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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.
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,
May thy vais
In a strange land
Toe song was one that I had heard before,
When 't was done,
May they live
But who now
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
Breathing deliberate valour.
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,
Shunn'd like Coll'alto. ’T was in that old Castle,
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,
Dolphins and boys, and shells and fruits and flowers :
And from the ceiling, in his gilded cage,
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
Ever as surely as the hours came round,
Is gone, and I delay you.
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)
Careless and full of mirth. Who, in that quaver,
Sings « Caro, Caro?:-'T is the Prima Donna,
And to her monkey, smiling in his face.
Who, as transported, cries, « Brava! Ancora ?»
Ashore, and with a shout urges along
And, like an acorn, drops on deck again.
'T is he who speaks not, stirs not, but we laugh;
That child of fun and frolic, Arlecchino. (30)
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 !
Iler tongue plays (ruant, and be raps his box,
His satire; and as often whispering
it be--it will, like Prospero's staff,
Be buried fifty fathoms in the carth),
I would portray the Italian- Now I cannot.
Of Love, of Hate, for ever in extremes ;
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
of the observer.
At length we leave the river for the sea.
At length a voice aloft proclaims • Venezia !,
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,
With theatres, basilicas adorn'd;
That has endured the longest among men.
And whence the talisman, by which she rose,
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,
Treasures from unknown climes, away he went,
From the well-head, supplying all below;
If we turn
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.
Tre! Quattro! Cinque!:—'T is a game to strike
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,
- At the Three Moors-as Guide, as Cicerone-
Many a year
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 !
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,
Blesses the City from the topmost-tower,
His arms extended-there continually
Two phantom-shapes were sitting, side by side,
Or up, and, as in sport, chasing each other ;
Horror and Mirth. Both vanish'd in one hour!
Kis ancient rule, shall wash away their footsteps.
Enter the Palace by the marble stairs
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.
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,
Lurking for prey, which, when a victim enter'd,
Forcing out life.—But let us to the roof,
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!
Though many came and left it in an hour.
(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;
And where a secret, once deposited,
Scala de' Giganti.