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For the miraculous gem that to the wearer
It was an hour of universal joy.
The lark was up and at the gate of heaven, Leads to another which awaits your coming,
Singing, as sure to enter when he came; One in the floor—now left, alas, unbolted, (118)
The butterfly was basking in my path, No eye detects it-lying under-foot,
His radiant wings unfolded. From below Just as you enter, at the threshold-stone ;
The bell of prayer rose slowly, plaintively; Ready to fall and plunge you into darkness,
And odors, such as welcome in the day, Darkness and long oblivion!”
Such as salute the early traveller,
And come and go, each sweeter than the last, Then indeed
Were rising. Hill and valley breathed delight; Where lurk'd not danger? Through the fairy-land And not a living thing but bless' the hour! No seat of pleasure glittering half-way down,
In every bush and brake there was a voice No hunting-place_but with some damning spot
Responsive! That will not be wash'd out! There, at Casano, (119)
From the Thrasymene, that now Where, when the hawks were hooded and Night came, Slept in the sun, a lake of molten gold, Pulci would set the table in a roar With his wild lay (120)—there, where the Sun de- Rocked to and fro unfelt, so terrible
And from the shore that once, when armies met, (123 scends,
The rage, the slaughter, I had turn'd away; And hill and dale are lost, veil'd with his beams,
The path, that led me, leading through a wood The fair Venetian' died-she and her lord,
A fairy-wilderness of fruits and flowers, Died of a posset drugg'd by him who sate
And by a brook (124) that, in the day of strise, And saw them suffer, flinging back the charge,
Ran blood, but now runs amber—when a glade, The murderer on the murder'd.
Far, far within, sunnid only at noon-day,
Sobs of Grief, Suddenly open'd. Many a bench was there, Sounds inarticulate-suddenly stopt,
Each round its ancient elm; and many a track, And follow'd by a struggle and a gasp,
Well known to them that from the highway loved A gasp in death, are heard yet in Cerreto,
Awhile to deviate. In the midst a cross Along the marble halls and staircases,
of mouldering stone as in a temple stood, Nightly at twelve; and, at the self-same hour, Solemn, severe ; coeval with the trees Shrieks, such as penetrate the inmost soul,
That round it in majestic order rose; Such as awake the innocent babe to long,
And on the lowest step a Pilgrim knelt, Long wailing, echo through the emptiness Clasping his hands in prayer. He was the first Of that old den far up among the hills, (121) Yet seen by me (save in a midnight-masque, Frowning on him who comes from Pietra-Mala : A revel, where none cares to play his part, In them, in both, within five days and less, And they, that speak, at once dissolve the charm) Two unsuspecting victims, passing fair,
The first in sober truth, no counterfeit;
And, when his orisons were duly paid,
A traveller's greeting.
Young, and of an age One blaze of glory—What but now we saw
When Youth is most attractive, when a light As though it were not, though it had not been ! Plays round and round, reflected, if I err not, He lingers yet, and, lessening to a point,
From some attendant Spirit, that ere-long Shines like the eye of Heaven—then withdraws; (His charge relinquish'd with a sigh, a lear) And from the zenith to the utmost skirts
Wings his fight upward-with a look be won All is celestial red! The hour is come,
My favor; and, the spell of silence broke, When they that sail along the distant seas
I could not but continue. Languish for home; and they that in the morn
“Whence," I ask'd, Said to sweet friends “ farewell,” melt as at parting; “Whence art thou ?”—“From Mont'alto,” he replied. When, journeying on, the pilgrim, if he hears, My native village in the Apennines.” As now we hear it, echoing round the hill,
And whither journeying ?"—“To the holy shrine The bell that seems to mourn the dying day, of Saint Antonio, in the City of Padua. Slackens his pace and sighs, and those he loved Perhaps, if thou hast ever gone so far, Loves more than ever. But who feels it not?
Thou wilt direct my course."- · Most willingly; And well may we, for we are far away.
But thou hast much to do, much to endure, Let us retire, and hail it in our hearts.
Ere thou hast enter'd where the silver lamps Burn ever. Tell me,I would not transgress,
Yet ask I must-what could have brought thee forth, 1 Bianca Capello. 2 See Noto. Nothing in act or thought to be atoned for ?"
* It was a vow I made in my distress.
