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Return'd and wept alone, and dream'd again I once was quick in feeling - that is o'eriThe vision, which arise without a sleep. My scars are callous, or I should have And with my years my soul began to pant
Gash'd With feelings of strange tumult and soft My brain against these bars as the run pain;
flash'd And the whole heart exhaled into One Want, In mockery through them ;-if I bear and But undefined and wandering, till the day
bore I found the thing I sought-and that was The much I have recounted, and the mere
Which hath no words, 'tis that I would net dk And then I lost my being all to be And sanction with self-slaughter the dull lie Absorb’d in thine-the world was past away-Which snared me here, and with the brand Thou didst annihilate the earth toʻme!
of shame Stamp madness deep into my memory,
And woo compassion to a blighted name. I loved all solitude-but little thought Sealing the sentence which my foes proclain To spend I know not what of life, remoto No-it shall be immortal!-and I make From all communion with existence, save A future temple of my present cell, The maniac and his tyrant; had I been Which nations yet shall visit for my sake Their fellow, many years cre this had seen While thou, Ferrara! when no longer dwell My mind like theirs corrupted to its grave; The ducal chiefs within thee, shalt fall down. But who hath seen me writhe, or heard And crumbling piecemeal view thy hearthme rave?
less halls, Perchance in such a cell we suffer more A poet's wreath shall be thine only crown, Than the wreck'd sailor on his desert shore; A poet's dungeon thy most far renown, The world is all before him-mine is here, while strangers wonder o'er thy unpeopled Scarce twice the space they must accord
And thou, Leonora! thou who wert What though he perish, he may lift his eye
ashamed And with a dying glance upbraid the sky- That such as I could love—who blush'd to I will not raise my own in such reproof,
hear Although 'tis clouded by my dungeon-roof. To less than monarchs that thou couldst
Go! tell thy brother that my heart, untamed Yet do I feel at times my mind decline, By grief, years, weariness--and it may be But with a sense of its decay:-I see A taint of that he wonld impute to meUnwonted lights along my prison shine, From long infection of a den like this, And a strange demon, who is vexing me Where the mind rots congenial with the With pilfering pranks and petty pains,
Adores thee still;-and add-that when The feeling of the healthful and the frec;
the towers But much to One, who long hath suffer'd 80 And battlements which guard his joyous Sickness of heart, and narrowness of place,
hours And all that may be borne, or can debase. Of banquet, dance, and revel, are forgot, I thought mine enemies had been but men, Or left untended in a dull repose, But spirits may be leagued with them-all This—this shall be a consecrated spot!
But Thou-when all that Birth and Beauty Abandons Heaven forgets me;- in the
Of magic round thee is extinct-shalt have Of such defence the Powers of Evil can, One half the laurel which o'ershades my It may be, tempt me further, and prevail
grave. Against the ontworn creature they assail. No power in death can tear our names apart, Why in this furnace is my spirit proved As none in life could rend thee from my Like steel in tempering fire? because I loved?
heart. Because I loved what not to love, and see, Yes, Leonora! it shall be our fate Was more or less than mortal, and than mo. (To be entwined for ever-but too late!
THE PROPHECY OF DANTE.
"Tle the sunsct of life gives me mystical lor,
in our language, except it may be by Mr. LADY! if for the cold and cloudy clime
Hayley, of whose translation I never saw Where I was born, but where I would but one extract, quoted in the notes to Caliph
Vathek; so that-if I do not err—this poem of the great Poet-Sire of Italy
may be considered as a metrical experiment. I dare to build the imitative rhyme,
The cantos are short, and about the same Harsh Runic copy of the South's sublime, length of those of the poet whose name I Thou art the cause; and, howsoever I have borrowed, and most probably taken Fall short of his immortal harmony,
in vain. Thy gentle heart will pardon me the criine.
