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What could her grief be?-she had all she loved,
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repress'd affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be?-she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
Nor could he be a part of that which prey'd
Upon her mind-a spectre of the past.
A change came o'er the spirit of dream.
The wanderer was return'd.-I saw him stand
Before an altar-with a gentle bride;
Her face was fair, but was not that which made
The star-light of his boyhood; -as he stood
Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
The selfsame aspect, and the quivering shock
That in the antique oratory shook
His bosom in its solitude; and then-
As in that hour-a moment o'er his face
The tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced, and then it faded as it came,
And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
And all things reel'd around him; he could see
Not that which was, nor that which should have been-
But the old mansion, and the accustom'd hall,
And the remember'd chambers, and the place,
The day, the hour, the sunshine and the shade,
All things pertaining to that place and hour,
And her who was his destiny came back,
And thrust themselves between him and the light:
What business had they there at such a time?
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The lady of his love;-oh! she was changed
As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
Had wander'd from its dwelling, and her eyes,
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth; she was become
The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
Were combinations of disjointed things;
And forms, impalpable and unperceived
Of others' sight, familiar were to hers.
And this the world calls frenzy; but the wise
Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
What is it but the telescope of truth?
Which strips the distance of its phantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real!
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Or were at war with him; he was a mark
For blight and desolation, compass'd round
With hatred and contention; pain was mix'd
In all which was served up to him, until,
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,'
He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains: with the stars
And the quick spirit of the universe
He held his dialogues; and they did teach
To him the magic of their mysteries;
To him the book of night was open'd wide,
And voices from the deep abyss reveal'd
A marvel and a secret-Be it so.
My dream was past; it had no further change.
It was of a strange order, that the doom
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
Almost like a reality-the one
To end in madness-both in misery.
On Venice! Venice! when thy marble walls
Are level with the waters, there shall be
A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,
A loud lament along the sweeping sea!
If I, a northern wanderer, weep for thee,
What should thy sons do?—any thing but weep:
And yet they only murmur in their sleep.
In contrast with their fathers-as the slime,
The dull green ooze of the receding deep,
Is with the dashing of the spring-tide foam,
That drives the sailor shipless to his home,
Are they to those that were; and thus they creep,
Crouching and crab-like through their sapping streets.
Oh! agony-that centuries should reap
No mellower harvest! Thirteen hundred years
Of wealth and glory turn'd to dust and tears;
And every monument the stranger meets,
Church, palace, pillar, as a mourner greets;
And even the Lion all subdued appears,
And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum,
With dull and daily dissonance, repeats
The echo of thy tyrant's voice along
The soft waves, once all musical to song,
That heaved beneath the moon-light with the throng
Of gondolas-and to the busy huin
Of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
Were but the overbeating of the heart,
And flow of too much happiness, which needs
The aid of age to turn its course apart
From the luxuriant and voluptuous flood
Of sweet sensations battling with the blood.
But these are better than the gloomy errors,
The weeds of nations in their last decay,
When vice walks forth with her unsoften'd terrors,
And mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay;
And hope is nothing but a false delay,
The sick man's lightning half an hour ere death,
When faintness, the last mortal birth of pain,
And apathy of limb, the dull beginning
Of the cold staggering race which death is winning,
Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away;
Yet so relieving the o'ertortured clay,
To him appears renewal of his breath,
And freedom the mere numbness of his chain;-
And then he talks of life, and how again
He feels his spirits soaring-albeit weak,
And of the fresher air, which he would seek;
And as he whispers knows not that he gasps,
That his thin finger feels not what it clasps,
And so the film comes o'er him--and the dizzy
Chamber swims round and round-and shadows busy
At which he vainly catches, flit and gleam,
Till the last rattle chokes the strangled scream,
And all is ice and blackness,--and the earth
That which it was the moment ere our birth.
There is no hope for nations! Search the page
Of many thousand years-the daily scene,
The flow and ebb of each recurring age,
The everlasting to be which hath been,
Hath taught us nought or little still we lean
On things that rot beneath our weight, and wear
Our strength away in wrestling with the air;
For 't is our nature strikes us down the beasts
Slaughter'd in hourly hecatombs for feasts
Are of as high an order-they must go
Even where their driver goads them, though to slaughter.
Ye men, who pour your blood for kings as water,
What have they given your children in return?
A heritage of servitude and woes,
A blindfold bondage, where your hire is blows.
What? do no yet the red-hot ploughshares burn,
O'er which you stumble in a false ordeal,
And deem this proof of loyalty the real;
Kissing the hand that guides you to your scars,
And glorying as you tread the glowing bars?
All that your sires have left you, all that time
Bequeaths of free, and history of sublime,
Spring from a different theme!-Ye see and read,
Admire and sigh, and then succumb and bleed!
Save the few spirits, who despite of all,
And worse than all, the sudden crimes engender'd
By the down-thundering of the prison-wall,
And thirst to swallow the sweet waters tender'd,
Gushing from freedom's fountains-when the crowd,
Madden'd with centuries of drought, are loud,
And trample on each other to obtain
The cup which brings oblivion of a chain
Heavy and sore,-in which long yoked they plough'd
The sand,- -or if there sprung the yellow grain,
T was not for them, their necks were too much bow'd,
And their dead palates chew'd the cud of pain:-
Yes! the few spirits-who, despite of deeds
Which they abhor, confound not with the cause
Those momentary starts from nature's laws,
Which, like the pestilence and earthquake, smite
But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth
With all her seasons to repair the blight
With a few summers, and again put forth
Cities and generations-fair, when free-
For, tyranny, there blooms no bud for thee!
