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In vain, and never more, save when the cloud
Which overhangs the Apennine, my mind's eye
Pierces to fancy Florence, once so proud
Of me, can I return, though but to die,

Unto my native soil, they have not yet
Quench'd the old exile's spirit, stern and high.
But the sun, though not overcast, must set,
And the night cometh; I am old in days,
And deeds, and contemplation, and have met
Destruction face to face in all his ways.

The world hath left me, what it found me, pure, And if I have not gather'd yet its praise, I sought it not by any baser lure;

Man wrongs, and Time avenges, and my name May form a monument not all obscure, Though such was not my ambition's end or aim, To add to the vain-glorious list of those Who dabble in the pettiness of fame, And make men's fickle breath the wind that blows Their sail, and deem it glory to be class'd With conquerors, and virtue's other foes, In bloody chronicles of ages past.

I would have had my Florence great and free: (1) O Florence! Florence! unto me thou wast Like that Jerusalem which the Almighty He Wept over, "but thou wouldst not ;" as the bird Gathers its young, I would have gather'd thee Beneath a parent pinion, hadst thou heard

My voice; but as the adder, deaf and fierce, Against the breast that cherish'd thee was stirr'd Thy venom, and my state thou didst amerce, And doom this body forfeit to the fire. Alas! how bitter is his country's curse To him who for that country would expire, But did not merit to expire by her,

And loves her, loves her even in her ire. The day may come when she will cease to err, The day may come she would be proud to have The dust she dooms to scatter, and transfer (2) Of him, whom she denied a home, the grave.

But this shall not be granted; let my dust
Lie where it falls; nor shall the soil which gave
Me breath, but in her sudden fury thrust

Me forth to breathe elsewhere, so reassume
My indignant bones, because her angry gust

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Cadé tra' buoni è pur di lode degno." Sonnet of Dante, in which be represents Right, Generosity, and Temperance as banished from among men, and seeking refuge from Love, who inhabits his bosom.

(2) "Ut si quis predictorum ullo tempore in fortiam dicti communis pervenerit, talis perveniens igne comburatur, sic quod moriatur." Second sentence of Florence against Dante, and the fourteen accused with him. The Latin is worthy of the sentence.~[On the 27th of January, 1302, Dante was mulcted eight thousand lire, and condemned to two years' banishment; and in ease the fine was not paid, his goods were to be couuscated. Un the eleventh of March, the same year, he was sentenced to a puL

Forsooth is over, and repeal'd her doom;

No, she denied me what was mine-my roof, And shall not have what is not hers-my tomb. Too long her armed wrath hath kept aloof

The breast which would have bled for her, the heart That beat, the mind that was temptation-proof, The man who fought, toil'd, travell'd, and each part Of a true citizen fulfill'd, and saw

For his reward the Guelf's ascendant art Pass his destruction even into a law.

These things are not made for forgetfulness, Florence shall be forgotten first; too raw The wound, too deep the wrong, and the distress Of such endurance too prolong'd, to make My pardon greater, her injustice less, Though late repented; yet-yet for her sake I feel some fonder yearnings, and for thine, My own Beatrice, I would hardly take Vengeance upon the land which once was mine, And still is hallow'd by thy dust's return,

Which would protect the murderess like a shrine, And save ten thousand foes by thy sole urn.

Though, like old Marius (3) from Minturnæ's marsh And Carthage ruins, my lone breast may burn At times with evil feelings hot and harsh,

And sometimes the last pangs of a vile foe Writhe in a dream before me, and o'erarch My brow with hope of triumph, 1 t them go! Such are the last infirmities of those

Who long have suffer'd more than mortal woe; And yet, being mortal still, have no repose

But on the pillow of Revenge-Revenge, Who sleeps to dream of blood, and waking glows With the oft-baffled slakeless thirst of change, When we shall mount again, and they that trod Be trampled on, while Death and Até range O'er humbled heads and sever'd necks-Great

God!

