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What pen shall paint the dreadful devastation
He wrought o'er Meath's and Connaught's plains and downs ?
He scaled their hills, destroyed their towers and towns, And wrapt their woods in one wide conflagration !
O! but his heart was wroth!
His fierceness overbore all opposition.
I know not if ere long there could be found
A single Chief, renowned or unrenowned, Who had not promised the Great Earl submission,
And vowed him faith and troth!
0, mighty Thomas ! terrible and awless!
There was not one rude, predatory horde,
Whom he pursued not, both with gun and sword. He expelled and slaughtered all, to the last lawless
Marauder south and north.
Yet scarce had this triumphant Prince of Nobles
Deceased, before the land he left forlorn,
Alas! unhappiest land ! again was torn By fierce dissensions and distracting troubles,
That burst like wildfire forth.
Oh! cause for sadness and unceasing sighing!
The very heart within my bosom bleeds
To think that he whose high heroic deeds
Low, low, among the Dead !
But glanced at? Even so ! for, in truth, I name not
A tenth of his achievements! But what need
Of more, where all are similar to read ? Whose was the country that he overcame not,
Or held him not in dread ?
To England's power on whom he brought not woe
And spoliation, ruin and overthrow.
When Thomas lived no more!
He was, to sum up all, unmatched in power, an
Intrepid warrior and judious Chief,
Long shall his foes remember with fierce grief That conquering, that relentless Earl of Gowran,
Whose death I so deplore !
ETCHINGS OF ITALY.
LUGANO-COMO-MILAN-THE LAST SUPPER-THE BRERA-THE LAZZARETTO-MANTUA AND CRE
MOXA- VERONA-TIE ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE-PAVIA--VENICE--THE "PIAZZA DI SAN MARCO"
He who has descended from the in- quillity, as we turn from the loud hospitable summits of the St. Gothard sounding din of Homer's battles, to into the valley of the Ticino must re- weep with Andromache, or to wancall with pleasure the sensations which der with the Mantuan bard along the every one experiences on beholding, banks of Mincius. And it is in that for the first time, the sunny plains land of poetry and love, that clime and the soft outlines of an Italian land- where the luxuriance of nature is only scape; and when, having ascended the surpassed by the brilliant development road which leads towards Lugano, he of genius and the lofty conceptions of looks back upon the picturesque town man, where nations have struggled for of Bellinzona, backed by the snowy sovereignty, where the Carthaginian Alps, the contrast between the savage well nigh" witnessed the death-pang grandeur of the latter and the soft of his mortal eneiny, whence sprung beauty of the smiling valley, is even those legions who overcame the world, more striking than before. There is there it is that we learn to appreciate a repose, a tranquillity, a satisfaction, all that is beautiful and generous in Italian scenery which we would
among mankind. vainly look for among the more stupendous and amazing works of creation. We are oppressed and awed by
a beautiful evening, when the former; our feelings are those of having parted from the dirty hostess a man endeavouring to grasp some
of Lugano, with many regrets on her grand idea, which dazzles and over
side, we embarked on the lake, in one powers him. We have met many who
of the large flat boats used for the have been disappointed at the first
passengers and mer.
chandize. view of the Alps, of Mont Blanc, and
The sun was just sinking · yet, after a second or third visit, they
below the hills, having left a have returned more and more impress- glow on the unclouded sky, and the ed with these wonders of God's crea.
dark blue shades of evening were tion. The same phenomena will lead
stealing softly over the mountains. us to the same conclusion in the ma
Not a sound was heard except the terial world as in the mental constitu
plash of the oars, we moved tion of man. The vast works of crea
slowly along, or the song of some tion convey to us certain ideas which,
fisherman, returning to his home, belike those of the omnipotence and eter
neath a white cliff, which peeped out nal existence of a Creator, are too
from between the vines. The sides grand to be comprehended at a single
of the lake were bordered with picglance, until time and habit has ma
turesque villas, campaniles, and white tured our conceptions, and taught us
rocks, all surrounded by luxuriant the true relation of things. He who
foliage, and glistening in the moon. has ascended Mont Blanc, and knows light. that the dark spot which he had so often gazed on from the valley is an A pretty walk from Porlezza, along enormous rock, has gained an idea of a road bordered by fruit-trees, beimmensity which he never could have neath which merry groups of chilacquired without such research.
Yet dren were collecting the produce, there is something fatiguing in the con- leads to the sides of the Lago di Como. templation of this unvarying grandeur, The diversity of objects which prethis sombre magnificence. lle rush sent themselves along the shores of from cloud-capped Alps, and brawling this enchanting lake—the magnificent torrents, and gloomy pine woods, to villas of the Italian nobility--the soft scenes more soothing, more congenial outline of the hills, clothed with olive to the mind seeking peace and tran- myrtle and vines, through which the
THE LAST SUPPER.
frequent chapel rears its white belltower—the beautiful promontory of There is an old, dirty, unpretendBellagio, crowned with terraces and ing building in Milan, once a convent, gardens, all form a scene well worthy afterwards used as a barrack by the of the pencil of Claude, or the glow- French, who have always assimilated ing imagination of Manzoni. Those their ideas more to the church miliwho have read that author's graphic tant, than the church triumphant, descriptions, will derive a new inte- and often shewed their considerate rest from scenes which he has de. attentions to the monastic order, by picted with such truth and beauty, easing them of any superfluity they yet which defy the power of paint. might possess.
