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CLXXV.

But I forget.—My Pilgrim's shrine is won,
And he and I must part,

,--so let it be
His task and mine alike are nearly done :
Yet once more let us look upon the sea ;
The midland ocean breaks on him and me,
And from the Alban Mount we now behold
Our friend of youth, that ocean, which when we

Beheld it last by Calpe's rock unfold
Those waves, we follow'd on till the dark Euxine roll'd

CLXXVI.

Upon the blue Symplegades : long years—
Long, though not very many, since have done
Their work on both ; some suffering and some tears
Have left us nearly where we had begun;
Yet not in vain our mortal race hath run;
We have had our reward-and it is here;
That we can yet feel gladden'd by the sun,
And

reap from earth, sea, joy almost as dear As if there were no man to trouble what is clear.

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CLXXVII.

Oh! that the desert were my dwelling-place,
With one fair spirit for my minister,
That I might all forget the human race,
And, hating no one, love but only her!
Ye elements !-in whose ennobling stir
I feel myself exalted—can ye not
Accord me such a being? Do I err

In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.

CLXXVIII.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar :
I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,

To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.

CLXXIX.

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll !
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ;
Man marks the earth with ruin--his control
Stops with the shore ;—upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When for a moment, like a drop of rain,

He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknell’d, uncofin'd, and unknown.

CLXXX.

His steps are not upon thy paths,—thy fields
Are not a spoil for him,—thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray
And howling, to his gods, where haply lies

His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth ;—there let him lay.

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CLXXXI.

The armaments which thunder-strike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves,

which mar Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.

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CLXXXII.

Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage: their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts :—not so thou.
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play--

Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.

CLXXXIII.

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests ; in all time,
Calm or convulsed—in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving ;-boundless, endless, and sublime-
The image of eternity—the throne
Of the Invisible ; even from out thy slime

The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

CLXXXIV.

And I have loved thee, ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wanton'd with thy breakers—they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror—'t was a pleasing fear,
For I was as it were a child of thee,

And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane-as I do here.

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CLXXXV.

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My task is done-my song hath ceased-my theme
Has died into an echo; it is fit
The spell should break of this protracted dream.
The torch shall be extinguish'd which hath lit
My midnight lamp—and what is writ, is writ,-
Would it were worthier! but I am not now
That which I have been—and my visions flit

Less palpably before me—and the glow
Which in my spirit dwelt is fluttering, faint, and low.

CLXXXVI.

Farewell! a word that must be, and hath been—
A sound which makes us linger,-yet-farewel!!
Ye! who have traced the Pilgrim to the scene
Which is his last, if in your memories dwell
A thought which once was his, if on ye swell ,
A single recollection, not in vain
He wore his sandal-shoon and scallop-shell :

Farewell! with him alone may rest the pain,
Įf such there were—with you, the moral of his strain.

NOTES TO CANTO IV.

a

Note 1. Stanza i.
I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs ;

A palace and a prison on each hand. The communication between the ducal palace and the prisons of Venice is by a gloomy bridge, or covered gallery, ligh above the water, and divided by a stone wall into a passage and a cell. The state dungeons, called “ pozzi,” or wells, were sunk in the thick walls of the palace; and the prisoner, when taken out to die, was conducted across the gallery to the other side, and being then led back into the other compartment or cell, upon the bridge, was there strangled. The low portal through which the criminal was taken into this cell is now walled up; but the passage is still open, and is still known by the name of the Bridge of Sighs. The pozzi are under the flooring of the chamber at the foot of the bridge. They were formerly twelve, but on the first arrival of the French, the Venetians hastily blocked or broke up the deeper of these dungeons. You may still, however, descend by a trap-door, and crawl down through holes, half-choked by rubbish, to the depth of two stories below the first range. If you are in want of consolation for the extinction of patrician power, perhaps you may find it there; scarcely a ray of light gliinmers into the narrow gallery which leads to the cells, and the places of confinement themselves are totally dark. A small hole in the wall admitted the damp air of the passages, and served for the introduction of the prisoner's food. A wooden pallet, raised a foot from the ground, was the only furniture. The conductors tell you that a light was not allowed. The cells are about five paces in length, two and a half in width, and seven feet in height. They are directly beneath one another, and respiration is somewhat difficult in the lower boles. Only one prisoner was found when the re'publicans descended into these hideous recesses, and he is said to have been confined sixteen years. But the inmates of the dungeons beneath had left traces of their repentance, or of their despair, which are still visible, and may perhaps owe something to recent ingenuity. Some of the detained appear to have offended against, and others to have belonged to, the sacred body, not only from their signatures, but from the churches and belfries which they have scratched upon the walls. The reader may not object to see a specimen of the records prompted by so terrific a solitude. As nearly as they could be copied by more than one pencil, three of them are as follows :