Take these thoughts from me—to thy hands I yield My many wrongs, and thine almighty rod Will fall on those who smote me,-be my shield! As thou hast been in peril, and n pain, In turbulent cities, and the tented fieldIn toil, and many troubles borne in vain

For Florence. (4)—I appeal from her to Thee!

nishment due only to the most desperate of malefact: rs. The decree, that he and his associates in exile should be burned, if they fell into the hands of their enemies, was first discovered, in 1772, by the Conte Ludovico Savioli. See Tiraboschi, where the sentence is given at length.-E.]

(3) Proconsul of Africa.-After the expiration of his government, he was prosecuted by the province for extortion and cruelty, convicted on the clearest evidence, fined, and banished from Italy. Yet, reserving the greater part of his former spoils, he lived in a wanton exile; while the Africans returned home with the wretched consolation of having defrayed their own expenses, and seen the money levied on their oppressor carried to the Rotan treasury.-E.

(4) In one so highly endowed by nature, and so consummate by instruction, we may well sympathise with a resentment which

That make communion sweet, and soften painTo feel me in the solitude of kings

Without the power that makes them bear a

crown

To envy every dove his nest and wings Which waft him where the Apennine looks down On Arno, till he perches, it may be, Within my all-inexorable town,

Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she,(1)

Their mother, the cold partner who hath brought Destruction for a dowry (2)—this to seeAnd feel, and know without repair, hath taught A bitter lesson; but it leaves me free:

I have not vilely found, nor basely sought, They made an exile--not a slave of me.

CANTO II.

THE Spirit of the fervent days of old, When words were things that came to pass, and thought

Flash'd o'er the future, bidding men behold Their children's children's doom already brought Forth from the abyss of time which is to be, The chaos of events, where lie half-wrought Shapes that must undergo mortality;

What the great seers of Israel wore within, That spirit was on them, and is one me, And if, Cassandra-like, amidst the din

Of conflict none will hear, or hearing heed This voice from out the wilderness, the sin Be theirs, and my own feelings be my meed, The only guerdon I have ever known.

Hast thou not bled? and hast thou still to bleed, Italia? Ah! to me such things, foreshown

With dim sepulchral light, bid me forget
In thine irreparable wrongs my own;
We can have but one country, and even yet

odd that honest Lionardo's examples, with the exception of Seneca, and, for any thing I know, of Aristotle, are not the most felicitous. Tully's Terentia, and Socrates' Xantippe, by no means contributed to their husbands' happiness, whatever they might do to their philosophy. Cato gave away his wife—of Varro's we know nothing-and of Seneca's, only that she was disposed to die with him, but recovere!, and lived several years afterwards. But, says Lionardo, "L'uomo è animale civile, secondo piace a tutti i filosofi ;" and thence concludes that the greatest proof of the animal's civism is "la prima congiunzione, dalla quale multiplicata nasce la città."

(2) "The violence of Gemma's temper proved a source of the bitterest suffering to Dante; and in that passage of the Inferno, where one of the characters says

1

Thee, whom I late saw in thy loftiest reign,
Even in that glorious vision, which to see
And live was never granted until now,
And yet thou hast permitted this to me.
Alas! with what a weight upon my brow

The sense of earth and earthly things comes back,
Corrosive passions, feelings dull and low,
The heart's quick throb upon the mental rack,
Long day, and dreary night; the retrospect
Of half a century bloody and black,
And the frail few years I may yet expect

Hoary and hopeless, but less hard to bear,
For I have been too long and deeply wreck'd.
On the lone rock of desolate Despair

To lift my eyes more to the passing sail
Which shuns that reef so horrible and bare;
Nor raise my voice-for who would heed my wail?
I am not of this people, nor this age,

And yet my harpings will unfold a tale
Which shall preserve these times when not a page
Of their perturbed annals could attract
An eye to gaze upon their civil rage,

Did not my verse embalm full many an act
Worthless as they who wrought it: 't is the doom
Of spirits of my order to be rack'd

In life, to wear their hearts out, and consume
Their days in endless strife, and die alone;

Then future thousands crow'd around their tomb, And pilgrims come from climes where they have known

The name of him-who now is but a name,
And, wasting homage o'er the sullen stone,
Spread his-by him unheard, unheeded-fame;
And mine at least hath cost me dear: to die
Is nothing; but to wither thus—to tame
My mind down from its own infinity—

