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He who once enters in a tyrant's hall 9
As guest is slave, his thoughts become a booty,
And the first day which sees the chain enthral
A captive, sees his half of manhood gone- 10
The soul's emasculation saddens all
Ilis spirit; thus the bard too near the throne
Quails from his inspiration, bound to please,
How servile is the task to please alone!
To smooth the verse to suit his sovereign's ease
And royal leisure, nor too much prolong
Aught save his eulogy, and find, and seize,
Or force or forge fit argument of song!
Thus trammell'd, thus condemn'd to flattery's trebles,
He toils through all, still trembling to be wrong:
For fear some noble thoughts, like heavenly rebels,
Should rise up in high treason to his brain,
He sings, as the Athenian spoke, with pebbles
In 's mouth, lest truth should stammer through his
But out of the long file of sonnetteers
There shall be some who will not sing in vain, And he, their prince, shall rank among my peers,11 And love shall be his torment; but his grief Shall make an immortality of tears,
And Italy shall hail him as the chief
Of poet lovers, and his higher song
Of freedom wreathe him with as green a leaf.
But in a farther age shall rise along
The banks of Po, two greater still than he;
The world which smiled on him shall do them wrong
Till they are ashes and repose with me.
The first will make an epoch with his lyre, And fill the earth with feats of chivalry: His fancy like a rainbow, and his fire,
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; Be, 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
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
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 redoubled wreath, Unmatch'd by time; not Hellas can unrol
Through her olympiads two such names, though one
Of hers be mighty;-and is this the whole
Of such men's destiny beneath the sun?
Must all the finer thoughts, the thrilling sense,
The electric blood with which their arteries run,
Their body's self-turn'd 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, Await the moment to assail and tear;
And when at length the winged wanderers stoop, Then is the prey-birds' triumph, then they share The spoil, o'erpower'd at length by one fell swoop. Yet some have been untouch'd, who learn'd to bear, Some whom no power could ever force to droop, Who could resist themselves even, hardest care!
And task most hopeless; but some such have been, And if my name amongst the number were, That destiny austere, and yet serene,
Were prouder than more dazzling fame unblest; The Alp's snow summit nearer heaven is seen Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest,
Whose splendour from the black abyss is flung, While the scorch'd mountain, from whose burning breast
A temporary torturing flame is wrung,
Shines for a night of terror, then repels
Its fire back to the hell from whence it sprung,
The hell which in its entrails ever dwells.
MANY are poets who have never penn'd
Their inspiration, and perchance the best:
They felt, and loved, and died, but would not lend
Their thoughts to meaner beings; they compress'd
The god within them, and rejoin'd the stars
Unlaurell'd upon earth, but far more blest
Than those who are degraded by the jars
Of passion, and their frailties link'd to fame,
Conquerors of high renown, but full of scars.
Many are poets but without the name;
For what is poesy but to create
From overfeeling good or ill; and aim At an external life beyond our fate,
And be the new Prometheus of new men,
Bestowing fire from heaven, and then, too late,
Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain,
And vultures to the heart of the bestower,
Who, having lavish'd his high gift in vain,
Lies chain'd to his lone rock by the sea-shore?
So be it; we can bear.—But thus all they,
Whose intellect is an o'ermastering power,
Which still recoils from its encumbering clay,
Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er
The form which their creations may essay,
Are bards; the kindled marble's bust may wear
More poesy upon its speaking brow
Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear; One noble stroke with a whole life may glow, Or deify the canvas till it shine
With beauty so surpassing all below,
That they who kneel to idols so divine
Break no commandment, for high heaven is there
Transfused, transfigurated: and the line
Of poesy which peoples but the air
With thought and beings of our thought reflected,
Can do no more: then let the artist share
The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected
Faints o'er the labour unapproved-Alas!
Despair and genius are too oft connected.
Within the ages which before me pass,
Art shall resume and equal even the sway
Which with Apelles and old Phidias
She held in Hellas' unforgotten day.
