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of me, can I return, though but to die,
Unto my native soil, they have not yet
Quench'd the old exile's spirit, stern and high. But the sun, though not over-cast, must sety
And the night cometh; I am uld in days,
And deeds, and contemplation, and have met Destruction face to face in all his ways.
The world hath left me, what it found me, pure,
And if I have not gather'd yet its praise, I sought it not by any baser lure;
Man wrongs, and Time avenges, and my name
May form a monument not all obscure, Though such was not my ambition's end or aim,
To add to the vainglorious list of those
Who dabble in the pettiness of fame,
Their sail, and deem it glory to be class'd
With conquerors, and virtue's other foes, In bloody chronicles of ages past.
I would have had my Florence great and ee:
Oh Florence! Florence! unto me thou wast Like that Jerusalem which the Almighty He
Wept over, “but thou would'st not ;" as the bird
Gathers its young, I would have gather'd thee
My voice; but as the adder, deaf and fierce,
Alas! how bitter is his country's curse
But did not merit to expire by her,
And loves her, loves her even in her ire.
The day inay come she would be proud to have
The dust she dooms to scatter, and transfer of him whom she denied a home, the grave.
But this shall not be granted; let my dust
Lie where it falls ; nor shall the soil which gave Me breath, but in her sudden fury thrust
Me forth to breathe elsewhere, so reassume
My indignant bones, because her angry gust Forsooth is over, and repeal'd her doom;
No-she denied me what was mine-my roof,
And shall not have what is not hers-my lomb. Too long her armed wrath hath kept aloof
The breast which would have bled for her, the heart
That beat, the mind that was temptation proof, The man who fought, toil'd, travell’d, and each part
or a true citizen fulfill'd, and saw
For his reward the Guelf's ascendant art Pass his destruction even into a law.
These things are not made for forgetfulness,
Florence shall be forgotten first; too raw
Of such endurance too prolongd to make
ieel some fonder yearnings, and for thine My own Beatrice, I would hardly take Vengeance upon the land which once was mine,
And still is hallow'd by thy dust's return,
Which would protect the murderess like a shrine And save ten thousand foes by thy sole urn.
Though, like old Marius from Minturne's marsh
And Carthage ruins, iny lone breast may burn At times with evil feelings hot and harsh,
And sometimes the last pangs of a vile foe
Writhe in a dream before me, and o'er-arch M; brow with hopes of triumph, let them go!
Such are the last infirmities of those
Who long have suffer'd more than mortal wo,
But on the pillow of Revenge -Revenge,
With the oft-baffled, slakeless thirst of change,
When we shall mount again, and they that trod Be trampled on, whilo Death and Até range O'er humbled heads and sever'd necksGreat God!
Take these thoughts from me to thy hands I yield My many wrongs, and thine almighty rod Will fall on those who smote me,---be my shield !
As thou hast been in peril, and in pain,
In turbulent cities, and the tented fieldIn toil, and many troubles borne in vain
For Florence.- I appeal from her to Thee!
Thee, whom I late saw in thy loftiest reign, Even in that glorious vision, which to see
And live was never granted until now,
And yet thou hast permitted this to me. Alas! with what a weight upon my brow
The sense of earth and earthly things come backy
Corrosive passions, feelings dull and low The heart's quick throb upon the mental rack,
Long day, and dreary night; the retrospect
Of half a century bloody and black, And the frail few years I may yet expect
Hoary and hopeless, but less hard to bear,
For I have been too long and deeply wreck'd On the lone rock of Desolate Despair
To lift my eyes more ļo the passing sail
Which shuns that reef so horrible and bare
I am not of this people, nor this age,
Of their perturbed annals could attract
An eye to gaze upon their civil rage,
Worthless as they who wrought it: 't is the doom
Of spirits of my order to be rack'd
Their days in endless strife, and die alone ;
Then future thousands crowd around their tomb, And pilgrims come from climes where they have known
The name of him-who now is but a name,
And wasting homage o'er the sullen stone, Spread his—by him unheard, unheeded-fame ;
And mine at least hath cost me dear: to die
Is nothing, but to wither thus--to tame My mind down from its own infinity
To live in narrow ways with little men,
A common sight to every common eye,
Ripp'd from all kindred, from all home, all tningu
That make communion sweet, and soften pain To feel me in the solitude of kings
Without the power that makes them bear a crow
To envy every dove his nest and wings
On Arno, till he perches, it may be,
Within my all inexorable town,
Their mother, the cold partner who hath brought
Destruction for a dowry—this to see
A bitter lesson; but it leaves me free:
I have not vilely found, nor basely sought, They made an Exile—not a slave of me.