With ashes, and the sides, where roughest, hung We were so blest, none were so blest as we, Loosely with locks of hair-I look'd and saw Till Sickness came. First, as death-struck, I fell; What, seen in such an hour by Sancho Panza, Then my beloved sister; and ere-long,
Had given his honest countenance a breadth, Worn with continual watchings, night and day, His cheeks a flush of pleasure and surprise, Our saint-like mother. Worse and worse she grew; Unknown before, had chaind him to the spot, And in my arguish, my despair, I vow'd,
And thou, Sir Knight, badst traversed hill and dale, That if she lived, if Heaven restored her to us, Squire-less. I would forthwith, and in a Pilgrim's weeds,
Below and winding far away, Visit that holy shrine. My vow was heard; A narrow glade unfolded, such as Spring (127) And therefore am I come.”—“Thou hast done well; Broiders with flowers, and, when the moon is high, And may those weeds, so reverenced of old, The hare delights to race in, scattering round Guard thee in danger !"
The silvery dews. Cedar and cypress threw “They are nothing worth. Singly their length of shadow, chequering But they are worn in humble confidence ; The greensward, and, what grew in frequent tufts, Nor would I for the richest robe resign them, An underwood of myrtle, that by fits Wrought, as they were, by those I love so well, Sent up a gale of fragrance. Through the midst, Laurelta and my sister; theirs the task,
Reflecting, as it ran, purple and gold,
A rainbow's splendor (somewhere in the east
Worth all the rest and more) a sumpter-mule (128)
And plunging in the cool translucent wave
Anon a horn
Its jocund note to other ears address'd, One thou hast named, who will not be the last."- Not ours; and, slowly coming by a path, “Oh, she is true as Truth itself can be!
That, ere it issued from an ilex-grove, But ah, thou knowest her not. Would that thou Was seen far inward, though along the glade couldst!
Distinguish'd only by a fresher verdure, My steps I quicken when I think of her ;
Peasants approach'd, one leading in a leash
In rich confusion slung, before, behind,
Their horses full of fire, champing the curb,
For the white foam was dry upon the flank, PLEASURE, that comes unlook’d-for, is thrice wel- Two in close converse, each in each delighting, come ;
Their plumage waving as instinct with life; And, if it stir the heart, if aught be there, A Lady young and graceful, and a Youth, That may hereafter in a thoughtful hour
Yet younger, bearing on a falconer's glove,
As in the golden, the romantic time,
Or fairy-vision, such as feign'd of old,
The Lady, while her courser paw'd the ground, The sun was wheeling westward, and the cliffs Alighted ; and her beauty, as she trod And nodding woods, that everlastingly
The enamell’d bank, bruising nor herb nor flower, (Such the dominion of thy mighty voice, (125) That place illumined. Thy voice, Velino, utter'd in the mist)
Ah, who should she be, Hear thee and answer thee, were left at length And with her brother, as when last we met, For others still as noon; and on we stray'd (When the first lark had sung ere half was said, From wild to wilder, nothing hospitable
And as she stood, bidding adieu, her voice, Seen up or down, no bush or green or dry, (126) So sweet it was, recall'd me like a spell) That ancient symbol at the cottage-door,
Who but Angelica ? Offering refreshment—when Luigi cried,
That day we gave
Another and another; hers a home
of many an arch, o'erwrought and lavishly Peer'd forth, then housed again—the floor yet grey With many a wildering dream of sylphs and flowen,
When Raphael and his school from Florence came, Their doors seal'd up and silent as the night, Filling the land with splendor (129)—nor less oft The dwellings of the illustrious dead-to turn Watch'd her, declining, from a silent dell,
Toward Tiber, and, beyond the City-gate, Not silent once, what time in rivalry
Pour out my unpremeditated verse, Tasso, Guarini, waved their wizard-wands,
Where on his mule I might have met so oft Peopling the groves from Arcady, and lo,
Horace himself (132)—or climb the Palatine, Fair forms appear’d, murmuring melodious verse, (130) Dreaming of old Evander and his guest, -Then, in their day, a sylvan theatre,
Dreaming and lost on that proud eminence, Mossy the seats, the stage a verdurous floor, Longwhile the seat of Rome, hereafter found The scenery rock and shrub-wood, Nature's own; Less than enough (so monstrous was the brood Nature the Architect.
Engender'd there, so Titan-like) to lodge
One in his madness ;' and, the summit gain'd, III.
Inscribe my name on some broad aloe-leaf,
That shoots and spreads within those very walls ROME.
Where Virgil read aloud his tale divine, I am in Rome! Oft as the morning-ray
Where his voice falter'd, (133) and a mother wept Visits these eyes, waking at once I cry,
Tears of delight! Whence this excess of joy? What has befallen me?