Within this convent ing or genius, fully to do them jus. is a large room unpromising in appeartice. They appeal to the feelings, ance, which yet contains one of those to the senses, which they captivate by monuments of genius or inspiration so a power peculiarly their own; and long appreciated by an admiring the languor of the mid-day repose, world—the Last Supper of Leonardo when scarce a sound but the “ tenuis da Vinci. The colours are fast fading susurrus" of the grasshopper is heard, from the wall, and in a few years not a stir in nature, except a lizard nothing, perhaps, will remain but the glancing among the stones, the deep remembrance of this glorious paintglow of an Italian sunset, or the co- ing. Nothing-for although many louring of its sky, can never be real- have been the attempts to reproduce ized even by the finest conceptions of it, and thousands of copies profess to the artist, or the most brilliant ima- give a true idea of the original, yet gination of the poet.
like many other things, they fall far short of their professions. The
world will at length learn that It was late, and the moonlight alone there are a few things which cannot guided us, as we sought the cathe- be copied--which defy imitation, being dral of Milan, that famous structure themselves inimitable. reared by the piety or the supersti- Such are those great monuments of tion of centuries. There it stood, man's creative power, which, as they graceful and majestic, every statue assimilate the creature nearer to the and column reflecting back the soft Creator, so in our imperfect state are light. Often had we viewed it by few and far between, as palm trees in. day, and paced its glorious interior, the desert, from whence centuries may while the sun's setting rays poured a date, and which successive generations yellow light down the marble pillars, may long despair to equal. The colour. and the solemn chant of the vespers, ing of this famous painting has been mingled with the swelling tones of often renewed, which circumstance may
There is something pe. excite a similar question to that concernculiarly solemn in the evening ce- ing the celebrated ship Argo, whether remonial of the Roman Catholic any portion of the original exists. But Church, when the deep monotonous the expression of the Saviour's countechant resounds through the aisles of nance, the lofty majesty of his brow, some vast cathedral, and the few the melancholy yet commanding look lights glimmering at the altar, but of Him who grieved at the treachery heighten the increasing obscurity, and of Judas, yet resigned himself to his impress with the idea of unknown fate, these remain to attest a master vastness. And when the night comes hand-a noble spirit, which derived on, let him who had marked the from the highest sources of inspirasun's last rays mingling with the deep tion. It might seem as if the artist colouring of the painted windows, had caught one gleam from above, one stand beneath the vast shadow of that heavenly glance, and fixed it there, magnificent Duomo, when every glis- the material realization of his own intening spire points upwards to the spired thoughts. Such is genius, true dark vault of heaven, and he may and immortal. It seeks no meretri. depart, assured that seldom has a cious greatness, no satisfaction except more glorious tribute been offered that of having accomplished its task, by mankind to attest a true and eter- fulfilled its mission. Regardless of nal creed.
interest, forgetful of the world, it asks
not, but commands the homage of an and then visit the Lazzaretto, the admiring universe.
scene of so many tragedies of that
eventful time. Outside the gate of THE BRERA.
the city is a low range of buildings, It was the season for the exhibition
surrounded by a stagnant ditch, and of modern paintings when we visited enclosing a small square where the the Brera, and the more sober pro- rank grass grows, the picture of miductions of antiquity were thrust into sery and desolation.
A small chapel the shade beside the gaudy creations rises in the midst, where those who of the present schools of painting. We had survived that awful visitation are not of those who have no eyes or might return thanks for their deliverears for any thing which does not
A few of the buildings are smell of the antique, although we tenanted by some miserable poor, and bave our doubts whether the world is around the pillars which support the ever likely to see surpassed the paintings porticos some parasitical plants have of Raphael or the poetry of Homer twined, as if to mock by their presence and Milton. We can discover some the general decay. Scarcely could trace of genius in the creations of five hundred persons be accommodated Dannecker, or even of our own Land- there with comfort, yet during the seer and Burton; and yet the humi- famine which preceded the plague, liating fact is evident to even a super- twelve thousand destitute beggars ficial observer, that few works of were cooped up in that narrow spac?, modern art can bear a comparison, until they had bred the seeds of infeceither in purity of ideas or style, with tion which, when released, they disthose of a less civilized but less mate- persed all through the city. At no rial age. The reason is plain. The period of history, not even during the instruments are the same, the oppor- plague at Athens, when famine and tunities even greater, but the spirit is war, added to the calamity, has such a wanting. The generality of modern picture of suffering mingled with heartartists work to gain worldly wealth or less recklessness and degrading superapplause. Like the orators of Juve- stition been presented to the world. nal, they are content if they fill their The rapid spread of the infection, pockets, or shake the benches with ac- after the procession of the relics of clamations. Such is not the spirit Saint Borromeo, might have taught from which great and glorious works them to look to a higher power for emanate. Those who still command support in their calamity. Yet the the admiration of each succeeding age, senseless persecution of the anointers were men whom no inferior motives showed that a dreadful scourge was actuated-who, absorbed, possessed as yet needed to convict them of their it were, by one grand idea, toiled until errors. And dreadful was that scourge. they had brought it to perfection. The sun glared upon the devoted city They felt that sooner or later an ad- with withering and baneful heat, the iniring world would do them justice. breath of the pestilence alone fanned Enslaved by no servile imitation, they their burning brows, the cloud hung sought no borrowed gleam of light, above their heads; but no refreshing but dared, like Prometheus, to snatch shower descended from its bosom,the flame from heaven. Such were their ground was iron, and their sky Dante and Raphael, our own Shak- brass. At length the cloud burst, the speare and Milton.