CANTO II. The Spirit of the fervent days of Old, When words were things that came to pass, and
Forth from the abyss of time which is to bom
Shapes that must undergo mortality ;
Vow'd to their God, have shrieking fled, and ceased What the great Seers of Israel wore within,
Their ministry: the nations take their prey That spirit was on them, and is on me,
Iberian, Almain, Lombard, and the beast And if, Cassandra-like, amidst the din
And bird, wolf, vulture, more humane than they Of conflict none will hear, or hearing heed
Are; these but gorge the flesh and lap the gore This voice from out the Wilderness, the sin
Of the departed, and then go their way; Be theirs, and my own feelings be my meed,
But those, the human savages, explore Tho only guerdon I have ever known.
All paths of torture, and insatiate yet, Hast thou not bled ? and hast thou still to bleed, With Ugolino hunger prowl for more. Italia ? Ah! to me such things, foreshown
Nino moons shall rise o'er scenes like this and set ; With dim sepulchral light, bid me forget
The chiefless army of the dead, which late In thine irreparable wrongs my own;
Beneath the traitor Prince's banner met, We can have but one country, and even yet Hath left its leader's ashes at the gate;
'Thou 'rt mine-my bones shall be within thy breast, Had but the royal Rebel lived, perchance My soul within thy language, which once set
Tho hadst been spared, but his involved thy fate With our old Roman sway in the wide West; Oh! Rome, the spoiler or the spoil of France, But I will make another tongue arise
From Brennus to the Bourbon, never, never As lofty and more sweet, in which exprest
Shall foreign standard to thy walls advance The hero's ardour, or the lover's sighs,
But Tiber shall become a mournful river. Shall find alike such sounds for every theme
Oh! when the strangers pass the Alps and PM That every word, as brilliant as thy skies,
Crush them, ye rocks! floods whelm them, and for Shall realize a poet's proudest dream,
Why doth Eridanus but overflow
This shalt thou owe to him'thou didst so wrong, Were not cach barbarous horde a nobler pros
Over Cambyses' host the desert spread Wo! wo! the veil of coming centuries
Her sandy ocean, and the sea waves' sway Is rent,-a thousand years which yet supine
Rolld over Pharaoh and his thousands,-why Lie like the ocean waves ere winds arise,
Mountains and waters, do ye not as they ? Heaving in dark and sullen undulation,
And you, ye men! Romans, who dare not die, Float from eternity into these eyes;
Sons of the conquerors who overthrew The storms yet sleep, the clouds still keep their station, Those who overthrew proud Xerxes, where yet lie The unborn earthquake yet is in the womb,
The dead whose tomb Oblivion never knew, The bloody chaos yet expects creation,
Are the Alps weaker than Thermopylæ ? But all things are disposing for thy doom ;
Their passes more alluring to the viow The elements await but for the word,
of an invader? is it they, or ye, "Let there be darkness!" and thou grow'st a tomb! That to each host the mountain-gate unbar, Yes! thou, so beautiful, shalt feel the sword,
And leave the march in peace, the passage free? Thou, Italy: so fair that Paradise,
Why, Nature's self detains the victor's car, Revived in thee, blooms forth to man restored : And makes your land impregnable, if earth Ah! must the sons of Adam lose it twice?