But what a narrow space And from within a thrilling voice replies,
Just underneath! In many a heap the ground T'hou art in Rome! A thousand busy thoughts Heaves, as though Ruin in a frantic mood Rush on my mind, a thousand images ;
Had done his utmost. Here and there appears, And I spring up as girt to run a race!
As left to show his handy-work not ours,
An idle column, a half-buried arch, Thou art in Rome! the City that so long A wall of some great temple. Reign'd absolute, the mistress of the world;
It was once, The mighty vision that the prophets saw,
And long, the centre of their Universe, (134) And trembled; that from nothing, from the least, The Forum—whence a mandate, eagle-wing'd, The lowliest village (what but here and there Went to the ends of the earth. Let us descend A reed-roof'd cabin by a river-side ?)
Slowly. At every step much may be lost Grew into everything; and, year by year,
The very dust we tread, stirs as with life;
And not the lightest breath that sends not up
We are come, Or traveller with staff and scrip exploring,
Are now where once the mightiest spirits met But hand to hand and foot to foot, through hosts, In terrible conflict; this, while Rome was free, Through nations numberless in battle-array, The noblest theatre on this side Heaven! Each behind each, each, when the other fell,
Here the first Brutus stood, when o'er the corse Up and in arms, at length subdued them all.
Of her so chaste all mourn'd, and from his cloud
Burst like a God. Here, holding up the knife Thou art in Rome! the City, where the Gauls,
That ran with blood, the blood of his own child, Entering at sun-rise through her open gates,
Virginius call'd down vengeance.—But whence spoke And, through her streets silent and desolate, Marching to slay, thought they saw Gods, not men; To the twelve tables, (135) now with lifted hands
They who harangued the people ; turning now The City that, by temperance, fortitude,
To the Capitoline Jove, whose fulgent shape And love of glory, tower'd above the clouds,
In the unclouded azure shone far off, Then fell-bul, falling, kept the highest seat,
And to the shepherd on the Alban mount (136) And in her loneliness, her pomp of woe,
Seem'd like a star new-risen? Where were ranged Where now she dwells, withdrawn into the wild, Still o'er the mind maintains, from age to age,
In rough array as on their element,
The beaks of those old galleys, destined still?
To brave the brunt of war—at last to know
A calm far worse, a silence as in death?
All spiritless; from that disastrous hour All things that strike, ennoble—from the depths
When he, the bravest, gentlest of them all,) Of Egypt, from the classic fields of Greece,
Scorning the chains he could not hope to break, Her groves, her temples—all things that inspire
Fell on his sword!
Along the Sacred Way
Hither the Triumph came, and, winding round
With acclamation, and the martial clang Within those silent chambers where they dwell,
Of instruments, and cars laden with spoil,
Stopt at the sacred stair that then appear'd,
Then through the darkness broke, ample, star-bright, Ah, little thought I, when in school I sate,
As though it led to heaven. 'Twas night; but now A school-boy on his bench, at early dawn
A thousand torches, turning night to day, (137) Glowing with Roman story, I should live To tread the Appian, (131) once an avenue
Blazed, and the victor, springing from his seat, of monuments most glorious, palaces,
1 Nero. 2 The Rostra, 3 Marcus Junius Brutus
Went up, and, kneeling as in fervent prayer, Replied a soldier of the Pontiff's guard.
"And innocent as beautiful !” exclaim'd Who at the foot withdraw, a mournful train A Matron sitting in her stall, hung round In fetters? And who, yet incredulous,
With garlands, holy pictures, and what not! Now gazing wildly round, now on his sons, Her Alban grapes and Tusculan figs display'd On those so young, well-pleased with all they see, (138) In rich profusion. From her heart she spoke; Staggers along, the last ?- They are the fallen, And I accosted her to hear her story. Those who were spared to grace the chariot-wheels; " The stab," she cried, “ was given in jealousy ; And there they parted, where the road divides, But never fled a purer spirit to heaven, The victor and the vanquish'd—there withdrew; As thou wilt say, or much my mind misleads, He w the festal-board, and they to die.
When thou hast seen her face. Last night at dusk,
When on her way from vespersNone were near, Well might the great, the mighty of the world, None save her serving-boy, who knelt and wept, They who were wont to fare deliciously,
But what could tears avail him, when she fellAnd war but for a kingdom more or less,
Last night at dusk, the clock then striking nine, Shrink back, nor from their thrones endure to look, Just by the fountain—that before the church, To think that way! Well might they in their state The church she always used, St. Isidore's Humble themselves, and kneel and supplicate Alas, I knew her from her earliest youth, To be delivered from a dream like this!
