ePub 版

prey ?

Thou hadet been spared, but his involved | What is there wanting then to set thee free, thy fate.

And show thy beauty in its fullest light? Oh! Rome, the spoiler or the spoil of France, To make the Alps impassable; and we,

From Brennus to the Bourbon,never, never Her sons, may do this with one deed—Unite! Shall foreign standard to thy walls

advance But Tiber shall become a mournful river. Oh! when the strangers pass the Alps and Po,

CAN TO TIL Crush them yo rocks! floods, whelm them,

and for ever! From out the mass of never dying ill, Why sleep the idle avalanches so,

The Plague, the Prince, the Stranger, To topple on the lonely pilgrim's head 3

and the Sword, Why doth Eridanus but overflow

Vials of wrath but emptied to refill The peasant's harvest from his turbid bed? And flow again, I cannot all record Were not each barbarous horde a nobler That crowds on my prophetic eye: the

earth Over Cambyses' host the desert spread And ocean written o'er would not afford Her sandy ocean, and the sea waves' sway Space for the annal, yet it shall go forth; Rollid over Pharaoh and his thousands, Yes, all, though not by human pen, is – why

graven, Mountains and waters do ye not as they! There where the farthest suns and stars And you, ye men ! Romans, who dare not die,

have birth. Sons of the conquerors who overthrew Spread like a banner at the gate of heaven, Those who overthrew proud Xerxes, The bloody scroll of our millennial where yet lie

wrongs The dead whose tomb Oblivion never knew, Waves and the echo of our groans is driven

Are the Alps weaker than Thermopyla? Athwart the sound of archangelic songs, Their passes more alluring to the view And Italy, the martyr'd nation's gore, Of an invader? is it they, or ye,

Will not in vain arise to where belongs That to each host the mountain-gate Omnipotence and mercy evermore: unbar,

Like to a harpstring stricken by the wind, And leave the march in peace, the pas- The sound of her lament shall, rising o'er

The seraph-voices, touch the Almighty Mind. Why, Nature's self detains the victor's car Meantime I, humblest of thy sons, and of

And makes your land impregnable, if earth Earth's dust by immortality refined

Could be so; but alone she will not war, To sense and suffering, though the vain may Yet aids the warrior worthy of his birth

scoff, In a soil where the mothers bring forth And tyrants threat, and meeker victims

bow Not so with those whose sonls are little Before the storm because its breath is worth;

rough, For them no fortress can avail,—the den To thee, my country! whom before as now, Of the poor reptile which preserves its I loved and love,devote the mournfullyre sting

And melancholy gift high powers allow Is more secure than walls of adamant, To read the future; and if now my fire when

Is not as once it shone o'er thee, forgive! The hearts of those within are quivering. I but foretell thy fortunes—then expire;

Are ye not brave? Yes, yet the Ausonian soil Think not that I would look on them and Hath hearts, and hands, and arms, and

live. hosts to bring A spirit forces me to see and speak, Against Oppression; but how vain the toil, And for my guerdon grants not to survivo; While still Division sows the seeds of woe My heart shall be pour'd over thee and And weakness, till the stranger reaps

break; the spoil.

Yet for a moment, ere I must resuute Oh!my own beauteous land! so long laid low, Thy sable web of sorrow, let me take So long the grave of thy own children's Over the gleams that flash athwart thy hopes,

gloom When there is but required a single blow A softer glimpse; some stars shine through To break the chain, yet - yet the Avenger

thy night, stops,

And many meteors, and above thy tomb And Doubt and Discord step 'twixt thine Leans sculptured Beauty, which Death and thee,

cannot blight; And join their strength to that which And from thine ashes boundless spirits rise

with thec copes;

To give thee honour and the earth delight;

sage free?


them wrong

Thy soil shall still be pregnant with the Thus trammell'd, thus condemn'd to wise,

Flattery's trebles, The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and He toils through all , still trembling to the brave,

be wrong: Native to thee as summer to thy skies, For fear some noble thoughts, like heavenly Conquerors on foreign shores and the far

rebels, wate,

Should rise up in high treason to his brain, Discoverers of new worlds, which take He sings, as the Athenian spoke, with their name;

pebbles For thee alone they have no arm to save, In's mouth, lest truth should stammer And all thy recompense is in their fame,

through his strain. A noble one to them, but not to thee - But out of the long file of sonneteers Shall they be glorious, and thou still There shall be some who will not sing the same?