1

NON TI PIDAR D, ALCUNO, PENSA e TACI
SE FUGGIR VUOI DI SPIONI INSIDIE E LACCI
IL PENTIRTI PENTIRTI NULLA GIOVA
MA E BEN DI VALOR TUO LA VERA PROVA

1607. ADI 2. CENARO. FUI RETENTO
P'LA BESTIEMMA P' AVER DATO
DA MANZAR A UN MORTO

IACOMO. GRITTI. SCRISSE. 2.

UN PARLAR POCO et
NEGARE PRONTO et
UN PENSAR AL FINE PUO DARE LA VITA
A NOI ALTRI MESCHINI

1605.
EGO IOHN BAPTISTA AD
ECCLESIAM CORTELLARIUS.

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3.
DI CHI MI PIDO GUARDAMI DIO
DI CHI NON MI FIDO MI GUARDERO IO

VA. LA. STA. CH. KA. RNA. The copyist has followed, not corrected the solecisms ; some of which are, how: ever, not quite so decided, since the letters were evidently scratched in the dark. It only need be observed, that Bestemimia and Mangiar may be read in the first inscription, which was probably written by a prisoner confined for some act of impiety committed at a funeral : that Cortellarius is the name of a parish on terra firma, near the sea : and that the last initials evidently put for Viva la Santa Chiesa Kattolica Romana.

Note 2. Stanza ii.
She looks a sea Cybele fresh from ocean,

Rising with her tiara of proud towers. An old writer, describing the appearance of Venice, has inade use of the above image, which would not be poetical were it not true :

Quo fit ut qui superne urbem contempletur, turritam telluris imaginem medio oceano figuratam se putet inspicere.” *

Note 3. Stanza iüi.

In Venice Tasso's echoes are no more. The well-known song of the gondoliers, of alternate stanzas, froin Tasso's Jerusalem, has died with the independence of Venice. Editions of the poem, with the original on one column, and the Venetian variations on the other, as sung by the boatmen, were once common, and are still to be found. The following extract will serve to show the difference between the Tuscan epic and the “ Canta alla Barcariola."

ORIGINAL.
Canto l' arme pietose, e 'l capitano

Che 'l gran sepolcro libero di Cristo.
Molto egli oprd col senno, e con la mano,

Molto soffri nel glorioso acquisto;
Ein van l' Inferno a lui s'oppose, e in vano

S'armd d'Asia, e di Libia il popol misto,
Che il ciel gli diè favore, e sotto a i santi
Segni ridusse i suoi compagni erranti.

VENETIAN.
L'arme pietose de cantar gho vogia,

E de Goffredo la immortal braura,
Che al fin l'ha libera co strassia, e dogia

Del nostro buon Gesu la sepoltura;
De mezo mondo unito, e de quel Bogia

Missier Pluton no l'ha bu mai paura:
Dio l'ha agiutá, e i compagni sparpaggai

Tutti 'l gh' i ha messi insieme i di del Dai. Some of the elder gondoliers will, however, take up, and continue a stanza of their once familiar bard.

On the 7th of last January, the author of Childe Harold, and another Englishman, the writer of this notice, rowed to the Lido with two singers, one of whom was a carpenter, and the other a gondolier. The former placed himself at the prow, the latter at the stern of the boat. A little after leaving the quay of the Piazzetta, they began to sing, and continued their exercise until we arrived at the island, They gave us, amongst other essays, the death of Clorinda, and the palace of Armida; and did not sing the Venetian, but the Tuscan verses. The carpenter, however, who was the cleverer of the two, and was frequently obliged to prompt his companion, told us that he could translate the original. He added, that he could sing almost three hundred stanzas, but had not spirits (morbin was the word he used) to learn any more, or to sing what he already knew : a man must have idle time on his hands to acquire or to repeat, and, said the poor fellow, “ look at my clothes and at me; I am starving." This speech was more affecting than his performance,

* Marci Antonii Sabelli, de Venetæ Urbis situ, narratio, edit. Taur. 1527, lib. 1. fol. 202.

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