That excellent lady. Ever would she say,
Good even, as she pass'd, and with a voice Here Cincinnatus pass’d, his plow the while Gentle as theirs in heaven!”—But now by fits Left in the furrow, and how many more,
A dull and dismal noise assail'd the ear, Whose laurels fade not, who still walk the earth, A wail, a chant, louder and louder yet; Consuls, Dictators, still in Curule pomp
And now a strange fantastic troop appeard ! Sit and decide ; and, as of old in Rome,
Thronging, they came as from the shades below; Name but their names, set every heart on fire! All of a ghostly white! “Oh say," I cried,
“ Do not the living here bury the dead? Here, in his bonds, he whom the phalanx saved not,' Do Spirits come and fetch them? What are these The last on Philip's throne ; and the Numidian,? That seem not of this World, and mock the Day; So soon to say, stript of his cumbrous robe, Each with a burning taper in his hand ?"Stript to the skin, and in his nakedness
" It is an ancient Brotherhood thou seest. Thrust under-ground, “ How cold this bath of yours!" Such their apparel. Through the long, long line And thy proud queen, Palmyra, through the sunds 3 Look where thou wilt, no likeness of a man; Pursued, o'erlaken on her dromedary;
The living mask'd, the dead alone uncover'd. Whose temples, palaces, a wondrous dream But mark "-And, lying on her funeral-couch, That passes not away, for many a league
Like one asleep, her eye-lids closed, her hands Hlumine yet the desert. Some invoked
Folded together on her modest breast, Death, and escaped ; the Egyptian, when her asp As 't were her nightly posture, through the crowd Came from his covert under the green leaf;* She came at last—and richly, gaily clad, And Hannibal himself; and she who said,
As for a birth-day feast! But breathes she not? Taking the fatal cup between her hands,* (139) A glow is on her cheek—and her lips move! * Tell him I would it had come yesterday; And now a smile is there-how heavenly sweet! For then it had not been his nuptial gift."
" Oh no!" replied the Dame, wiping her tears,
But with an accent less of grief than anger, Now all is changed; and here, as in the wild, No, she will never, never wake again!" The day is silent, dreary as the night; None stirring, save the herdsman and his herd, Death, when we meet the spectre in our walks, Savage alike; or they that would explore,
As we did yesterday, and shall to-morrow, Discuss and learnedly; or they that come,
Soon grows familiar-like most other things, (And there are many who have cross'd the earth) Seen, not observed; but in a foreign clime, That they may give the hours to meditation, Changing his shape to something new and strange And wander, often saying to themselves,
(And through the world he changes as in sport, * This was the Roman Forum !"
Affect he greatness or humility)
Knocks at the heart. His form and fashion here
To me, I do confess, reflect a gloom,
A sadness round ; yet one I would not lose ;
Being in unison with all things else “WHENCE this delay !" "Along the crowded street In this, this land of shadows, where we live A Funeral comes, and with unusual pomp." More in past time than present, where the ground So I withdrew a little, and stood still,
League beyond league, like one great cemetery. While it went by. “She died as she deserved," Is cover'd o'er with mouldering monuments; Said an Abatè, gathering up his cloak,
And, let the living wander where they will, And with a shrug retreating as the tide
They cannot leave the footsteps of the dead. Flow'd more and more.—“But she was beautiful!"
Oft, where the burial-rite follows so fast
The 1 Perseus. 2 Jugurtha.
oft coming, nor from far, 3 Zenobia.
Must a fond father meet his darling child, 4 Cleopatra. 5 Sophonisba.
(Him who at parting climb'd his knees and clung) at their excesses; remembering that nations are natClay-cold and wan, and to the bearers cry, urally patient and long-suffering, and seldom rise in “Stand, I conjure ye!".