in vain, Oh! more than these illustrious far shall be And he, their prince, shall rank among my The being—and even yet he may be born

peers, The mortal saviour who shall set thee free, And love shall be his torment; but his And see thy diadem, so changed and worn

grief By fresh barbarians, on thy brow replaced; Shall make an immortality of tears, And the sweet sun replenishing thy morn, And Italy shall hail him as the Chief Thy moral morn, too long with clouds Of Poet-lovers, and his higher song


Of Freedom wreathe him with as green And noxious vapours from Avernus risen,

a leaf. Such as all they must breathe who are But in a farther age shall rise along


The banks of Po two greater still than he; By servitude, and have the mind in prison. The world which smiled on him shall do

Yet through this centuried eclipse of woe
Some voices shall be heard , and earth Till they are ashes and repose with me.

shall listen ; The first will make an epoch with his lyre, Poets shall follow in the path I show, And fill the earth with feats of chivalry:

And make it broader;the same brilliant sky His fancy like a rainbow, and his fire, Which cheers the birds to song shall bid Like that of heaven, immortal, and his them glow,

thought And raise their notes as natural and high; Borneonward with a wing that cannot tire; Tuneful shall be their numbers: they Pleasure shall, like a butterfly new canght,

shall sing

Flutter her lovely pinions o'er his theme, Many of love, and some of liberty, And Art itself seem into Nature wrought But few shall soar upon that eagle's wing, By the transparency of his bright dream.

And look in the sun's face with eagle's gaze The second, of a tenderer, sadder mood,

All free and fearless as the feather'd king, Shall pour his soul ont o'er Jerusalem; But fly more near the earth; how many a He, too, shall sing of arms, and christian phrase

blood Sublime shall lavish'd be on some small Shed where Christ bled for man; and prince

his high harp In all the prodigality of praise !

Shall, by the willow over Jordan's flood, And language, eloquently false, evince Revive a song of Sion, and the sharp

The harlotry of genius, which,like beauty, Conflict, and fiual triumph of the brave

Too oft forgets its own self-reverence, And pious, and the strife of hell to warp And looks on prostitution as a duty. Their hearts from their great parpose, He who once enters in a tyrant's hall

until wave As guest is slave, his thoughts become The red-cross banners where the first a booty,

red Cross And the first day which sees the chain enthral Was crimson'd from his veins who died A captive, sees his half of manhood gonc

to save, The soul's emasculation saddens all Shall be his sacred argument; the loss His spirit; thus the Bard too near the throne Of years, of favour, freedom, even of fame Quails from his inspiration, bound to Contested for a time, while the smooth please,

gloss How servile is the task to please alone! Of courts would slide o'er his forgotten name, To smooth the verse to suit his sovereign's And call captivity a kindness, meant

To shield him from insanity or shame, And royal leisnre, nor too much prolong Such shall be his meet guerdon! who was Aught save his eulogy, and find, and

sent seize,

To be Christ's Laureate -- they reward Or force, or forge ait argument of song


him well!



[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ries run,

Florence dooms mo but death or banish- Were prouder than more dazzling fame ment,

anblest; Ferrara him a pittance and a cell,

The Alp's snow-summit nearer heaven lo Harder to bear and less deserved, for I Had stung the factions which I strove Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest,

to quell;

Whose splendour from the black abyss But this meek man, who with a lover's eye

is flung, Will look on earth and heaven, and vho While the scorch'd mountain, from whose will deign

burning breast To embalm with his celestial flattery A temporary torturing flame is wrung, As poor a thing as e'er was spawn'd to reign, Shines for a night of terror, then repels

What will he do to merit such a doom? Its fire back to the hell from whence it Perhaps he'll love,- and is not love in vain

sprung, Torture enough without a living tomb? The hell which in its entrails ever dwells.