Ye shall be taught by ruin to revive
The Grecian forms at least from their decay, And Roman souls at last again shall live
In Roman works wrought by Italian hands,
And temples, loftier than the old temples, give
New wonders to the world; and while still stands
The austere Pantheon, into heaven shall soar
A dome, its image, while the base expands
Into a fane surpassing all before,
Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in: ne'er
Such sight hath been unfolded by a door
As this, to which all nations shall repair
And lay their sins at this huge gate of heaven.
And the bold architect unto whose care
The daring charge to raise it shall be given,
Whom all arts shall acknowledge as their lord,
Whether into the marble chaos driven
His chisel bid the Hebrew, 13 at whose word
Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone,
Or hues of hell be by his pencil pour'd
Over the damn'd before the Judgment throne, 14
Such as I saw them, such as all shall see,
Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown,
The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me,15
The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realms
Which form the empire of eternity.
Amidst the clash of swords and clang of helms,
The age which I anticipate, no less
Shall be the age of beauty, and while whelms
Calamity the nations with distress,
The genius of my country shall arise, A cedar towering o'er the wilderness. Lovely in all its branches to all eyes, Fragrant as fair, and recognized afar,
Wafting its native incense through the skies.
Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport of war,
Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and gaze
On canvas or on stone; and they who mar
All beauty upon earth, compell'd to praise,
Shall feel the power of that which they destroy;
And art's mistaken gratitude shall raise
To tyrants who but take her for a toy
Emblems and monuments, and prostitute
Her charms to pontiffs proud, 16 who but employ
The man of genius as the meanest brute
To bear a burthen, and to serve a need.
To sell his labours, and his soul to boot:
Who toils for nations may be poor indeed
But free; who sweats for monarchs is no more
Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed and fee'd,
Stands sleek and slavish bowing at his door.
Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest! how
Is it that they on earth, whose earthly power
Is likest thine in heaven in outward show,
Least like to thee in attributes divine,
Tread on the universal necks that bow,
And then assure us that their rights are thine?
And how is it that they, the sons of fame,
Whose inspiration seems to them to shine
From high, they whom the nations oftest name,
Must pass their days in penury or pain,
Or step to grandeur through the paths of shame,
And wear a deeper brand and gaudier chain?
Or if their destiny be borne aloof
From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain,
In their own souls sustain a harder proof,
The inner war of passions deep and fierce?
Florence! when thy harsh sentence razed my roof,
I loved thee, but the vengeance of my verse,
The hate of injuries, which every year
Makes greater and accumulates my curse,
Shall live, outliving all thou holdest dear,
Thy pride, thy wealth, thy freedom, and even that, The most infernal of all evils here,
The sway of petty tyrants in a state;
For such sway is not limited to kings,
And demagogues yield to them but in date
As swept off sooner; in all deadly things
Which make men hate themselves, and one another,
In discord, cowardice, cruelty, all that springs
From Death the Sin-born's incest with his mother,
In rank oppression in its rudest shape,
The faction chief is but the sultan's brother,
And the worst despot's far less human ape:
Florence! when this lone spirit, which so long
Yearn'd as the captive toiling at escape,
To fly back to thee in despite of wrong,
An exile, saddest of all prisoners,
Who has the whole world for a dungeon strong,
Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge for bars,
Which shut him from the sole small spot of earth
Where-whatsoe'er his fate-he still were hers,
His country's, and might die where he had birth-
Florence! when this lone spirit shall return
To kindred spirits, thou wilt feel my worth,
And seek to honour with an empty urn
The ashes thou shalt ne'er obtain.—Alas!
