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XXXVI. And Tasso is their glory and their shame. Hark to his strain ! and then survey his cell! And see how dearly earn’d Torquato's fame, And where Alfonso bade his poet dwell: The miserable despot could not quell The insulted mind he sought to quench, and blend With the surrounding maniacs, in the hell Where he had plung'd it. Glory without end Scatter'd the clouds away—and on that name attend
XXXVII. The tears and praises of all time; while thine Would rot in its oblivion-in the sink Of worthless dust, which from thy boasted line Is shaken into nothing; but the link Thou formest in his fortunes bids us think Of thy poor malice, naming thee with scorn Alfonso ! how thy ducal pageants shrink From thee! if in another station born, Scarce fit to be the slave of him thou mad'st to mourn:
Thou! form'd to eat, and be despis'd, and die,
Peace to Torquato's injur'd shade! 'twas his
And not the whole combin'd and countless throng Compose a mind like thine? though all in one Condens'd their scatter'd rays, they would not form
Great as thou art, yet parallel'd by those,
The southern Scott, the minstrel who call'd forth
And, like the Ariosto of the North,
Sang ladye-love and war, romance and knightly worth.
The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust 19
Nor was the ominous element unjust,
For the true laurel - wreath which Glory weaves 20
And the false semblance but disgraced his brow;
Italia! oh Italia! thou who hast 22
The fatal gift of beauty, which became
A funeral dower of present woes and past, On thy sweet brow is sorrow plough'd by shame, And annals graved in characters of flame. Oh God! that thou wert in thy nakedness Less lovely or more powerful, and could'st claim Thy right, and awe the robbers back, who press To shed thy blood, and drink the tears of thy distress;
Then might'st thou more appal; or, less desired,
Quaff blood and water; nor the stranger's sword
Victor or vanquish'd, thou the slave of friend or foe.
Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him, 23 The Roman friend of Rome's least - mortal mind, The friend of Tully: as my bark did skim The bright blue waters with a fanning wind, Came Megara before me, and behind Aegina, lay, Piraeus on the right, And Corinth on the left; I lay reclined Along the prow, and saw all these unite In ruin, even as he had seen the desolate sight;
For Time hath not rebuilt them, but uprear'd Barbaric dwellings on their shatter'd site, Which only make more murn'd and more endear'd The few last rays of their far- scatter'd light, And the crush'd relics of their vanish'd might. The Roman saw these tombs in his own age, These sepulchres of cities, which excite Sad wonder, and his yet surviving page The moral lesson bears, drawn from such pilgrimage.