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Grieved at long civil feuds, from thee a change
To worship Heaven none unmolested go;
And bells excite to arms, that only hung
The weeping Female Train, with clamour loud,
Call out "O mighty Chief, relieve our woes!"
As in a ruthless Hannibal, would wake
Around the fire that wraps the holy church,
Soon shall we see the fuel whence to take,
Though bears, wolves, lions, eagles, serpents, all
To shake it, ill their strength the attempt would suit.
Poor plants, with ardour, from the soil to root,
That made her glorious, as she was before:
* The bears mean the Orsini family, from the word Orso. The rest are supposed to mean those families who united with them, in opposition to the Column, Colonna.
Thy succour bring; for such good deeds, by one She claims alike,* will now be left undone.
Seldom it happens that, to high designs
I see her wrongs with patience, though not few.
A road so clear to everliving Fame;
For thou preparest the Monarchy's return
To former greatness, if I well discern
"Others, its youth assisting, raised the state;
"The Pope," as Gesualdo explains in his note, "who lives at Avignon, attentive to the spiritual go"vernment, and not the republic, and is quite given up "to luxury, indifferent to the fate of Rome and Italy."
On the Tarpeian hill thou wilt behold,
My song, a Chief, all Italy esteems,
Of others' good more thoughtful than his own. Tell him, that one, to whom he is unknown, Save by applauding Fame, yet worthiest seems, "with tears, pour'd forth in streams Through faded eyes, on thee does Rome, from all "Her seven famed hills for just compassion call."
A FOREIGN beauty touch'd my heart, whose face, Love's genuine badge, declared her of his train. (All others seem'd less worthy of her place.) Whom following along the verdant grass, These words I caught, at distance utter'd plain. "Thou with lost labour through the wood wilt pass
* Supposed the description of a warning, which he thinks effectual, from his confessor, father Dennis; who wrote to him, that it was unbecoming to lose his time, by the consequences of his passion.
"On this pursuit." Then in the shade I stood Of a tall beech, and mused awhile, till soon
I saw around what dangers in the wood
Beset me, and return'd content at noon.
ON A MINIATURE OF LAURA, PAINTED FOR PETRARCH BY SIMON, A DICIPLE OF GIOTTO.
THAT master, Policletus, and the rest
Whom History boasts, exerting all their art
This allegory had been used by Dante. He means by Noon, the age of thirty-five years, as being half the age of a man, and likewise his own at that time.
+ This and the following sonnet, are those which Vasari speaks of, as a modern connoisseur would of Pope's epistle to Jervis; or, in other words, as a compliment paid by an eminent poet to an indifferent artist.