<< What have I done to thee, my people?» 17 Stern
Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass
The limits of man's common malice, for
All that a citizen could be I was;
Raised by thy will, all thine in peace or war,
And for this thou hast warr'd with me.-Tis done :
I may not overleap the eternal bar
Built up between us, and will die alone,
Beholding, with the dark eye of a seer,
The evil days to gifted souls foreshown,
Foretelling them to those who will not hear,
As in the old time, till the hour be come
Seneca, and, for any thing I know, of Aristotle, are not the most felicitous. Tully's Terentia, and Socrates's Xantippe, by no means contributed to their husbands' happiness, whatever they might do to their philosophyCato gave away his wife-of Varro's we know nothing-and of Seneca's, only that she was disposed to die with him, but recovered, and lived several years afterwards. But, says Lionardo, « L'uomo è animale civile, secondo piace a tutti i filosofi.» And thence concludes that the
When truth shall strike their eyes through many a tear, greatest proof of the animal's civism is «la prima conAnd make them own the prophet in his tomb.
giunzione, dalla quale multiplicata nasce la Città.»>
Note 6. Page 459, line 119.
ine moons shall rise o'er scenes like this and set.
See, «Sacco di Roma,» generally attributed to Guicciardini. There is another written by a Jacopo Buonaparte, Gentiluomo Samminiatese che vi si trovò pre
Note 7. Page 460, line 93.
onquerors on foreign shores and the far wave. Alexander of Parma, Spinola, Pescara, Eugene of Savoy, Montecucco.
Note 8. Page 460, line 94.
Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name. Columbus, Americus Vespusius, Sebastian Cabot.
Note 9. Page 461, line 1.
He who once enters in a tyrant's hall, etc.
A verse from the Greek tragedians, with which Pompey took leave of Cornelia on entering the boat in which he was slain.
Note 10. Page 461, line 4.
And the first day which sees the chain enthral, etc. The verse and sentiment are taken from Homer.
Note 11. Page 461, linc 21.
And he their prince shall rank among my peers.
Note 12. Page 462, line 40.
A dome, its image.
The cupola of St Peter's.
Note 13. Page 462, line 50.
His chisel bid the Hebrew.
The statue of Moses on the monument of Julius II.
Di Giovanni Battista Zappi.
Chi è costui, che in dara pietra scolto,
Siede Gigante; e le più illustri, e conte
Prove dell' arte avvanza, e ha vive, e pronte
Le labbia si, che le parole ascolto?
Quest, e Mose; ben me 'I diceva il folto
Onor del mento, e 'l doppio raggio in fronte,
Quest' & Mosè, quando scendea del monte,
E gran parte del Nume avea nel volto.
Tal era allor, che le sonanti, e vaste
Acque ei sospese a se d'intorno, e tale
Quando il mar chiuse, e ne fè tomba altrui.
E voi sue turbe un rio vitello alzate!
Alzata aveste imago a questra eguale !
Ch' era men fallo l' adorar costui.
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 Ghibellines. She is described as being « Admodum morosa, ut de Xantippe Socratis philosophi conjuge scriptum esse legimus,» according to Giannozzo 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 varj tempi, ed ebbe figliuoli, e ricchezze assai.-E Marco Tullio-e Catone--e Varrone-e Seneca-ebbero moglie,» etc. etc. It is odd that honest Lionardo's examples, with the exception of recollect where) that Dante was so great a favourite of
Note 14. Page 462, line 53.
Over the dama'd before the Judgment throne.
The last Judgment in the Sistine chagel.
Note 15. Page 462, line 56.
The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me.
I have read somewhere (if I do not err, for I cannot
Michel Angiolo's, that he had designed the whole of the Divina Commedia ; but that the volume containing these studies was lost by sea.
Note 16. Page 462, line 76.
Her charms to pontiffs proad, who bat employ, etc.
Note 17. Page 462, line 130.
. What have I done to thee, my people!
«E scrisse più volte non solamente a particolari cittadini del reggimento, ma ancora al popolo, e intra i altre una epistola assai lunga che comincia:- 'Popule mi,
See the treatment of Michel Angiolo by Julius II. quid feci tibi?' » and his neglect by Leo X.
Vita di Dante scritta da Lionardo Aretino.
CHRISTIAN AND HIS COMRADES.
THE foundation of the following story will be found partly in the account of the Mutiny of the Bounty, in the South Seas, in 1789, and partly in « Mariner's Account of the Tonga Islands.»