Could be so; but alone she will not war, Thou, Italy! whose ever golden fields,
Yet aids the warrior worthy of his birth
With brighter stars, and robes with deeper blue ; For them no fortress can avail, -the den
Is more secure than walls of adamant, when
The hearts of those within are quivering. From spoils of kings whom freemen overthrew; Are ye not brave? Yes, yet the Ausonian soil Birthplace of heroes, sanctuary of saints,
Hath hearts, and hands, and arms, and hosts to bring Where earthly first, then heavenly glory made Against Oppression ; but how vain the toil,
Her home; thou, all which fondest fancy paints, While still Division sows the seeds of wo And finds her prior vision but portray'd
And weakness, till the stranger reaps the spoil. In feeble colours, when the eye~from the Alp Oh! my own beauteous land! so long laid low, Of horrid snow, and rock, and shaggy shade
So long the grave of thy own children's hopes, Of desert-loving pine, whose emerald scalp
When there is but required a single blow Nods to the storm-dilates and dotes o'er thee, To break the chain, yet—yet the Avenger stops And wistfully implores, as 't were, for help
And Doubt and Discord step 'twixt thine and thers, To see thy sunny fields, my Italy,
And join their strength to that which with thee cod •; Nearer and nearer yet, and dearer still
What is there wanting then to set thee free
To make the Alps impassable; and we
Are yet to come,—and on the imperial hill
The Plague, the Prince, the Stranger, and the Sword or human sacrifice and Roman slaughter
Vials of wrath but emptied to refill Troubles the clotted air, of late so blue,
And flow again, I cannot all record 1.nd deepens into red the saffron water
That crowds on my prophetic eye: the arth
Yes, all, though not by human pen, is graven, A captive, sees his half of manhood gone 10
'There where the farthest suns and stars have birth, The soul's emasculation saddens all Spread like a banner at the gate of heaven,
His spirit; thus the Bard tvo near the throne The bloody scroll of our millennial wrongs
Quails from his inspiration, bound to please, Waves, and the echo of our groans is driven
How servile is the iask to please alone! Athwart the sounds of archangelic songs,
To smooth the verse to suit his sovereign's ease And Italy, the martyr'd nation's gore,
And royal leisure, nor too much prolong Will not in vain arise to where belongs
Aught save his eulogy, and find, and seizo, Ninnipotence and mercy evermore:
Or force, or forge fit argument of song! Like to a harpstring stricken by the wind,
Thus trammell'd, thus condemn'd to Flattery's trolder The sound of her lament shall, rising o'er
He toils through all, still trembilng to be wrong: The seraph voices, touch the Almighty Mind. For fear some noble thoughts, like heavenly rebels, Meantime I, humblest of thy sons, and of
Should rise up in high treason to his brain, Earth's dust by immortality refined
He sings, as the Athenian spoke, with pebbles To sense and suffering, though the vain may scoff, In's mouth, lest truth should stammer through his strain And tyrants threat, and meeker victims bow
But out of the long file of sonneteers Before the storm because its breath is rough,
There shall be some who will not sing in vain, To thee, my country! whom before, as now,
And he, their prince shall rank among my peers," I loved and love, devote the mournful lyre
And love shall be his torment; but his grief And melancholy gift high powers allow
Shall make an immortality of tears, To read the future; and if now my fire
And Italy shall hail him as the Chief Is not as once it shone o'er thre, forgive !