To live in narrow ways with little men,
A common sight to every common eye,
A wanderer, while even wolves can find a den,
Ripp'd from all kindred, from all home, all things

exile and poverty rendered perpetually fresh. But the heart of
Dante was naturally sensible, and even tender: his poetry is
full of comparisons from rural life; and the sincerity of his early
passion for Beatrice pierces through the veil of allegory that
surrounds her. But the memory of his injuries pursued him into
the immensity of eternal light; and, in the company of saints and
angels, his unforgiving spirit darkens at the name of Florence."
Hallam.-E.

(1) This lady, whose name was Gemma, sprung from one of the most powerful Guelf families, named Donati. Corso Donati was the principal adversary of the Ghibelines. She is described as being "Admodum morosa, ut de Xantippe Socratis philosophi conjuge scriptum esse legimus," according to Gianozzo Manetti. But Lionardo Aretino is scandalised with Boccace, in his Life of Dante, for saying that literary men should not marry : "Qui il Boccaccio non ha pazienza, e dice, le mogli esser contrarie agli studj; e non si ricorda che Socrate, il più nobile filosofo che mai fosse, ebbe moglie e figliuoli e uffici della Repubblica nella sua Città; e Aristotele che, etc. etc. ebbe due mogli in vari tempi, ed ebbe figliuoli, e ricchezze assai.-E Marco Tulio-e Catone-e Varrone-e Seneca-ebbero moglie," etc. etc. It is

La fiera moglie più ch'altro, mi nuoce,
me, my wife,
Of savage temper, more than aught beside,
Hath to this evil brought,

————

his own conjugal unhappiness must have recurred forcibly and pajutuily to his mind." Cary.-E.

Thou 'rt mine- my bones shall be within thy breast,

My soul within thy language, which once set With our old Roman sway in the wide West; But I will make another tongue arise

As lofty and more sweet, in which express'd The hero's ardour, or the lover's sighs,

Shall find alike such sounds for every theme
That every word, as brilliant as thy skies,
Shall realise a poet's proudest dream,

And make thee Europe's nightingale of song;
So that all present speech to thine shall seem
The note of meaner birds, and every tongue
Confess its barbarism when compared with thine.
This shalt thou owe to him thou didst so wrong,
Thy Tuscan bard, the banish'd Ghibeline.

Woe! woe! the veil of coming centuries

Is rent,—a thousand years, which yet supine Lie like the ocean waves ere winds arise,

Heaving in dark and sullen undulation,
Float from eternity into these eyes;

station,

The unborn earthquake yet is in the womb,
The bloody chaos yet expects creation,
But all things are disposing for thy doom;
The elements await but for the word, [tomb!
"Let there be darkness!" and thou grow'st a
Yes! thou, so beautiful, shalt feel the sword,
Thou, Italy! so fair that Paradise,

Revived in thee, blooms forth to man restored:
Ah! must the sons of Adam lose it twice ?

Thou, Italy! whose ever-golden fields,
Plough'd by the sunbeams solely, would suffice
For the world's granary: thou, whose sky heaven
gilds

Their ministry: the nations take their prey,
Iberian, Almain, Lombard, and the beast
And bird, wolf, vulture, more humane than they
Are; these but gorge the flesh and lap the gore
Of the departed, and then go their way;
But those, the human savages, explore

All paths of torture, and, insatiate yet,
With Ugolino-hunger prowl for more.

The storms yet sleep, the clouds still keep their Nine moons shall rise o'er scenes like this and set; (1)

The chiefless army of the dead, which late
Beneath the traitor Prince's banner met,
Hath left its leader's ashes at the gate;

Had but the royal Rebel lived, perchance
Thou hadst been spared, but his involved thy fate.
O Rome, the spoiler or the spoil of France,
From Brennus to the Bourbon, never, never
Shall foreign standard to thy walls advance
But Tiber shall become a mournful river.