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

CANTO IV. yield a tear, A heritage enriching all who breathe Many are poets who have never penn'd

With the wealth of a genuinc poet's soul, Their inspiration, and perchance the best :

And to their country a redoubled wreath, They felt, and loved, and died, but would Unmatch'd by time; not Hellas can unrol

not lend Through her Olympiads two such names, Their thoughts to meaner beings; they though one

compress'd Of hers be mighty ;-and is this the whole The god within them, and rejoin'd the Of such men's destiny beneath the sun ?

stars Must all the finer thoughts, the thrilling Unlaurell'd upon earth, but far more blest


Than those who are degraded by the jars The electric blood with which their arte- Of passion, and their frailties links to

fame, Their body's self turn'd soul with the intense Conquerors of high renown, but full of

Feeling of that which is, and fancy of
That which should be, to such a recom- Many are poets but without the name,


For what is poesy but to create Conduct shall their bright plumage on From overfeeling good or ill; and aim

the rough

At an external life beyond our fate,
Storm be still scatter'd? Yes,and it must be, And be the new Prometheus of new men,

For, form'd of far too penetrable stuff, Bestowing fire from heaven, and then These birds of Paradise but long to flee

too late, Back to their native mansion, soon they Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain,


And vultures to the heart of the bestower, Earth's mist with their pure pinions not Who,having lavish'd his high gift in vain,


Lies chain'd to his lone rock by the seaAnd die, or are degraded, for the mind

shore? Succumbs to long infection, and despair, So be it: we can bear. -- But thus all they,

And vulture-passions flying close behind, Whose intellect is an o'ermastering power Await the moment to assail and tear ;. Which still recoils from its encumbering And when at length the winged wander

ers stoop,

Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er
Then is the prey-birds' triumph, then The form which their creations may essay,

they share Are bards ; the kindled marble's bust may The spoil, o'erpower'd at length by one fell


More poesy upon its speaking brow Yet some have been untouch'd, who Than aught less than the Homeric page learn'd to bear,

may bear; Some whom no power could ever force One noble stroke with a whole life may glow,

to droop,

Or deify the canvas till it shine Who could resist themselves even, hardest With beauty so surpassing all below,


That they who kneel to idols so divine And task most hopeless! but some such Break no commandment, for high heaven have been,

is there And if my name amongst the number were Transfused, transfigurated : and the line That destiny austere, and yet serene, Of poesy which peoples but the air




With thonght and beings of our thought And Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise


To tyrants, who but take her for a toy, Can do no more: then let the artist share Emblems and monuments, and prostitute The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected Her charms to pontiffs proud, who but Faints o'er the labour unapproved - Alas!

employ Despair and Genins are too oft connected. The man of genius as the meanest brute Within the ages which before me pass, To bear a burthen, and to serve a need,

Art shall resume and equal even the sway To sell his labours, and his soul to boot:

Which with Apelles and old Phidias Who toils for nations may be poor indeed She held in flellas' unforgotten day.

But free; who sweats for monarchs is no Ye shall be taught by Ruin to revive

more The Grecian forms at least from their Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed decay,

and fee'd, And Roman souls at last again shall live Stands sleek and slavish bowing at his door.

In Roman works wrought by Italian hands, Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest! how And temples, loftier than the old temples, Is it that they on earth, whose earthly give

power New wonders to the world ; and while still is likest thine in heaven in outward show,


Least like to thee in attributes divine, The austere Pantheon, into heaven shall Tread on the universal necks that bow,

And then assure us that their rights are A dome, its image, while the base expands

thine ? Into a fane surpassing all before,

And how is it that they, the sons of fame, Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in: Whose inspiration seems to them to shine


From high, they whom the nations oftest Such sight hath been unfolded by a door

name, As this, to which all nations shall repair Must pass their days in penury or pain, And lay their sins at this huge gate of Or step to grandeur through the paths of heaven.

shame, And the bold architect unto whose care And wear a deeper brand and gaudier chain? The daring charge to raise it shall be given, Or if their destiny be born aloof Whom all arts shall acknowledge as From lowliness,or tempted thence in vain,

their lord, In their own sonls sustain a harder proof, Whether into the marble-chaos driven The inner war of passions deep and fierce? His chisel bid the flebrew, at whose word Florence! when thy harsh sentence razed

Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone,

Or hues of hell be by his pencil pour'd I loved thee, but the vengeance of my verse, Over the damn'd before the Judgment-throne, The hate of injuries, which every year