Amongst the inconveniences of authors in Thou, in the pride of beauty and of youth, the present day, it is difficult for any who Spak'st; and for thee to speak and be have a name, good or bad, to escape trans
lation. I have had the fortune to see the Are one ; but only in the sunny South
fourth canto of Childe Harold translated Such sounds are utter'd, and such charms into Italian versi sciolti—that is, a poem
written in the Spensercan stanza into blank So sweet a language from so fair a mouth
verse, without regard to the natural di
If Ah! to what effort would it not persuade? visions of the stanza, or of the sense.
the present poem, being on a national topic, Ravenna, June 21, 1819. should chance to undergo the same fate,
I would request the Italian reader to remem
ber, that when I have failed in the initaPREFACE.
tion of his great “Padre Alighier,” I have
failed in imitating that which all study and In the course of a visit to the city of few understand, since to this very day it is Ravenna, in the summer of 1819, it was not yet settled what was the meaning of suggested to the author that, having com- the allegory in the first canto of the Inferno, posed something on the subject of T'asso's unless Count Marchetti's ingenious and proconfinement, he should do the same on bable conjecture may be considered as havDante's exile-the tomb of the poet forming ing decided the question. one of the principal objects of interest in He may also pardon my failure the more, that city, both to the native and to the as I am not quite sure that he would be stranger.
pleased with my success, since the Italians, “On this hint I spake," and the result with a pardonable nationality, are partihas been the following four cantos, in terza cularly jealous of all that is left them as rima, now offered to the reader. If they a nation -- their literature; and, in the preare understood and approved, it is my pur- sent bitterness of the classic and romantic pose to continue the poem in various other war, are butill disposed to permit a foreigncantos to its natural conclusion in the pre- er even to approve or imitate them, without sent age. The reader is requested to sup-finding some fault with his ultramontane pose that Dante addresses him in the inter- presumption. I can easily enter into all val between the conclusion of the Divina this, knowing what would be thonght in Commedia and his death, and shortly before England of an Italian imitator of Milton, the latter event, foretelling the fortunes of or if a translation of Monti, or Pindemonte, Italy in general in the ensuing centuries. or Arici, should be held up to the rising In adopting this plan I have had in my generation as a model for their future poctmind the Cassandra of Lycophron, and the ical essays. But I perceive that I am Prophecy of Nercus by Horace, as well as deviating into an address to the Italian the Prophecies of Holy Writ. 'The measure reader, when my business is with the Engadopted is the terza rima of Dante, which lish one, and be they few or many, I must I am not aware to have seen hitherto tried I take my leave of both.
СА N то І.
Destruction face to face in all his ways.
The world hath left me, what it found Once more in man's frail world! which I
me-pure, had left
And if I have not gather'd yet its praise, So long that 'twas forgotten; and I feel I sought it not by any baser lure;
The weight of clay again,--too soon bereft Man wrongs, and Time avenges, and my Of the inmortal vision which could heal
My earthly sorrows, and to God's own skies May form a monument not all obscure, List me from that deep gulf without repeal, | Though such was not my ambition's end Where late my ears rung with the damned
or aim, cries
To add to the vain-glorious list of those Of souls in hopeless bale; and from that Who dabble in the pettiness of fame,
And make men's fickle breath the wind that Of lesser torment, whence men may arise
blows Pure from the fire to join the angelic race; Their sail, and deem it glory to be class'd Midst whom my own bright Beatrice With conquerors, and Virtue's other foes,
In bloody chronicles of ages past. My spirit with her light; and to the base I would have had my Florence great and Of the Eternal Triad ! first, last, best,
free: Mysterious, three, sole, infinite,great God!
Oh Florence !Florence ! unto me thou wast Soul universal! led the mortal guest, Like that Jerusalem which the Almighty He Unblasted by the glory, though he trod Wept over: “but thou wouldst not;" as From star to star to reach the almighty
the bird throne.
Gathers its young, I would have gather'd Oh Beatrice! whose sweet limbs the sod
thee So long hath press'd, and the cold marble- Beneath a parent-pinion, hadst thou heard
My voice; but as the adder,deaf and fierce, Thou sole pure scraph of my earliest love, Against the breast that cherish'd thee Love so ineffable, and so alone,
was stirrid That nought on earth could more my bosom Thy venom, and my state thou didst amerce,
And doom this body forfeit to the fire. And meeting thee in hcaven was but to Alas! how bitter is his country's curse
To him who for that country would expire, That without which my soul, like the But did not merit to expire by her,
arkless dove, And loves her, loves her even in her ire. Had wander'd still in search of, nor her feet | The day may come when she will cease Relieved her wing till found; without
to err, thy light
The day inay come she would be proud My Paradise had still been incomplete.