With brighter stars, and robes with deeper blue; Thou, in whose pleasant places Summer builds Her palace, in whose cradle Empire grew,

And form'd the Eternal City's ornaments
From spoils of kings whom freemen overthrew;
Birthplace of heroes, sanctuary of saints,

Where earthly first, then heavenly glory made
Her home; thou, all which fondest fancy paints,
And finds her prior vision but portray'd

In feeble colours, when the eye-from the Alp
Of horrid snow, and rock, and shaggy shade
Of desert-loving pine, whose emerald scalp
Nods to the storm-dilates and dotes o'er thee,
And wistfully implores, as 't were, for help
To see thy sunny fields, my Italy,

Nearer and nearer yet, and dearer still
The more approach'd, and dearest were they free,
Thou-thou must wither to each tyrant's will:

The Goth hath been,-the German, Frank, and
Hun

Are yet to come,-and on the imperial hill
Ruin, already proud of the deeds done

By the old barbarians, there awaits the new,
Throned on the Palatine, while lost and won
Rome at her feet lies bleeding; and the hue
Of human sacrifice and Roman slaughter
Troubles the clotted air, of late so blue,
And deepens into red the saffron water
Of Tiber, thick with dead; the helpless priest,
And still more helpless nor less holy daughter,
Vow'd to their God, have shrieking fled, and ceased

Oh! when the strangers pass the Alps and Po, Crush them, ye rocks! floods, whelm them! and for ever:

Why sleep the idie avalanches so,

To topple on the lonely pilgrim's head?
Why doth Eridanus but overflow
The peasant's harvest from his turbid bed?
Were not each barbarous horde a nobler prey i
Over Cambyses' host the desert spread
Her sandy ocean, and the sea waves' sway

Roll'd over Pharaoh and his thousands,-why,
Mountains and waters, do ye not as they?
And you, ye men! Romans, who dare not die,
Sons of the conquerors who overthrew

Those who o'erthrew proud Xerxes, where yet lie The dead whose tomb Oblivion never knew,

Are the Alps weaker than Thermopylæ?
Their passes more alluring to the view
Of an invader? is it they, or ye,

That to each host the mountain-gate unbar, And leave the march in peace, the passage free? Why, Nature's self detains the victor's car,

And makes your land impregnable, if earth

(1) See "Sacco di Roma," generally attributed to Guicciardini. giorno per giorno, ne! Sacco di Roma dell anno MDXXVII, scritto There is another, written by a Jacopo Puonaparte.-[The ori-da Jacopo Buonaparte, gentiluomo Samminiatese, che vi si trovò ginal MS. of the latter work is preserved in the Royal Library at presente." An edition of it was printed at Cologne in 1755, to Paris. It is entitled, "Ragguaglio Storico di tutto l'occorso, which is prefixed a genealogy of the Buonaparte family.-E.]

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To thee, my country! whom before, as now,
I loved and love, devote the mournful lyre
And melancholy gift high powers allow
To read the future; and if now my fire

Is not as once it shone o'er thee, forgive!
I but foretell thy fortunes-then expire;
Think not that I would look on them and live.

A spirit forces me to see and speak,

And for my guerdon grants not to survive;
My heart shall be pour'd over thee and break:
Yet for a moment, ere I must resume
Thy sable web of sorrow, let me take

Over the gleams that flash athwart thy gloom
A softer glimpse; some stars shine through thy
night,

And many meteors, and above thy tomb Leans sculptured Beauty, which Death cannot blight; And from thine ashes boundless spirits rise To give thee honour, and the earth delight; Thy soil shall still be pregnant with the wise,

The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and the brave, Native to thee as summer to thy skies, Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far wave,(1) Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name; (2)

For thee alone they have no arm to save, And all thy recompense is in their fame,

A noble one to them, but not to theeShall they be glorious, and thou still the same? Oh! more than these illustrious far shall be

The being and even yet he may be born-
The mortal saviour who shall set thee free,
And see thy diadem, so changed and worn

By fresh barbarians, on thy brow replaced;
And the sweet sun replenishing thy morn,
Thy moral morn, too long with clouds defaced
And noxious vapours from Avernus risen,
Such as all they must breathe who are debased
By servitude, and have the mind in prison.

