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Is shaken into nothing; but the link
From thee! if in another station born,
XXXVIII. Thou! form'd to eat, and be despised, and die, Even as the beasts that perish, save that thou Hadst a more splendid trough and wider sty: He! with a glory round his furrow'd brow, Which emanated then, and dazzles now, In face of all his foes, the Cruscan quire, And Boileau, whose rash envy could allow 18) No strain which shamed his country's creaking
lyre, That whetstone of the teeth -- monotony in wire!
ΧΧΧΙΧ. Peace to Torquato's injured shade! 'twas his in life and death to be the mark where Wrong Aim'd with her poison'd arrows, but to miss. Oh, victor unsurpass'd in modern song! Each year brings forth its millions; but how long The tide of generations shall roll on, And not the whole combined and countless throng
Compose a mind like thine? though all in one Condensed their scatter'd rays, they would not
form a sun.
XL. Great as thou art, yet parallel'd by those, Tliy countrymen, before thee born to shine, The Bards of Hell and Chivalry: first rose The Tuscan father's comedy divine; Then, not unequal to the Florentine, The southern Scott, the minstrel who call'd forth A new creation with his magic line,
And, like the Ariosto of the North, Sang ladye-love and war, romance and knightly XLI. The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust 19 The iron crown of laurel's mimic'd leaves; Nor was the ominous element nnjust, For the true laurel-wreath which Glory weaves 20) Is of the tree no bolt of thunder cleaves, And the false semblance but disgraced his bro Yet still, if fondly Superstition grieves,
Know, that the lightning sanctifies below 21) Whate'er it strikes;- yon head is doubly sacred now.
XLIJ. Italia! oh Italia! thou who hast 22) The fatal gift of beauty, which became A funeral dower of present woes and past, On thy sweet brow is sorrow plough'd by shame, And annals graved in characters of flame. Oh God! that thou wert in thy nakedness Less lovely or more powerful, and couldst claim
Thy right, and awe the robbers back, who press To shed thy blood, and drink the tears of thy distress;
XLIII. Then might'st thou more appal; or, less desired, Be homely and be peaceful, undeplored For thy destructive charms; then, still untired, Would not be seen the armed torrents pour'd Down the deep Alps; nor would the hostile horde Of many nation'd spoilers from the Po Quaff blood and water; nor the stranger's sword
Be thy sad weapon of defence, and so, Victor or vanquish’d, thou the slave of friend or foe.
Along the prow, and saw all these unite
XLV. For Time hath not rebuilt them, but uprear'd Barbaric dwellings on their shatter'd site, Which only make more mourn'd and more endear'd The few last rays of their far scatter'd light, And the crush'd relics of their vanish'd might. The Roman saw these tombs in his own age, These sepulchres of cities, which excite Sad wonder, and his yet surviving page The moral lesson bears, drawn from such pilgrimage.
XLVI, That page is now before me, and on inine His country's ruin added to the mass Of perish'd states he mourn'd in their decline, And I in desolation : all that was of then destruction is; and now, alas! Rome - Rome imperial, bows her to the storni, In the same dust and blackness, and we pass
The skeleton of her Titanic form, 24) Wrecks of another world, whose ashes still are warm.
XLVII. Yet, Italy! through every other land Thy wrongs should ring,and shall, from side to side; Mother of Arts! as once of arms; thy hand Was then our guardian, and is still our guide; Parent of our Religion! whom the wide Nations have knelt to for the keys of heaven! Europe, repentant of her parricide,
Shall yet redeem thee, and, all backward driven, Roll the barbarian tide, and sue to be forgiven.
XLVIII. But Arno wins us to the fair white walls. Where the Etrurian Athens claims and keeps A softer feeling for her fairy halls. Girt by her theatre of hills, she reaps Her corn, and wine, and oil, and Plenty leaps To laughing life, with her redundant horn. Along the banks where smiling Arno sweeps
Was modern Luxury of Commerce born, And buried Learning rose, redeem'd to a new morn.
XLIX. There, too, the Goddess loves in stone, and fills 25) The air around with beauty; we inhale The ambrosial aspect, which, beheld, instils Part of its immortality; the veil Of heaven is half undrawn; within the pale We stand, and in that form and face behold What Mind can make, when Nature's self would fail;
And to the fond idolaters of old Envy the innate flash which such a soul conld
We gaze and turn away, and know not where, Dazzled and drunk with beauty, till the heart Reels with its fulness; there - for ever there Chain'd to the chariot of triumphal Art, We stand as captives, and would not depart. Away! – there need no words, nor terms precise, The paltry jargon of the marble mart, Where Pedantry gulls Folly - we have eyes: Blood — pulse — and breast, confirm the Dardan Shepherd's prize.
LI. Appear'dst thon not to Paris in this guise ? Or to more deeply blest Anchises ? or, In all thy perfect goddess-ship, when lies Before thee thy own vanquish'd Lord of War? And gazing in thy face as toward a star, Laid on thy lap, his eyes to thee upturn, Feeding on thy sweet cheek! 26) while thy lips are
With lava kisses melting while they burn, Shower'd on his eyelids, brow, and mouth, as from an urn!
LII. Glowing, and circumfused in speechless love, Their full divinity inadequate That feeling to express, or to improve, The gods become as mortals, and man's fate Has moments like their brightest; but the weight Of earth recoils upon us; - let it go! We can recal such visions, and create,
From what has been,or might be, things which grow Into thy statue's form, and look like gods below.
LIII. 1 leave to learned fingers, and wise hands, The artist and his ape, to teach and tell How well his connoisseurship understands The graceful bend, and the voluptuous swell: Let these describe the undescribable: I would not their vile breath should crisp the stream Wherein that image shall for ever dwell;
The unruffled mirror of the loveliest dream That ever left the sky on the deep soul to beam.
LIV. In Santa Croce's holy precincts lie 27) Ashes which make it holier, dust which is Even in itself an immortality, Though there were nothing save the past, and this, The particle of those sublimities Which have relapsed to chaos :- here repose Angelo's, Alfieri's bones, and his, 28)
The starry Galileo, with his woes; Here Machiavelli's earth return’d to whence it rose.29
Which gilds it with revivifying ray;
Could not her quarries furnish forth one bust? Did they not to her breast their filial earth intrust?