to have Since my tenth sun gave suminer to my sight The dust she dooms to scatter, and transfer Thou wert my life, the essence of my Of him, whom she denied a hoine, the thought,
grave. Lored cre I knew the name of love, and But this shall not be granted ; let my dust
Lie where it falls; nor shall the soil Still in thcsc dimold eyes, now overwrought With the world's war, and years, and Me breath, but in her sudden fury thrust banishment,
Me forth to breathe elsewhere, so reAnd tears for thee, by other woes untaught; For mine is not a nature to be bent
My indignant bones, because her angry By tyrannous faction, and the brawling
Forsooth is over, and repeal'd her doom. And though the long, long conflict hath No,-she denied me what was mine-iny been spent
roof, In vain, and never morc,save when the cloud, And shall not have what is not hers - my Which overhange the Apennine, my
tomb. mind's eye
Too long her armed wrath hath kept aloof Pierces to fancy Florence, once so proud The breast which would have bled for of me, can I return, though but to die,
her, the heart Unto my native soil, they have not yet That beat, the mind that was temptationQuench'd the old exile's spirit, stern and
The man who fought, toil'd, travellid, and But the sun, though not overcast, must set,
each part And the night cometh ; I am old in days, Of a true citizen fulfill'd, and saw And deeds, and contemplation, and have For his reward the Guelf's ascendant art
Pass his destruction even into a law.
These things are not made for forgetful- To lift my eyes more to the passing sail
Which shung that reef so horrible and Florence shall be forgotten first; too raw
bare ; The wound, too deep the wrong, and the Nor raise my voice — for who would heed
distress Of such endurance too prolong'd, to make I am not of this people, nor this age, My pardon greater, her injustice less, And yet my harpings will unfold a tale Though late repented; yet-yet for her sake Which shall preserve these times when not
I feel some fonder yearnings,and for thine,
My own Beatrice, I would hardly take of their perturbed annals could attract Vengeance upon the land which once was An eye to gaze upon their civil rage,
Did not my verse embalm full many an act And still is hallow'd by thy dust's return, Worthless as they who wrought it: 'tis Which would protect the murderess like
the doom a shrine,
Of spirits of my order to be rack'd And save ten thousand foes by thy sole urn. In life, to wear their hearts out, and consume Though, like old Marius from Minturnæ's Their days in endless strife,and die alone;
Then future thousands crowd around their And Carthage ruins, my lone breast may
And pilgrims come from climes, where At times with evil feelings hot and harsh,
they have known And sometimes the last pangs of a vile foe The name of him—who now is but a name,
Writhe in a dream before me, and o'erarch And wasting homage o'er the sullen stone My brow with hopes of triumph, - let Spread his— by him unheard, unheeded thein go!
fame; Such are the last infirmities of those And mine at least hath cost me dear: Who long have suffer'd more than mortal
to die woe,
Is nothing; but to wither thus- to tame And yet being mortal still, have no repose My mind down from its own infinity
But on the pillow of Revenge-Revenge, To live in narrow ways with little men, Who sleeps to dream of blood, and waking A common sight to every common eye,
A wanderer, while even wolves can find a den, With the oft-baffled, slakeless thirst of Ripp'd from all kindred, from all home, change,
all things When we shall mount again, and they That make communion sweet, and soften that trod
painBe trampled on,while Death and Ate range To feel me in the solitude of kings O'er humbled heads and sever'd necks Without the power that makes them Great God!
bear a crown Take these thoughts from me - to thy To envy every dove his nest and wings
hands I yield Which waft him where the Apennine looks My many wrongs, and thine almighty rod
down Will fall on those who smoto me,-be my On Arno, till he perches, it may bc,
Within my all-inexorable town, As thou hast been in peril, and in pain, Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she,
In turbulent cities, and the tented field- Their mother, the cold partner who hath In toil, and many troubles borne in vain
brought For Florence.--I appeal from her to Thee! Destruction for a dowry-this to sce
Thee, whom I late saw in thy loftiest reign, And feel, and know without repair, hath Even in that glorious vision, which to see
taught And live was never granted until now, A bitter lesson ; but it leaves me free:
And yet thou hast permitted this to me. I have not vilely found, nor basely Alas! with what a weight upon my brow
songht,The sense of carth and earthly things They made an Exile—not a slavo of me.
