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The fool with Time, I should perhaps reserve Soft music came as from Armida's palace,
My leisure for Catullus on his lake,

Breathing enchantment o'er the woods, the waters;
Though to fare worse, or Virgil at his farm And through a bright pavilion, bright as day,
A little further on the way to Mantua.

Forms such as hers were flitting, lost among
But such things cannot be. So I sit still, Such as of old in sober pomp swept by,
And let the boatman shift his little sail,

Such as adorn the triumphs and the feasts
His sail so forked and so swallow-like,

Painted by Cagliari; where the world danced
Well pleased with all that comes. The morning air Under the starry sky, while I look'd on,
Plays on my cheek how gently, flinging round Admiring, listening, quaffing gramolata,
A silvery gleam : and now the purple mists And reading, in the eyes that sparkled round,
Rise like a curtain ; now the sun looks out, The thousand love adventures written there.
Filling, o'erflowing with his glorious light

Can I forget-no, never, such a scene
This noble amphitheatre of mountains ;

So full of witchery! Night linger'd still, And now appear as on a phosphor se

When, with a dying breeze, I left Bellaggio ;
Numberless barks, from Milan, from Pavia; But the strain follow'd me; and still I saw
Some sailing up, some down, and some at anchor, Thy smile, Angelica ; and still I heard
Lading, unlading at that small port-town

Thy voice-once and again bidding adieu.
Under the promontory—its tall tower
And long flat roofs, just such as Poussin drew,

Caught by a sunbeam slanting through a cloud;

A quay-like scene, glittering and full of life,
And doubled by reflection.

The song was one that I had heard before,
What delight,

But where I knew not. It inclined to sadness; After so long a sojourn in the wild,

And, turning round from the delicious fare
To hear once more the sounds of cheerful labour ! My landlord's little daughter, Barbara,
-But in a clime like this where are they not? Had from her apron just rolld out before me,
Along the shores, among the hills 'tis now Figs and rock-melons—at the door I saw
The heyday of the vintage ; all abroad,

Two boys of lively aspect. Peasant-like
But most the young and of the gentler sex, They were, and poorly clad, but not unskill'd;
Busy in gathering ; all among the vines,

With their small voices and an old guitar
Some on the ladder, and some underneath,

Winning their mazy progress to my heart Filling their baskets of green wickerwork, In that, the only universal language. While many a canzonet and frolic laugh

But soon they changed the measure, entering on Come through the leaves; the vines in light festoons A pleasant dialogue of sweet and sour, From tree to tree, the trees in avenues,

A war of words, and waged with looks and gestures, And every avenue a cover'd walk,

Between Trappanti and his ancient dame,
Hung with black clusters. 'Tis enough to make Mona Lucilia. To and fro it went;
The sad man merry, the benevolent one

While many a titter on the stairs was heard,
Melt into tears—so general is the joy!

And Barbara's among them. While up and down the cliffs, over the lake,

When 'twas done, Wains oxen-drawn, and pannier'd mules are seen, Their dark eyes flash'd no longer, yet, methought, Laden with grapes, and dropping rosy wine. In many a glance as from the soul, express

Here I received from thee, Filippo Mori, More than enough to serve them. Far or near, One of those courtesies so sweet, so rare !

Few let them pass unnoticed ; and there was not When, as I rambled through thy vineyard ground A mother round about for many a league, On the hill-side, thou sent'st thy little son, But could repeat their story. Twins they were, Charged with a bunch almost as big as he,

And orphans, as I learnt, cast on the world; To press it on the stranger.

The parents lost in the old ferry-boat

May thy vats That, three years since, last Martinmas, went down O’erflow, and he, thy willing gift-bearer,

Crossing the rough Penacus.* Live to become ere long himself a giver ;

May they live
And in due time, when thou art full of honour, Blameless and happy-rich they cannot be,
The staff of thine old age !

Like him who, in the days of minstrelsy,
In a strange land

Came in a beggar's weeds to Petrarch's door,
Such things, however trifling, reach the heart,

Crying without, “Give me a lay to sing !"
And through the heart the head, clearing away And soon in silk (such then the power of song)
The narrow notions that grow up at home, Return'a to thank him; or like him wayworn
And in their place grafting good-will to all. And lost, who, by the foaming Adige
At least I found it so; nor less at eve,

Descending from the Tyrol, as night fell,
When, bidden as an English traveller,

Knock'd at a city gate near the hill foot, ('Twas by a little boat that gave me chase

The gate that bore so long, sculptured in stone, With oar and sail, as homeward-bound I cross'd

An eagle on a ladder, and at once
The bay of Tramezzine,) right readily

Found welcome-nightly in the banner'd ball
I turo'd my prow and follow'd, landing soon Tuning his harp to tales of chivalry
Where steps of purest marble met the wave;
Where, through the trellises and corridors,

* Lago di Garda.

Before the great Mastino, and his guests,

Godlike example, Echoes that have slept The three-and-twenty, by some adverse fortune, Since Athens, Lacedæmon, were themselves, By war or treason or domestic malice,

Since men invoked “By those in Marathon!” Reft of their kingly crowns, reft of their all, Awake along the Ægean; and the dead, And living on his bounty.

They of that sacred shore, have heard the call, But who now

And through the ranks, from wing to wing, are seen Enters the chamber, flourishing a scroll

Moving as once they were-instead of rage In his right hand, his left at every step

Breathing deliberate valour. Brushing the floor with what was once a hat

Of ceremony ? Gliding on he comes,

Slipshod, ungarter'd; his long suit of black
Dingy and threadbare, though renew'd in patches In this neglected mirror (the broad frame
Til it has almost ceased to be the old one.