THE morning watch was come; the vessel lay
Her course, and gently made her liquid way;
The cloven billow flash'd from off her prow
In furrows form'd by that majestic plough;
The waters with their world were all before;
Behind, the South Sea's many an islet shore.
The quiet night, now dappling, 'gan to wane,
Dividing darkness from the dawning main;
The dolphins, not unconscious of the day,
Swam high, as eager of the coming ray;
The stars from broader beams began to creep,
And lift their shining eyelids from the deep;
The sail resumed its lately-shadow'd white,
And the wind flutter'd with a freshening flight;
The purpling ocean owns the coming sun-
But, ere he break, a deed is to be done.
The gallant chief within his cabin slept,
Secure in those by whom the watch was kept:
His dreams were of old England's welcome shore,
Of toils rewarded, and of dangers o'er;
His name was added to the glorious roll
Of those who search the storm-surrounded pole.
The worst was over, and the rest seem'd sure,
And why should not his slumber be secure?
Alas! his deck was trod by unwilling feet,
And wilder hands would hold the vessel's sheet;
Young hearts, which languish'd for some sunny isle,
Where summer years and summer women smile;
Men without country, who, too long estranged,
Had found no native home, or found it changed,
And, half-uncivilised, preferr'd the cave
Of some soft savage to the uncertain wave;
The gushing fruits that nature gave untill'd;
The wood without a path but where they will'd;
The field o'er which promiscuous plenty pour d
Her horn; the equal land without a lord;
The wish-which ages have not yet subdued
In man-to have no master save his mood;
The earth, whose mine was on its face, unsold,
The glowing sun and produce all its gold;
The freedom which can call each grot a home;
The general garden, where all steps may roam,
Where nature owns a nation as her child,
Exulting in the enjoyment of the wild;
Their shells, their fruits, the only wealth they know;
Their unexploring navy, the canoe;
Their sport, the dashing breakers and the chase;
Their strangest sight, an European face:-
Such was the country which these strangers yearn d
To see again-a sight they dearly earn'd.
Awake, bold Bligh! the foe is at the gate!
Awake! awake!--Alas! it is too late!
Fiercely beside thy cot the mutineer
Stands, and proclaims the reign of rage and fear.
Thy limbs are bound, the bayonet at thy breast,
The hands, which trembled at thy voice, arrest;
Dragg'd o'er the deck, no more at thy command
The obedient helm shall veer, the sail expand;
That savage spirit, which would lull by wrath
Its desperate escape from duty's path,
Glares round thee, in the scarce-believing eyes
Of those who fear the chief they sacrifice;
For ne'er can man his conscience all assuage,
Unless he drain the wine of passion-rage.
In vain, not silenced by the eye of death,
Thou call'st the loyal with thy menaced breath:-
They come not; they are few, and, overawed,
Must acquiesce while sterner hearts applaud.
In vain thou dost demand the cause; a curse
Is all the answer, with the threat of worse.
Full in thine eyes is waved the glittering blade,
Close to thy throat the pointed bayonet laid,
The levell'd muskets circle round thy breast
In hands as steel'd to do the deadly rest.
Thou darest them to their worst, exclaiming, « Fire!»
But they who pitied not could yet admire;
Some lurking remnant of their former awe Restrain'd them longer than their broken law; They would not dip their souls at once in blood, But left thee to the mercies of the flood.
« Hoist out the boat!» was now the leader's
And who dare answer «No» to mutiny,
In the first dawning of the drunken hour,
The Saturnalia of unhoped-for power?
The boat is lower'd with all the haste of hate,
With its slight plank between thee and thy fate;
Her only cargo such a scant supply
As promises the death their hands deny;
And just enough of water and of bread
To keep, some days, the dying from the dead:
Some cordage, canvas, sails, and lines, and twine,
But treasures all to hermits of the brine,
Were added after, to the earnest prayer
Of those who saw no hope save sea and air;
And last, that trembling vassal of the pole,
The feeling compass, navigation's soul.
