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X X XIX.
Peace to Torquato's injur'd shade ! 'twas his
In life and death to be the mark where Wrong
Aim'd with her poison'd arrows; but to miss,
Oh, victor unsurpass’d in modern song !
Each year brings forth its millions; but how long
The tide of generations shall roll on,
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 a sun,
Great as thou art, yet paralleld by those,
Thy countrymen, before thee born to shine,
The Bards of Hell and Chivalry : first rose
The Tuscan father's comedy divine;
Then, not unequal to the Florentine,
The southern Scott, the minstrel who call’d forth
A new creation with his magic line,
And, like the Ariosto of the North, ·
Sang ladye-love and war, romance and knightly worth,
The lightning rent from Ariosto’s bust 16
The iron crown of laurel's mimic'd leaves ;
Nor was the ominous element unjust,
For the tņue laurel-wreath which Glory weaves 17
Is of the tree nó bolt of thunder cleaves,
And the false semblance but disgraced his brow;
Yet still, if fondly Superstition grieves,
Know, that the lightning sanctifies below 18
Whate’er it strikes ;-yon head is doubly sacred now.
Italia! oh ITALIA! thou who hast 19
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 thiy distress ;
XLIII.... Then might'st thou more appal; or, less desired', " Be homely and be peaceful, undeplored For thy destructive charms; then , still untired, Would not be seen the armed torrents pour'd Down the deep Alps; nor would the hostile horde Of many-nation'd spoilers from the Po Quaff blood and water; nor the stranger's sword
Be thy sad weapon of defence, and so,' Victor or vanquish'd, thou the slave of friend or foe.
XLIV. Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him, 20 The Roman friend of Rowe'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,
Egina lay , PIRÆus 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 upreard
Barbaric dwellings on their shattered site,
Which only make more mourn'd and more endeard
The few last rays of their far-scattered 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.
That page is now before me , and on mine
His country's ruin added to the mass
Of perish,d states he mourn'd in their decline,
And I in desolation : all that was
Of then destruction is ; and now , alas!
Rome-Rome imperial, bows her to the storm,
In the same dust and blackness, and we pass
The skeleton of her Titanic form, 21
Wrecks of another world , whose ashes still are warm.
XLVII. ','', Yet, ITALY ! through every other land . Thy wrongs should ring, and shall, from side to side ; Mother of Arts ! as once of arms; thy hand . Was then our guardian, and is still our guide ; Parent of our Religion! whom the wide Nations have knelt to for the keys of heaven! Europe, repentant of her parricide, Shall yet redeem thee, and, all backward driven, . . Roll the barbarian lide, and sue to be forgiven. . .
XLVIII But Arno wins us to the fair white walls, Where the Etrurian Athens claims and keeps A softer feeling for her fairy halls. . Girt by her theatre of hills! she reaps Her corn, and wine, and oil, and Plenty leaps : To laughing life, with her redundant horn. Along the banks where smiling Arno sweeps -.;;.
Was modern Luxury of Commerce born, .. And buried Learning rose, redeem'd to a new 'mořn.' :
There, too, the Goddess loves in stone, and fills 221
The air around with beauty; we inhale
The ambrosial aspect, which, beheld, instils . .
Part of his immortality; the veil'
Of heaven is half undrawn; within the pale"
We stand, and in that form and face behold
What Mind can make, when Nature's self would fail;
And to the fond idolaters of old
Envy the innate flash, which such a soul could mould;
We gaze and turn away, and know not where,
Dazzled and drunk with beauty, till the heart
Reels with its fulness; there-for ever there
Chain’d to the chariot of triumphal Art,
We stand as captives, and would not depart.
Away!—there need no words, nor terms precise,
The paltry jargon of the marble mart,
Where Pedantry gulls Folly--we have eyes :
Blood-pulse and breast, confirm the Dardan Shepherd's prize,
Appear’dst thou not to Paris in this guise ?
Or to more deeply blest Anchises ? or ? :
In all thy perfect goddess-ship, when lies
Before thee tlıy own vanquish'd Lord of War?
And gazing in thy face as toward a star,
Laid on thy lap, his eyes to thee upturn,
Feeding on thy sweet cheek! 23 while thy lips are :
With lava kisses melting while they burn,
Showered on his eyelids, þrow, and mouth, as from an urn!
Glowing, and circumfused in speechless love,
Their full divinity inadequate