The same age
waters poured down in welcome produced the same spirit, and that streams, the sun shone with a genial spirit reared those magnificent struc- light; but those waters rushed through tures, and brought forth those glo. deserted streets ; the light streamed rious monuments of genius, the goals through palaces now only tenanted by and boundaries of European civiliza- the dead. Famine and pestilence had tion.
done their work, and the prince and THE LAZZARETTO.
peasant lay side by side in the graveHe who would realize to himself a that great leveller of mortality. tale of suffering such as the annals of The phenomena of the plague have history have seldom paralleled, should been in general very similar, as if to read that fearful description of the mark it peculiarly as God's scourge plague at Milan, given by Manzoni, upon an offending nation. There is
MANTUA AND CREMONA.
one remarkable coincidence, however, terres and formal avenues. We can still which proves, in one instance at least, imagine the dulcet sounds of the lute, the similarity of the symptoms in dif
the flocks collected from the summer ferent countries. We allude to the heat, sub pendente rupe, while the hum custom which still exists in Italy of of bees and the chirp of grasshopsaying " salute,” and in Ireland « God pers, rumpunt arbusta cicada, alone bless you,” when any person has sneez- break the complete stillness and reed. In Hibernia, where Paddy must pose of an Italian noontide. It is the have a reason, right or wrong, for burlesque of nature, not nature herself, what he does, this expression is merely which is ridiculous, and excites the considered as a pious invocation against laughter of mankind. Whatever vithe fairies. But in Italy, and espe- cissitudes and changes a country may cially in Milan, which may be called, undergo, although many and different
par excellence," the City of the may be her masters, yet the bulk of Plague, that custom has been handed her population, her peasantry, seldom down as a tradition of that fearful vi. change, but preserve the same chasitation. Sneezing, as mentioned racteristics from age to age. They also by Thucydides, traguos, has al- are the children of the soil; all their ways been a premonitory symptom of sentiments and ideas partake of the the plague, and thus the graphic des. scenes amidst which they live, and cription of the Athenian historian finds the air which they breathe. The a witness yet to attest the truth of his English peasant of the present day is narrative among the streets of Milan the true descendant of the Saxon who and the wilds of Ireland.
fought at Hastings; the Greek who disdained the Turkish yoke is not
unworthy of his fathers who bled at It is seldom that the reality sur
Marathon; the Swiss dreams yet of passes those glowing images which the Sempach and Morgarten ; and the imagination is ever ready to supply, Italian, quick, fiery, and intelligent, especially among scenes long present might yet, beneath the eagles of ano. to the mind. Those who read with ther Cæsar, avenge the injuries of his delight the beautiful rural descriptions
fallen race. of the Mantuan bard, might well suppose that his childhood was nurtured amidst all that is picturesque or strik- The road from Milan to Verona ing in nature, such scenes as might passes by the Lago di Garda, a fine exfill the fancy and awaken the enthu- panse of water, the roar of whose waves siasm of the youthful poet. And yet the giving it the character of an inland sea, place of his birth is destitute of any of mark it as the “ Benacus” of Virgil, those features which constitute either Fluctibus ac fremitu assurgens marino. grand or picturesque scenery. But We found accommodation in a large Virgil was not alone the poet of Mantua, hotel, formerly a palace belonging to but of Italy, of the world, and of Rome, some proud signior of Verona, and the world's mistress. And those who gloomy enough, although spacious. have visited that enchanting clime However, we had reason to be thankmust be more impressed with the ful that our lodging was not in an fact, that the Itals of the present ancient building, now a pothouse, but day is still the land of which the Ro- said to have belonged to the Capulets. man sang
Here the vine-dresser yet It does not at all agree with our ideas prunes his vines, and plants the alter- of a signorial residence, and unfornate rows. Here, beneath the same tunately for the story, the only bal. cloudless and genial sky, the weary cony where Juliet could have stood peasant seeks shelter from the noon- (if she ever stood there at all) looks tide heat under the spreading beech into a narrow, dirty street, which enor widowed elm; and some Arcadian tirely destroys the romance. Indeed beauties may yet be realized, not in both this house and the tomb of Juliet that form in which they have been tra- (which bears a striking resemblance to vestied by the imagination of our ances- à horse trough with a lid upon it) tors, when interesting shepherdesses in seems to have been invented for the silks and brocades were pursued by love- peculiar benefit of the valets de place, sick shepherds, through clipped par- a lively and inventive race, who de