How strange such shouts from sons of mutiny!
The gentle island, and the genial soil,
The friendly hearts, the feasts without a toil,
The courteous manners but from nature caught,
The wealth unhoarded, and the love unbought;
Could these have charms for rudest sea-boys, driven
Before the mast by every wind of heaven?
And now, even now prepared with others' woes
To earn mild virtue's vain desire-repose?
Alas! such is our nature! all but aim
At the same end, by pathways not the same;
Our means, our birth, our nation, and our name,
Our fortune, temper, even our outward frame,
Are far more potent o'er our yielding clay
Than aught we know beyond our little day.
Yet still there whispers the small voice within,
Heard through gain's silence, and o'er glory's din:
Whatever creed be taught or land be trod,
Man's conscience is the oracle of Gop!
The launch is crowded with the faithful few
Who wait their chief, a melancholy crew:
But some remain'd reluctant on the deck
Of that proud vessel-now a moral wreck-
And view'd their captain's fate with piteous eyes;
While others scoff'd his augured miseries,
Sneer'd at the prospect of his pigmy sail,
And the slight bark, so laden and so frail,
The tender Nautilus who steers his prow,
The sea-born sailor of his shell canoe,
The ocean Mab, the fairy of the sea,
Seems far less fragile, and, alas! more free!
He, when the lightning-wing'd Tornados sweep
surge, is safe-his port is in the deep-
And triumphs o'er the armadas of mankind,
Which shake the world, yet crumble in the wind,
When all was now prepared, the vessel clear
Which hail'd her master in the mutineer-
A seaman, less obdurate than his mates,
Show'd the vain pity which but irritates;
Watch'd his late chieftain with exploring eye,
And told, in signs, repentant sympathy;
Held the moist shaddock to his parched mouth,
Which felt exhaustion's deep and bitter drouth.
But, soon observed, this guardian was withdrawn,
Nor further mercy clouds rebellion's dawn.
Then forward stepp'd the bold and froward boy
His chief had cherish'd only to destroy,
And, pointing to the helpless prow beneath,
Exclaim'd, « Depart at once! delay is death!»
Yet then, even then, his feelings ceased not all:
In that last moment could a word recal
Remorse for the black deed as yet half done,
And, what he hid from many, show'd to one:
When Bligh, in stern reproach, demanded where.
Was now his grateful sense of former care?-
Where all his hopes to see his name aspire,
And blazon Britain's thousand glories higher?
His feverish lips thus broke their gloomy spell,
<< "T is that! 't is that! I am in hell! in hell!»
No more he said; but, urging to the bark
His chief, commits him to his fragile ark:
These the sole accents from his tongue that fell,
But volumes lurk'd below his fierce farewell.
The arctic sun rose broad above the wave;
The breeze now sunk, now whisper'd from his cave;
As on the Eolian harp, his fitful wings
Now swell'd, now flutter'd o'er his ocean strings.
With slow, despairing oar, the abandon'd skiff
Ploughs its drear progress to the scarce-seen cliff,
Which lifts its peak a cloud above the main:
That boat and ship shall never meet again!
But 't is not mine to tell their tale of grief,
Their constant peril and their scant relief;
Their days of danger, and their nights of pain;
Their manly courage, even when deem'd in vain;
The sapping famine, rendering scarce a son
Known to his mother in the skeleton;
The ills that lessen'd still their little store,
And starved even hunger till he wrung no more;
The varying frowns and favours of the deep,
That now almost engulphs, then leaves to creep
With crazy oar and shatter'd strength along
The tide, that yields reluctant to the strong;
Th' incessant fever of that arid thirst
Which welcomes, as a well, the clouds that burst
Above their naked bones, and feels delight
In the cold drenching of the stormy night,
And from the outspread canvas gladly wrings
A drop to moisten life's all-gasping springs;
The savage foe escaped, to seek again
More hospitable shelter from the main;
The ghastly spectres which were doom'd at last
To tell as true a tale of dangers past,