rebellion till they are so degraded by a bad goverSeen thus destitute, ment as to be almost incapable of a good one. What are the greatest? They must speak beyond * Hate them, perhaps," you may say,
we should A thousand homilies. When Raphael went, not; but despise them we must, if enslaved, like the Ilis heavenly face the mirror of his mind,
people of Rome, in mind as well as body; if their rellis mind a temple for all lovely things
ligion be a gross and barbarous superstition.”-I reTo flock to and inhabit-when He went,
spect knowledge ; but I do not despise ignorance. Wrapt in his sable cloak, the cloak he wore, They think only as their fathers thought, worship as To sleep beneath the venerable Dome,'
they worshipped. They do no more; and, if ours had By those allended, who in life had loved,
not burst their bondage, braving imprisonment and Had worshipp'd, following in his steps to Fame, death, might not we at this very moment have been ('T was on an April-day, when Nature smiles) exhibiting, in our streets and our churches, the same All Rome was there. But, ere the march began, processions, ceremonials, and mortifications? Ere to receive their charge the bearers came,
Nor should we require from those who are in an Who had not sought him? And when all beheld earlier stage of society, what belongs to a later? Him, where he lay, how changed from yesterday, They are only where we once were; and why hold Ilim in that hour cut off, and at his head
them in derision? It is their business to cultivate the Ilis last great work; (140) when, entering in, they inferior arts before they think of the more refined; look'd
and in many of the last what are we as a nation, Now on the dead, then on that master-piece, when compared to others that have passed away? Now on his face, lifeless and colorless,
Unfortunately, it is too much the practice of governThen on those forms divine that lived and breathed, ments to nurse and keep alive in the governed their And would live on for ages-all were moved ; national prejudices. It withdraws their attention from And sighs burst forth, and loudest lamentations. what is passing at home, and makes them better tools
in the hands of Ambition. Hence next-door neighV.
hors are held up to us from our childhood as natural NATIONAL PREJUDICES.
enemies; and we are urged on like curs to worry each “Another Assassination! This venerable City,” I other.' exclaimed, “ what is it, but as it began, a nest of
In like manner we should learn to be just to indi. robbers and murderers? We must away at sun-rise, viduals. Who can say, “ In such circumstances I Luigi.” But before sun-rise I had reflected a little, should have done otherwise Who, did he but reand in the soberest prose. My indignation was gone; flect by what slow gradations, often by how many and, when Luigi undrew my curtain, crying, “ Up, strange concurrences, we are led astray; with how Signor, up! The horses are at the door.”_"Luigi," I much reluctance, how much agony, how many efforts replied, “ if thou lovest me, draw the curtain." ? to escape, how many self-accusations, how many sighs,
It would lessen very much the severity with which how many tears—Who, did he but reflect for a momen judge of each other, if they would but trace ef. ment, would have the heart to cast a stone ? Forfects to their causes, and observe the progress of tunately, these things are known to Him, from whom things in the moral as accurately as in the physical no secrets are hidden; and let us rest in the assu. world. When we condemn millions in the mass as rance that his judgments are not as ours are. vindictive and sanguinary, we should remember that,
VI. wherever Justice is ill-administered, the injured will redress themselves. Robbery provokes to robbery ;
THE CAMPAGNA OF ROME. murder to assassination. Resentments become hereditary; and what began in disorder, ends as if all Hell None since they went—as though it still were theirs,
Have none appear'd as tillers of the ground, (141) had broke loose.
And they might come and claim their own again ? Laws create a habit of self-restraint, not only by the was the last plow a Roman's ? influence of fear, but by regulating in its exercise the
From this Seat, (142) passion of revenge. If they overawe the bad by the Sacred for ages, whence, as Virgil sings, prospect of a punishment certain and well-defined, The Queen of Heaven, alighting from the sky, they console ihe injured by the infliction of that Look'd down and saw the armies in array,' punishment; and, as the infliction is a public act, it excites and entails no enmity. The laws are offended; Can it be believed that there are many among us, who, from a de and the community, for its own sake, pursues and sire to be thought superior to commonplace sentiments and vulgar over takes the offender; often without the concur- feelings, affect an indifference to their cause! " If the Greeks,' rence of the sufferer, sometimes against his wishes. they say. “ had the probity of other nations—but they are false
Now those who were not born, like ourselves, 10 to a proverb!" And is not falsehood the characteristic of slaves? such advantages, we should surely rather pity than ties of a freeman; enslaved, those of a slave.
Man is the creature of circumstances. Free, he has the qualihate; and when at length they venture to turn
1 Candor, generosity, how rare are they in the world ; and against their rulers, we should lament, not wonder how much is to be deplored the want of them! When a minis
ter in our parliament consents at last to a measure, which, for
many reasons perhups existing no longer, he had before refused 12 he Pantheon.
to adopt, there should be no exultation as over the fallen, no 2 A dialogue, which is said to have passed many years ago taunt, no joer. How often may the resistance be continued lest at Lyons (Mem. de Grammont, I, 3.) and which may still be an enemy should triumph, and the result of conviction be reheard in almost every hôtellerie at day-break.
ceived as a symptom of fear ! 3 As the descendants of an illustrious people have lately done. 2 Æneid, xii, 134.