Were of the softer order-born of love,
She drank no blood, nor fatten'd on the dead,
But gladden'd where her harmless conquests spread;
For these restored the cross, that from above
Hallow'd her sheltering banners, which incessant
Flew between earth and the unholy crescent,
Which, if it waned and dwindled, earth may thank
The city it has clothed in chains, which clank
Now, creaking in the ears of those who owe
The name of freedom to her glorious struggles;
Yet she but shares with them a common woe,
And call'd the « kingdom» of a conquering foe,-
But knows what all-and, most of all, we know-
With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles!
The name of commonwealth is past and gone O'er the three fractions of the groaning globe; Venice is crush'd, and Holland deigns to own
A sceptre, and endures the purple robe; If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone His chainless mountains, 't is but for a time, For tyranny of late is cunning grown, And in its own good season tramples down The sparkles of our ashes. One great clime, Whose vigorous offspring by dividing ocean Are kept apart and nursed in the devotion Of freedom, which their fathers fought for, and Bequeath'd-a heritage of heart and hand, And proud distinction from each other land, Whose sons must bow them at a monarch's motion, As if his senseless sceptre were a wand Full of the magic of exploded scienceStill one great clime, in full and free defiance, Yet rears her crest, unconquer'd and sublime, Above the far Atlantic!-She has taught Her Esau-brethren that the haughty flag, The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag, May strike to those whose red right hands have bought Rights cheaply earn'd with blood. Still, still, for ever Better, though each man's life-blood were a river, That it should flow, and overflow, than creep Through thousand lazy channels in our veins, Damm'd like the dull canal with locks and chains, And moving, as a sick man in his sleep, Three paces, and then faltering; better be Where the extinguish'd Spartans still are free, In their proud charnel of Thermopylæ, Than stagnate in our marsh,—or o'er the deep Fly, and one current to the ocean add, One spirit to the souls our fathers had, One freeman more, America, to thee!
As o'er the cold sepulchral stone
Some name arrests the passer-by, Thus, when thou view'st this page alone, May mine attract thy pensive eye!
And when by thee that name is read, Perchance in some succeeding year, Reflect on me as on the dead,
And think my heart is buried here. September 14th, 1809.
Hombres, niños y mugeres, Lloran tan grande pérdida. Lloraban todas las damas Cuantas en Granada habia. Ay de mí, Alhama!
Por las calles y ventanas
Mucho luto parecia ;
Llora el Rey como fembra,
Qu'es mucho lo que perdia.
Ay de mí, Alhama!
Sonetto composto in nome di un genitore, a cui era morta poco innanzi una figlia appena maritata; e diretto al genitore della sacra
Di due vaghe donzelle, oneste, accorte Lieti e miseri padri il ciel ne feo;
Il ciel, che degne di più nobil sorte, L'una e l'altra veggendo, ambo chiedco. La mia fu tolta da veloce morte
A le fumanti tede d' Imeneo :
La tua, Francesco, in sugellate porte
Eterna prigioniera or si rendeo.
Ma tu almeno potrai de la gelosa
Irremeabil soglia, ove s' asconde
La sua tenera udir voce pictosa.
Io verso un fiume d' amarissim' onda,
Corro a quel marmo in cui la figlia or posa,
Batto e ribatto, ma nessun risponde.
WRITTEN IN PASSING THE AMBRACIAN GULPH,
NOVEMBER 14, 1809.
THROUGH cloudless skies, in silvery sheen, Full beams the moon on Actium's coast, And on these waves, for Egypt's queen,
The ancient world was won and lost.
And now upon the scene I look,
The azure grave of many a Roman; Where stern Ambition once forsook
His wavering crown to follow woman.
Florence! whom I will love as well
As ever yet was said or sung (Since Orpheus sang his spouse from hell), Whilst thou art fair and I am young;
Sweet Florence! those were pleasant times, When worlds were staked for ladies' eyes: Had bards as many realms as rhymes,
Thy charms might raise new Anthonies.
Though Fate forbids such things to be, Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curl'd!
I cannot lose a world for thee,
But would not lose thee for a world.
And men and infants therein weep Their loss, so heavy and so deep; Granada's ladies, all she rears Within her walls, burst into tears. Woe is me, Alhama!
And from the windows o'er the walls
The sable web of mourning falls!
The king weeps as a woman o'er
His loss, for it is much and sore.
Woe is me, Allama!
TRANSLATION FROM VITTORELLI.
ON A NUN,
Sonnet composed in the name of a father, whose daughter had recently died shortly after her marriage; and addressed to the father of her who had lately taken the veil.
Of two fair virgins, modest though admired,
Heaven made us happy, and now, wretched sires;
Heaven for a nobler doom their worth desires,
And gazing upon either, both required.
Mine, while the torch of Hymen newly fired
Becomes extinguish'd, soon-too soon expires:
But thine, within the closing grate retired,
Eternal captive, to her God aspires:
But thou at least from out the jealous door,
Which shuts between your never-mecting eyes,
Mayst hear her sweet and pious voice once more:
I to the marble, where my daughter lies,
Rush, the swoln flood of bitterness I
And knock, and knock, and knock-but none replies.
Composed October 11th, 1809, during the night, in a thunder-storm, when the guides had lost the road to Zitza, near the range of moan tains formerly called Pindus, in Albania.
CHILL and mirk is the nightly blast,
Where Pindus' mountains rise, And angry clouds are pouring fast The vengeance of the skies.
Our guides are gone, our hope is lost,
And lightnings, as they play,
But show where rocks our path have crost,
Or gild the torrent's spray.
yon a cot I saw, though low? When lightning broke the gloomHow welcome were its shade!-ah! no! T is but a Turkish tomb.
Through sounds of foaming waterfalls, I hear a voice exclaim
My way-worn countryman, who calls On distant England's name.
A shot is fired-by foe or friend? Another-t is to tell
The mountain peasants to descend, And lead us where they dwell.