled themselves the Cæsars? And wlio in long array (look where they come; Their gestures menacing so far and wide) Wear the green turban and the heron's plume? Who-but the Caliphs ? follow'd fast by shapes As new and strange-Emperor, and king, and Czar, And Soldan, each, with a gigantic stride, Trampling on all the flourishing works of peace To make his greatness greater, and inscribe His name in blood-some, men of steel, steel-clad; Others, nor long, alas, the interval, In light and gay attire, with brow serene Wielding Jove's thunder, scattering sulphurous fire Mingled with darkness; and, among the rest, Lo, one by one, passing continually, Those who assume a sway beyond them all; Men grey with age, each in a triple crown, And in his tremulous hands grasping the keys That can alone, as he would signify, Unloch Heaven's gate.

First didst thou practise patience in Bologna,
Serving behind a Cardinal's gouty chair,
Laughing at jests that were no laughing matter;
Then teach the Art to others in Ferrara

- At the Three Moors-as Guide, as Cicerone-
Dealing out largely in exchange for pence
Thy scraps of knowledge-through the grassy street
Leading, explaining-pointing to the bars
Of Tasso's dungeon, and the Latin verse,
Graven in the stone, that yet denotes the door
Of Ariosto.

Many a year

is

cone Since on the Rhine we parted; yet, methinks, I can recall thee to the life, Luigi; In our long journey ever by my side, O'er rough and smooth, o'er apennine, maremma; Thy locks jet-black, and clustering round a face Open as day and full of manly daring. Thou hadst a hand, a heart for all that came, Herdsman or pedler, monk or muleteer; And few there were, that met thee not with smiles. Mishap pass'd o'er thee like a summer-cloud. Cares thou hadsı none; and they, who stood to hear thee, Caught the infection and forgot their own. Nature conceived thee in her merriest mood, Her happiest-not a speck was in the sky; | And at thy birth the cricket chirp'd, Luigi, Thine a perpetual voice-at every turn A larum to the echo. In a clime, Where all the world was gay, thou wert the gayesi, And, like a babe, hushi'd only by thy slumbers, Up hill and down, morning and noon and night, Singing or talking; singing to thyself When none gave ear, but to the listener talking.

The monk, the nun, the holy legate mask'd !
XIII.

To-morrow came the scaffold and the heads-man;

And he died there by torch-light, bound and gage'd, ST MARK'S PLACE.

Whose name and crime they knew not. Underneath

Where the Archangel, turning with the wind,
Over how many tracts, vast, measureless,

Blesses the City from the topmost-tower,
Nothing from day to day, from year to year,

His arms extended-there continually
Passes, save now and then a cloud, a meteor,

Two phantom-shapes were sitting, side by side,
A famish'd eagle ranging for his prey;

Or up, and, as in sport, chasing each other ;
While on this sot of earth, the work of man,

Horror and Mirth. Both vanish'd in one hour!
How much has been transacted! Emperors, Popes, But Ocean only, when again he claims
Warriors, from far and wide, laden with spoil,

Kis ancient rule, shall wash away their footsteps.
Landing, have here perform'd their several parts,
Then left the stage to others. Not a stone

Enter the Palace by the marble stairs
In the broad pavement, but to him who has

Down which the grizzly head of old Faliero An eye, an ear for the Inanimate World,

Roll'd from the block. (40) Pass onward through the Tells of Past Ages.

Chamber,
In that temple-porch

Where, among all drawn in their ducal robes, (The brass is gone, the porphyry remains), (35)

But one is wanting—where thrown off in heat, Did Barbarossa fling his mandle off,

A short inscription on the Doge's chair And, kneeling, on his neck receive the foot

Led to another on the wall yet shorter; (41) Of the proud Pontiff (36)—thus at last consoled And thou wilt track them-wilt from halls of state, For flight, disguise, and many an aguish shake, Where kings have feasted, and the festal song On his stone-pillow. In that temple-porch,

Rung through the fretted roof, cedar and gold, Old as he was, so near his hundredth year,

Step into darkness; and be told, « 'T was here, And blind-his eyes put out-did Dandolo

Trusting, deceived, assembled but to die, Stand forth, displaying on his ducal crown

To take a long embrace and part again, The cross just then assumed at the high altar.

Carrara and his valiant sons were strangled; There did he stand, erect, invincible,

He first,-then they, whose only crime had been Though wan his cheeks, and wet with many tears,

Struggling to save their Father.—Through that door, For in his prayers he had been weeping much; So soon to cry, smiting his brow, «I'm lost!» And now the pilgrims the people wept

Was shown, and with all courtesy, all honour, With admiration, saying in their hearts,

The great and noble captain, Carmagnola.- (42) • Surely those aged limbs have need of rest!,

That deep descent (thou canst not yet

discern - There did he stand, with his old armour on,

Aught as it is) leads to the dripping vaults Ere, gonfalon in hand, that stream'd aloft,

Under the flood, where light and warmth came never! As conscious of its glorious destiny,

Leads to a cover'd Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs ; So soon to float o'er mosque and minaret,

And to that fatal closet at the foot,
He sailed away, five hundred gallant ships,

Lurking for prey, which, when a victim enter'd,
Their lofty sides hung with emblazoned shields, Grew less and less, contracting to a span;
Following his track to Glory. He returned not ; An iron-door, urged onward by a screw,
But of his trophies four arrived ere-long,

Forcing out life.—But let us to the roof,
Snatch'd from destruction--the four steeds divine,

And, when thou hast survey'd the sea,

the land, That strike the ground, resounding with their feet, (37)

Visit the narrow cells that cluster there, And from their nostrils snort ethereal flame

As in a place of tombs. They had their tenants, Over that very portal—in the place

And cach supplied with sufferings of his own. Where in an after-time Petrarch was seen

There burning suns beat unrelentingly, Sitting beside the Doge, on his right hand,

Turning all things to dust, and scorching up Amid the ladies of the court of Venice,

The brain, till Reason fled, and the wild yell Their beauty shaded from the setting sun

And wilder laugh burst out on every side, By many colour'd hangings; while, beneath,

Answering each other as in mockery!
Knights of all nations, some from merry England, (38) --Few Houses of the size were better fill'd;
Their lances in the rest, charged for the prize.

Though many came and left it in an hour.
« Most nights,» so said the good old Nicolo

(For three-and-thirty years his uncle kept Here, among other pageants, and how oft

The water-gate below, but seldom spoke, It came, as if returning to console

Though much was on his mind), • most nights arrived The least, instruct the greatest, did the Doge,

The prison-boat, that boat with many oars, Himself, go round, borne through the gazing crowd,

And bore away as to the Lower World, Once in a chair of state, once on his bier.

Disburdening in the Canal Orfano, (43) They were his first appearance, and his last.

That drowning-place, where never net was thrown,

Summer or Winter, death the penalty;
The sea, that emblem of uncertainty,

And where a secret, once deposited,
Changed not so fast for many and many an age, Lay till the waters should give up their dead.»
As this small spot. To-day 't was full of maskers ;
And lo, the madness of the Carnival, (39)

Scala de' Giganti.

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