Yet through this centuried eclipse of woe
Some voices shall be heard, and earth shall listen ;
Poets shall follow in the path I show,

And make it broader; the same brilliant sky Which cheers the birds to song shall bid them

glow,

And raise their notes as natural and high;
Tuneful shall be their numbers; they shall sing
Many of love, and some of liberty,
But few shall soar upon that eagle's wing,
And look in the sun's face with eagle's gaze,
All free and fearless as the feather'd king,
But fly more near the earth; how many a phrase
Sublime shall lavish'd be on some small prince
In all the prodigality of praise!
And language, eloquently false, evince

The harlotry of genius, which, like beauty,
Too oft forgets its own self-reverence,
And looks on prostitution as a duty.

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Like that of Heaven, immortal, and his thought Borne onward with a wing that cannot tire: Pleasure shall, like a butterfly new caught, Flutter her lovely pinions o'er his theme, And Art itself seem into Nature wrought By the transparency of his bright dream.—

The second, of a tenderer, sadder mood, Shall pour his soul out o'er Jerusalem; He, too, shall sing of arms and Christian blood Shed where Christ bled for man; and his high harp Shall, by the willow over Jordan's flood, Revive a song of Sion, and the sharp

Conflict, and final triumph of the brave

(4) A verse from the Greek tragedians, with which Pompey look leave of Cornelia on entering the boat in which he was

slain.

2) The verse and sentiment are taken from Homer. (3) Petrarch..

(4) "Why is it necessary to adopt the invidious and too common practice of weighing the transcendent talents of Ariosto and Tasso in opposite, and as it were contending, scales? Reader! you have already had the delight of perusing the last production of Lord Byron's muse, how must you have admired those

And pious, and the strife of hell to warp Their hearts from their great purpose, until wave The red-cross banners where the first red cross Was crimson'd from his veins who died to save, Shall be his sacred argument; the loss

Of years, of favour, freedom, even of fame
Contested for a time, while the smooth gloss
Of courts would slide o'er his forgotten name,
And call captivity a kindness, meant
To shield him from insanity or shame:

Such shall be his meet guerdon! who was sent
To be Christ's laureate-they reward him well!
Florence dooms me but death or banishment,
Ferrara him a pittance and a cell:

Harder to bear and less deserved, for I

Had stung the factions which I strove to quell ; But this meek man, who with a lover's eye Will look on earth and heaven, and who will deign To embalm with his celestial flattery

As poor a thing as e'er was spawn'd to reign,
What will he do to merit such a doom?
Perhaps he'll love,-and is not love in vain
Torture enough, without a living tomb?
Yet it will be so―he and his compeer,
The Bard of Chivalry, will both consume
In penury and pain too many a year,

And, dying in despondency, bequeath To the kind world, which scarce will yield a tear, A heritage enriching all who breathe With the wealth of a genuine poet's soul, And to their country a rédoubled wreath Unmatch'd by time; not Hellas can unroll

Through her Olympiads two such names, though Of hers be mighty;-and is this the whole [one Of such men's destiny beneath the sun? (4) Must all the finer thoughts, the thrilling sense, The electric blood with which their arteries run, Their body's self-tuned soul with the intense Feeling of that which is, and fancy of That which should be, to such a recompense Conduct ? shall their bright plumage on the rough Storm be still scatter'd? Yes, and it must be, For, form'd of far too penetrable stuff, These birds of paradise but long to flee

Back to their native mansion, soon they find Earth's mist with their pure pinions not agree, And die or are degraded, for the mind

Succumbs to long infection, and despair, And vulture passions flying close behind,

exquisitely beautiful and affecting portraitures of the two matchless poets which conclude the third canto of the Prophecy of Dante! We there see them contrasted without such invidious comparison, or depreciation of the one to exalt the other; and characterised in numbers, style, and sentiment, so wonderfully Dantesque, that-mastering our uncongenial language, and habitual modes of thought as well as expression-they seem to have been inspired by the very genius of the inarrivabile Dante himself." Glenbervie, Ricciardetto, p. 106.-E.

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