of Poet-lovers, and his higher song I but foretell thy fortunes—then expire ;
of Freedom wreathe him with as green a lear. Think not that I would look on them and live. But in a farther age shall rise along A spirit forces me to see and speak,
The banks of Po two greater still than he ; And for my guerdon grants not to survive ;
The world which smiled on him shall do them wrong My heart shall be pour'd over thee and break : Till they are ashes, and repose with me. Yet for a moment, ere I must resume
The first will make an epoch with his lyre, Thy sable web of sorrow, let me take
And fill the earth with feats of chivalry; Over the gleams that flash athwart thy gloom
His fancy like a rainbow, and his fire, A spfter glimpse ; some stars shine through thy night, Like that of Heaven, immortal, and his thought And many meteors, and above thy tomb
Borne onward with a wing that cannot tire : Leans sculptured Beauty, which Death cannot blight; Pleasure shall, like a butterfly new caught, And from thine ashes boundless spirits rise
Flutter her lovely pinions o'er bis theme, To give thee honour, and the earth delight;
And Art itself seem into Nacia e wrought Thy soil shall still be pregnant with the wise,
By the transparency of his bright dream. The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and the brave, The second, of a tenderer, sadder mood, Native to thee as summer to thy skies,
Shall pour his soul out o'er Jerusalem ; Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far wave,? He, too, shall sing of arms, and Christian blood
Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name ; 8 Shed where Christ bled for man; and his high harp For thee alone they have no arm to save,
Shall, by the willow over Jordan's flood, And all thy recompense is in their fame,
Revive a song of Sion, and the sharp A noble one to them, but not to thee
Conflict, and final triumph of the brave Shall they be glorious, and thou still the same? And pious, anů the strife of hell to warp. Oh! more than these illustrious far shall be
Their hearts from their great purpose, until wave The being—and even yet he may be born
The red-cross banners where the first red Cross The mortal saviour who shall set thee free,
Was crimsom'd from his veins who died to save, And see thy diadem so changed and worn
Shall be his sacred argument; the loss By fresh barbarians, on thy brow replaced ;
of years, of favour, freedom, even of fame And the sweet sun replenishing thy morn,
Contested for a time, while the smooth gloss Thy moral morn, too long with clouds defaced Of courts would slide o'er his forgotten name, And noxious vapours from Avernis risen,
And call captivity a kindness, meant Such as all they must breathe who are de based To shield him from insanity or shame, By servitude, and have the mind in prison.
Such shall be his meet guerdon! who was sent Yet through this centuried eclipse of wo
To be Christ's Laureat—they reward him well! Some voices shall be heard, and earth shall listen; Florence dooms me but death or banishment. Poets shall follow in the path I show,
Ferrara him a pittance and a cell,
Which cheers the birds to song shall bid them glow, Had stung the factions which I strove to quell; And raise their notes as natural and high;
But this meek man, who with a lover's eye Tuneful shall be their numbers; they shall sing Will look on earih and heaven, and who wril deign Many of love, and some of liberty,
To embalm with his celestial flattery But few shall soar upon that eagle's wing,
As poor a thing as e'er was spawn'd to reign, And look in the sun's face with eagle's gaze
What will he do to merit such a doom? All free and fearless as the feather'd king,
Perhaps he 'll love,- and is not love in vain
Sublime shall lavish'd be on some small prince Yet it wil be so—he and his compeer,
The Bard of Chivalry, will both consumo
In penury and pain too many a year, The harlotry of genius, which, like beauty,
And, dying in despondency, bequea ih Too oft forgets its own self-reverence,
To the kind world, which scarce will yield a tear, And looks on prostitution as a duty.
A heritage enriching all who breathe He who once enters in a tyrant's hall
With the wealth of a genuine puet , soul, As guest is slave, his thoughts become a booty, And to their country a redoubled wreath, And tho first day which sees the chain enthral Unmatch'd by time; not Hellas can unroil
Through her olympiads two such names, though one With thought and beings of our thought reflected. of hers be mighty ;--and is this the whole
Can do no more: then let the artist share Of such men's destiny beneath the sun ?