come back, Corrosive passions, feelings dull and low, The heart's quick throb upon the mental
rack, Long day,and dreary night; the retrospect
CANTO II. or half a century bloody and black, And the frail few years I may yet expect
The Spirit'of the fervent days of Old, Hoary and hopeless, but less hard to bear, When words were things that came to For I have been too long and deeply
pass, and thought wreck'd
Flash'd o'er the future, bidding men On the lone rock of desolate Despair
Their children's children's doom already For the world's granary: thon whose sky brought
heaven gilds Forth from the abyss of time which is to be, With brighter stars, and robes with deeper The chaos of events, where lie half
Thou, in whose pleasant places Summer Shapes that must undergo mortality;
builds What the great Scers of Israel wore Her palace, in whose cradle Empire grew, within,
And form’d the Eternal City's ornaments That spirit was on them, and is on me, From spoils of kings whom freemen And if, Cassandra-like, amidst the din
overthrew; Of conflict none will hear or hearing hecd Birthplace of heroes, sanctuary of saints, This voice from out the Wilderness, Where earthly first, then heavenly glory the sin
made Be theirs, and my own feelings be my mced, Her home; thou, all which fondest fancy The only guerdon I have ever known.
paints, Hast thou not bled ? and hast thou still And finds her prior vision but portray'd
In feeble colours, when the eye-from Italia ? Ah! to me such things, foreshown
the Alp With dim sepulchral light, bid me forget Of horrid snow,and rock and shaggy shade
In thinc irreparable wrongs my own; Of desert-loving pine, whose emerald scalp We can have but one country, and even yet Nods to the storm-dilates and dotes o'er Thou'rt mine-my bones shall be within
thee, thy breast,
And wistfully implores, as 'twere, for help My soul within thy language, which To see thy sunny fields, my Italy,
Nearer and nearer yet, and dearer still With our old Roman sway in the wide West; The more approachd, and dearest were But I will make another tongue ariso
they free;As losty and more sweet, in which exprest Thou-Thou must wither to each tyrant's The hero's ardour, or the lover's sighs,
will: Shall find alike such sounds for every The Goth hath been, - the German, theme
Frank, and Hun That every word, as brilliant as thy skies, Are yet to come,- and on the imperialhill Shall realise a poet's proudest dreann, Ruin, already proud of the deeds done And make theo Europe's nightingale of By the old barbarians, there awaits the song;
ncw, So that all present speech to thine shall Throned on the Palatine, while lost and
The note of meaner birds, and every tongue Rome at her feet lies bleeding; and the hue Confess its barbarism when compared Of human sacrifice and Roinan slaughter
Troubles the clotted air, of late so blue, This shalt thou owe to him thou didst And deepens into red the saffron water
or Tiber, thick with dead; the helpless Thy Tuscan Bard, the banish'd Ghibelline.
priest, Woe! woe! the veil of coming centuries And still more helpless nor less holy Is rent, a thousand years which yet
Vow'd to their God, have shrieking fled, Lie like the ocean-waves ere winds arise,
and ceased Heaving in dark and sullen undulation, Their ministry: the nations take their Float from eternity into these eyes;
prey, The storms yet sleep, the clouds still keep Iberian, Almain, Lombard, and the beast
their station, And bird, wolf, vulture, more humane Theunborn earthquake yet is in the womb,
than they The bloody chaos yet expects creation, Are; these but gorge the flesh and lap But all things are disposing for thy doom;
The elements await but for the word, Of the departed, and then go their way; “Let there be darkness!" and thou growst But those, the human savages, explore
All paths of torture, and insatiate yet, Yes! thou, so beautiful, shalt feel the sword, With Ugolino-hunger prowl for more.
Thou, Italy! su fair that Paradise, Nine moons shall rise o'er scenes like this Revived in thee, blooms forth to man
and set; restored :
The chiefless arıny of the dead, which Ah! must the sons of Adam lose it twice ?
late Thou Italy! whose ever golden fields, Beneath the traitor Prince's banner mct, Plough'd by the sunbeanis solely, would Hath left its leader's ashes at the gate ;
Had but the royal Rebel lived, purchance