Such as I saw them, such as all shall see, Makes greater and accumulates my curse, Or fanes be builtofgrandeur yet unknown, Shall live, outliving all thou holdest dear, The stream of his great thoughts shall spring Thy pride, thy wealth, thy freedom,

and even that, The Ghibelline, who traversed the three The most infernal of all evils here,


The sway of petty tyrants in a state; Which form the empire of eternity. For such sway is not limited to kings, Amidst the clash of swords and clang of And demagogues yield to them but in helms,

date The age which I anticipate, no less As swept off sooner; in all deadly things Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while Which make men bate themselves, and whelms

one another, Calamity the nations with distress,

In discord, cowardice, cruelty, all that The genius of my country shall arise,

springs A Cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, From Death the Sin-born's incest with his Lovely in all its branches to all eyes,

mother, Fragrant as fair, and recognized afar, In rank oppression in its rudest shape, Wafting its native incense through the The faction-Chief is but the Sultan's skies.

brother, Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport And the worst despot's far less human ape :

Florence! when this lone spirit, which Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn

80 long

Yearn'd as the captive toiling at escape, On canvas or on stone; and they who mar To fly back to thee in despite of wrong, All beauty upon earth, compell’d to praise, An exile, saddest of all prisoners, Shall feel the power of that which they Who has the whole world for a dungeon destroy;

my roof,

from me,

of war,


and gaze

Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge | Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass

for bars,

The limits of man's common malice, for Which shut him from the sole small spot All that a citizen could be I was;

of earth

Raised by thy will,all thine in peace or war, Where – whatsoe'er his fate -- he still And for this thou hast warr'd with me.were hers,

'Tis done : His country's, and might die where he had I may not overleap the eternal bar


Built up between us, and will die alone, Florence! when this lone spirit shall return Beholding, with the dark eye of a seer, To kindred spirits, thou wilt feel my The evil days to gifted souls foreshown,


Foretelling them to those who will not hear, And seek to honour with an empty urn As in the old time, till the hour be come

The ashes thou shalt ne'er obtain.- Alas! When Truth shall strike their eyes “What have I done to thee, my people?”

through many a tear, Stern

And make them own the Prophet in his tomb.


Oun life is twofold: Sleep hath Its own | But a most living landscape, and the wave


Of woods and corn-fields, and the abodes A boundary between the things misnamed

of men Death and existence: Sleep hath its own Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke


Arising from such rustic roofs; – the hill And a wide realm of wild reality;

Was crown'd with a peculiar diadem And dreams in their development have Of trees, in circular array, so fix’d,


Not by the sport of nature, but of man: And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy; These two, a maiden and a youth, were there They leave a weight upon our waking Gazing-the one on all that was beneath


Fair as herself— but the boy gazed on her; They take a weight from offour waking toils, And both were young and one was beautiful: They do divide our being; they become And both were young - yet not alike in A portion of ourselves as of our time,

youth. And look like heralds of eternity;

As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge They pass like spirits of the past ,- they The maid was on the eve of womanhood;


The boy had fewer summers, but his heart Like sibyls of the future; they have power- Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye The tyranny of pleasure and of pain ; There was but one beloved face on earth, They make us what we were not- what and that was shining on him ; he had look’d

they will,

Upon it till it could not pass away; And shake us with the vision that's gone by, He had no breath, no being, but in kers, The dread of vanish'd shadows_Are they so? She was his voice; he did not speak to her, Is not the past all shadow? What are they? But trembled on her words; she was his Creation of the mind The mind can make

sight, Substance, and people planets of its own For his eye follow'd hers, and saw with hers, With beings brighter than have been, and which colour'd all his objects :-he had give

ceased A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh. To live within himself; she was his life, I would recal a vision which I dream'd The ocean to the river of his thoughts, Perchance in sleep-for in itself a thought, Which terminated all : upon a tone, A slumbering thought, is capable of years, A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and And curdles a long life into one hour.

flow, And his chcek change tempestuously-his

heart I saw two beings in the hues of youth Unknowing of its cause of agony. Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill, But she in these fond feelings had no share : Green and of mild declivity, the last Her sighs were not for him; to her he was As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such, Even ng a brother - but no more; 'twas much, Save that there was no sea to lave its base, For brotherless she was, save in the name

« 上一頁繼續 »