The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected Must all the finer thoughts, the thrilling sense,
Faints o'er the labour unapproved- Alas! The electric blood with which their arteries run, Despair and Genius are too oft connected Their body's self turn'd soul with the ir.lense Wirbin the ages which before me pass Feeling of that which is, and fancy of
Art shall resume and equal even the sway That which should be, to such a recompense
Which with Apelles and old Phidias
Storm be still scatter'd? Yes, and it must be, Ye shall be taught by Ruin to revive
The Grecian forms at least from their decay,
And Roman souls at last again shall live Back to their native inansion, soon they find
In Roman works wrought by Italian hands, Earth's mist with their pure pinions not agree, And temples, lofijer than the old temples, give And die or are degraded, for the mind
New wonders to the world; and while still stands Succumbs to long infection, and despair,
The austere Pantheon, into heaven shall soar And vulture passions flying close behind,
A dome, " image, while the base expands
Into a fame surpassing all before,
Yet some have been untouch'd who learn'd to bear, And lay their sins at this huge gate of heaven
Some whom no power could ever force to droop, And the bold Architect unto whose care Who could resist themselves even, hardest care! The daring charge to raise it shall be given,
And task most hopeless; but some such have been, Whom all aris shall acknowledge as their lord, And if my name among the number were,
Whether into the marble chaos driven That destiny austere, and yet serene,
His chisel bid the Hebrew, 13 at whose word Were prouder than more dazzling fame unblest; Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone,
The Alp's snow summit nearer heaven is seen Or hues of hell be by his pencil pour'd Than the volcanu's fierce eruptive crest,
Over the damn'd before the Judgment throne,!! Whose splendour from the black abyss is flung, Such as I saw them, such as all shall see, While the scorch'd mountain, from whose burning Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown, breast
The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from mes A temporary torturing flame is wrung,
The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realms Shines for a night of terror, then repels
Which form the empire of eternity. Its fire back to the hell from whence it sprung, Amidst the clash of swords, and clang of helms, The hell which in its entrails ever dwells
The age which I anticipate, no less
Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelms
Calamity the nations with distress,
The genius of my country shall arise,
A Cedar lowering o'er the Wilderness, Many are poets who have never penn'd
Lovely in all its branches to all eyes, Their inspiration, and perchance the best :
Fragrant as fair, and recognised afar, They felt, and loved, and died, but would not lend Wafting its native incense through the skies. Their thoughts to meaner beings; they compress'd Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport of war, The god within them, and rejoin'd the stars
Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and guzo Unlaurell'd upon carth, but far more blest
On canvass or on stone ; and they who mar Than those who are degraded by the jars
All beauty upon earth, compellid to praise, of passion, and their srailties link'd to fame,
Shall feel the power of that which they destroy, Conquerors of high renown, but full of scars.
And Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise Many are poets but without the name,
To tyrants, who but lake her for a toy, For what is poesy but to create
Emblems and monuments, and prostitute From orerfeeling good or ill; and aim
Her charms to pontiffs proud, 16 who but employ At an external lise beyond our fale,
The man of genius as the meanest brule And be the new Prometheus of new men,
To bear a burden, and to serve a need, Bestowing fire from heaven, and then, too late,
To sell his labours and his soul to boot. Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain,
Who toils for nations may be poor indeed, And vultures to the heart of the bestower,
But free ; who sweats for monarchs is no more Who having lavish'd his high gift in vain,
Than the gilt chamberlain, who, c.othed and fee'e Lies chaid'd to his lone rock by the seashore ? Stands sleek and slavish, bowing at his door. So be it: we can bear.-But this all they
Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest! how Whose jatellect is an o'ermastering power
Is it that they on earth, whose earthly power Which still recoils from its incumbering clay
Is likest thine in heaven in outward show, Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er
Leas: like to thee in attributes divine,
Treud on the universa, necks that bow,
And how is it that they, the sons of fame,
From high, they whom the nations oftest namo, Or deify the canvass till it shine
Must pass their days in penury or pain, With beauty so surpassing all below,
Or step to grandeur through the paths of shame That they who kneel to idols so divine
And wear a deeper brand and gaudier chain ? Break na commandment, for high heaven is there Or if their destiny be born aloof 'Transfused, transfigurated : and the line
From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain, Os poesy, which peoples but the air
In their own souls sustain a harder proof,
The ioner war of passions deep and fierce ? Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge for bars,
Florence! when thy harsh sentence razed my roof, Which shut him from the sole small spot of earth I loved thee; but the vengeance of my verse,
Where-whatso'er his fate-he still were hers, The hate of injuries which every year
His country's, and might die where he had birth Makes greater, and accumulates my curse,
Florence! when this lone spirit shall return
To kindred spirits, thou wilt feel my worth
The ashes thou shalt ne'er obiain-Alas!
