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CLXXXII. . . Thy shores are empires, changed in all save theeAssyria, 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 browSuch 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 sublimeThe 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.
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
CLXXXV. 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 beenA sound which makes us linger;—yet—farewell! 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;
I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
Stanza i. lines 1 and 2. The communication between the Ducal palace and the prisons of Venice is by a gloomy bridge, or covered gallery, high 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 glimmers 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 holes. Only one prisoner was found when the republicans 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:
NON TI FIDAR AD ALCUNO PENSA E TACI-
1607. ADI 2. GENARO. FUI RETENTO P' LA BESTIEMMA P' AVER DATO DA MANZAR A UN MORTO
IACOMO. GRITTI. SCRISSE.
UN PARLAR POCHO et