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VI. Such is the refuge of our youth and age, The first from Hope, the last from Vacancy; And this worn feeling peoples many a page, And, may be, that which grows beneath mine eye: Yet there are things whose strong reality Outshines our fairy-land; in shape and hues More beautiful than our fantastik sky, And the strange constellations which the Musc O'er her wild universe is skilful to diffuse:
VII. I saw or dream'd of such,
but let them go They came like truth, and disappear'd like dreams; And whatsoe'er they were are now but so: I could replace them if I would, still teems My wind with many a form which aptly seems Such as I sought for, and at moments found; Let these too go
- for waking Reason deems Such over - Weening phantasies unsound, And other voices speak, and other sights, surround. VIII. I've taught me other tongues and in strange eyes. Have made me not a stranger; to the mind Which is itself, no changes bring surprise; Nor is it harsh to make, nor hard to find A country with - ay, or without mankind; Yet was I born where men are proud to be, Not without cause; and should I leave behind The inviolate island of the sage and free, And seek me out a home by a remoter sea,
if we may
IX. Perhaps I loved it well: and should I lay My ashes in a soil which is not mine, My spirit shall resume it Unbodied choose a sanctuary. I twine My hopes of being remember'd in my line With my land's language: if too fond and far These aspirations in their scope incline, If my fame should be, as my fortunes are, Of hasty growth and blight, and dull Oblivion bar
X. My name from out the temple where the dead Are honour'd by the nations let it be And light the laurels on a loftier head! And be the Spartan's epitaph on me “Sparta
hath many a worthier son than he. » Meantime I seek no sympathies, nor need; The throns which I have reap'd are of the tree I planted, they have torn me, and I bleed: I should have known what fruit would spring from
such a seed.
XI. The spouseless Adriatic mourns her lord; And, annual marriage now no more renew'd, The Bucentaur lies rotting unrestored, Neglected garment of her widowhood! St. Mark yet sees his lion where he stood s Stand, but in mockery of his wither'd power, Over the proul Place where an Emperor sued, And monarchs gazed and envied in the hour When Venice was a queen with an unequall'd dower.
XII. The Suabian sued, and now the Ausrian reigns - 6, An Emperor tramples where an Emperor knelt; Kingdoms are shrunk to provinces, and chains Clank over sceptred cities; nations melt From power's high pinnacle, when they have felt The sunshine for a while, and downward go Like lauwine loosen'd from the mountain's belt; Oh for one honr of blind old Dandolo! 7 Th’ octogenarian chief, Byzantium's conquering foe.
XIII. Before St. Mark still glow his steeds of brass, Their gilded collars glittering in the sun; But is not Doria's menace come to pass ? 8 Are they not bridled ? Venice, lost and won, Her thirteen hundred years of freedom done, Sinks, like a sea - weed, into whence she rose! Better be whelm'd beneath the waves, and shun,
, Even in destruction's depth, her foreign foes, From whom submission wrings an infamous repose.
XIV. In youth she was all glory, - a new Tyre, Her very by-word sprung from victory, The “Planter of the Lion,” 9 which through fire And blood she bore o'er subject carth and sea; Though making many slaves, herself still free, And Europe's bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite; Witness Troy's rival, Candia! Vouch it, ye Inmortal waves that saw Lepanto's fight! For ye are names no time nor tyranny can blight.
XV. Statues of glass all shiver'd the long file Of her dead Doges are declined to dust; But where they dwelt, the vast and sumptuous pile Bespeaks the pageant of their splendid trust; Their sceptre broken, and their sword in rust, Have yielded to the stranger: cmpty halls, Thin streets, and foreign aspects, such as must Too oft remind her who and what enthrals, so Haveflung a desolate cloud o'er Venice' lovely walls.