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I 6tood In Venice,, on the Bridge of Sighs; i
A palace and a prison on each hand:
I saw from out Ike wave her structures rise .
As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying Glory smiles
.O'er the far times, when many a subject land
Look'd to the winged Lion's marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, thron'd on her hundred isles!
She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean , a
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,
A ruler of the waters and their powers ,
And such she was;—her daughters had their dowers
From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East
Pour'd in her lap all gems in sparkling showers.
la purple was she robed , and of her feast
Monarchs partook , and deem'd their dignity increas'd.
In Venice Tasso's echoes are no more, 3
But unto us she hath a spell beyond Her name in story, and her long array Of mighty shadows, whose dim forms despond Above the Dogeless city's vanish'd sway; Ours is a trophy which will not decay With the Rialtoj SHYi.ocK.and the Moor, And Pierre, can not be swept or worn away— The keystones of the arch! though all were o'er, For us repeopled were, the solitary shore.
The beings of the mind are not of clay;
Essentially immortal, they create
And multiply in us a brighter ray
And more beloved existence : that which Fate
Prohibits to dull life, in this our state
Of mortal bondage, by these spirits supplied First exiles, then replaces what we hate; Watering the heart whose early flowers have died, And with a fresher growth, replenishing the void.
Such is the refuge of our youlh 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 fantastic sky, And the strange constellations which the Muse O'er her wild universe is skilful to diffuse:
I saw or dreamed of such,—but let them go— They came like truth, and disappeared like dreams; And whatsoe'er they were—are now but so: I could replace them if I would, still teems, My mind 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.
I've taught me other tongues—and in strauge eyei Have made me not a stranger ; to the mind Which is itself, no changes bring surprise j 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 ,
Perhaps I loved it well : and should I lay My ashes in a sojl which is not mine, My spirit shall resume jt—if we may Unbodied choose a sanctuary. I twine My hopes of being remembered in my fine 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.
My name from out the temple where the dead
Are honoured 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. » 4 Meantime I seek no sympathies, nor need; The thorns which I have reaped are of the tree I plan ted,—they have torn me,—and I bleed: 1 should have known what fruit, would spring from such a seed.
The spouseless Adriatic mourns her lord;
The Suabian sued, and now the Austrian reigns-6
An Emperor Tramples Where An Emperor Knelt;
Before St. Mark still glow his Steeps of brass,