“ What have I done to thee, my people ?'' 17 Sterr For such sway is not limited to kings
Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass And demagogues yield to them but in date
The limits of man's common malice, for
All that a cilizen could be I was;
And for this thou hast warr'd with me.-'T is done :
Built up between us, and will die alone, The faction Chief is but the Sultan's brother,
Beholding with the dark eye of a seer And the worst despot's far less human ape :
The evil days to gifted souls foreshown, Florence! when this lone spirit, which so long Fortelling them to those who will not hear Yearn'd, as the caplive toiling at escape,
As in the old time, till the hour be come To fly back to thee in despite of wrong,
When Truth shall strike their eyes through many An exile, saddest of all prisoners,
a tear, Whu has the whole world for a dungeon strong, And make them own the Prophet in his comb.
NOTES TO PROPHECY OF DANTE.
Note 1, page 206, line 11.
uoli e uffici della Repubblica nella sua Città; e Aristo. Midst whom my own brighe Beatrice bless'd.
tele che, &c. &c. ebbe due mogli in varj tempi, ed ebbe
figliuoli, e ricchezze assai.-E Marco Tulliome Ca. The reader is requested to adopt the Italian pronun-tone-é Varrone- Seneca-ebbero moglie,” &c. &c. ciation of Beatrice, sounding all the syllables.
It is odd that honest Lionardo's examples, with the ex Note 2, page 206, line 27.
ception of Seneca, and for any thing I know of Aris. My paradise had still been incomplete.
totle, are not the most felicitous. I'ully's Terentia,
and Socrates' Xantippe, by no means contributed to "Che sol per le belle opre
their husbands' happiness, whatever they might do to Che fanno in Cielo il sole e l'altre stelle
their philosophy-Cato gave away his wife of Var. Dentro di lui' si crede il Paradiso,
ro's we know nothing-and of Seneca's, only that she Così se guardi fiso
was disposed to die with him, but recovered, and lived Pensar ben dèi ch' ogni terren' piacere.
several years afierwards. But
“L'uo Canzone, in which Dante describes the person of Bea- mo e animale civile, secondo piace a utti i filosofi." trice, Strophe third.
And thence concludes that the greatest proof of the
animal's civism is "la prima congiunzione, dalla qualo Note 3, page 207, line 20.
multiplicata nasce la Citià." I would have had my Florence great and free. “L’Esilio che mi è dato onor mi tegno.
Note 6, page 208, line 85.
Nine moons shall rise o'er scenes like this and set. Cader tra' buoni è pur di lode degno."
See “Sacco di Roma," generally attributed to Guico Sonnet of Dante,
ciardini, There is another written by a Jacopo m which he represerits Right, Generosity, and Tempe. Buonaparte, Gentiluomo Samminiatese che vi si trovo rance as banished from among men, and seeking refuge presente. from Love, who inhabits his bosom.'
Note 7, page 209, line 39.
Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far usave. The dust she dooms to scatter. “ Ut si quis predictorum ullo tempore in fortiam dicti
Alexander of Parma, Spinola, Pescara, Eugene of som'nunis pervenerit
, lallis perveniens igne comburatur, Savoy, Montecucco. sic quod moriatur.' Second sentence of Florence against Dante, and the
Note 8, page 209, line 40. fourteen accused with him.-The Latin is worthy of Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name. the sentence.
Columbus, Americus Vespusius, Sebastian Cabot,
Note 9, page 209, line 73.
He who once enters in a lyrant's hall, &-c.
A verse from the Greek tragedians, with which, of the most powerful Guelf families, named Donati
. Pompey took leave of Cornelia on entering the bout us Corso Donati was the principal adversary of the Ghi- which he was slain. bellines. She is described as being “ Admodum morosa, ul de Xantippe Socratis philosophi conjuge scriptum esse
Note 10, page 209, lines 75 and 76. legimus," according to Giannózza Manetti. But Lio And the first day which secs the chain enthral, Pe. aardo Aretino is scandalized with Boccace, in his life of The verse and sentiment are taken from Homer Dante, for saying that literary men should not marry: "Qui'il Boccaccio non ha pazienza, e dice, le mnogli
Note 11, page 209, line 93. esser contrarie agli studj; e non si ricorda ché Socrate And the, their prince, shall rank among my DOETA itp iú nobile filosofo cho mai fosso, ebbe moglie e figli- Petrarch.