Of massive silver serves to testify
At length arrived, and with a shrug that pleads That many a noble matron of the house
* 'Tis my necessity !” he stops and speaks, Has sate before it) once, alas ! was seen
Screwing a smile into his dinnerless face.

What led to many sorrows. From that time "I am a poet, signor :-give me leave

The bat came hither for a sleeping place ; To bid you welcome. Though you shrink from And he, who cursed another in his heart, notice,

Said, “ Be thy dwelling through the day, the night, The splendour of your name has gone before you ; Shunn'd like Coll'alto.” 'Twas in that old castle, And Italy from sea to sea rejoices,

Which flanks the cliff with its gray battlements As well indeed she may! But I transgress : Flung here and there, and, like an eagle's nest, I too have known the weight of praise, and ought Hangs in the Trevisan, that thus the steward, To spare another.”

Shaking his locks, the few that time had left him, Saying so, he laid

Address'd me, as we enter'd what was call'd His sonnet, an impromptu, on my table,

“My lady's chamber.” On the walls, the chairs, And bow'd and left me ; in his hollow hand Much yet remains of the rich tapestry Receiving my small tribute, a zecchino,

Much of the adventures of Sir Lancelot Unconsciously, as doctors do their fees.

In the green glades of some enchanted forest. My omelet, and a flagon of hill-wine,

The toilet table was of massive silver, “The very best in Bergamo !” had long

Florentine art, when Florence was renown'd; Fled from all eyes; or, like the young Gil Blas A gay confusion of the elements, De Santillane, I had perhaps been seen

Dolphins and boys, and shells and fruits and flowers; Bartering my bread and salt for empty praise. And from the ceiling, in his gilded cage,

Hung a small bird of curious workmanship,

That, when his mistress bade him, would unfold

(So said at least the babbling dame, tradition) Am I in Italy? Is this the Mincius ?

His emerald wings, and sing and sing again Are those the distant turrets of Verona?

The song that pleased her. While I stood and And shall I sup where Juliet at the mask

look'd, Saw her loved Montague, and now sleeps by him? A gleam of day yet lingering in the west, Such questions hourly do I ask myself ;

The steward went on. And not a finger-post by the road side

“ She had ('tis now long since) To Mantua”_" To Ferrara”—but excites A gentle serving maid, the fair Cristina. Surprise, and doubt, and self-congratulation. Fair as a lily, and as spotless too; 0 Italy, how beautiful thou art !

None so admired, beloved. They had grown up Yet could I weep—for thou art lying, alas ! As play-fellows; and some there were, who said, Low in the dust; and they who come, admire thee Some who knew much, discoursing of Cristina, As we admire the beautiful in death.

• She is not what she seems.' When unrequired,
Thine was a dangerous gift, the gift of beauty. She would steal forth ; her custom, her delight,
Would thou hadst less, or wert as once thou wast, To wander through and through an ancient grove
Inspiring awe in those who now enslave thee ! Self-planted halfway down, losing herself
-But why despair? Twice hast thou lived already, Like one in love with sadness; and her veil
Twice shone among the nations of the world, And vesture white, seen ever in that place,
As the sun shines among the lesser lights

Ever as surely as the hours came round,
Of heaven; and shalt again. The hour shall come, Among those reverend trees, gave her below
When they who think to bind the ethereal spirit, The name of the White Lady. But the day
Who, like the eagle cowering o'er his prey, Is gone, and I delay you.
Watch with quick eye, and strike and strike again

In that chair
If but a sinew vibrate, shall confess

The countess, as it might be now, was sitting, Their wisdom folly. E'en now the flame

Her gentle serving maid, the fair Cristina, Bursts forth where once it burnt so gloriously, Combing her golden hair; and through this door And, dying, left a splendour like the day,

The count, her lord, was hastening, call’d away That like the day diffused itself, and still

By letters of great urgency to Venice ; Blesses the earth—the light of genius, virtue, When in the glass she saw, as she believed, Greatness in thought and act, contempt of death, ('Twas an illusion of the evil spirit

Some say he came and cross'd it at the instant,) And could shake long at shadows. They had play'd
A smile, a glance at parting, given and answerd, Their parts at Padua, and were now returning;
That turn'd her blood to gall. That very night A vagrant crew, and careless of to-morrow,
The deed was done. That night, ere yet the moon Careless and full of mirth. Who, in that quaver,
Was up on Monte Calvo, and the wolf

Sings “ Caro, caro ?”—'Tis the prima donna,
Baying as still he does, (oft do I hear him, And to her monkey, smiling in his face,
An hour and more by the old turret clock,) Who, as transported, cries, “ Brava! ancora ?”
They led her forth, th' unhappy, lost Cristina, 'Tis a grave personage, an old macaw,
Helping her down in her distress—to die.

Perch'd on her shoulder. But mark him who leaps “No blood was spilt; no instrument of death Ashore, and with a shout urges along Lurk’d-or stood forth, declaring its bad purpose ; The lagging mules; then runs and climbs a tree Nor was a hair of her unblemish'd head

That with its branches overhangs the stream, Hurt in that hour. Fresh as a flower ungather'd, And, like an acorn, drops on deck again. And warm with life, her youthful pulses playing, 'Tis he who speaks not, stirs not, but we laugh; She was wall'd up within the castle wall.

That child of fun and frolic, Arlecchino. The wall itself was hollow'd to receive her; And mark their poet-with what emphasis Then closed again, and done to line and rule. He prompts the young soubrette, conning her part! Would you descend and see it?—'Tis far down; Her tongue plays truant, and he raps his box, And many a stair is gone. 'Tis in a vault And prompts again; for ever looking round Under the chapel: and there nightly now, As if in search of subjects for his wit, As in the narrow niche, when smooth and fair, His satire; and as often whispering And as though nothing had been done or thought of, Things, though unheard, not unimaginable. The stone-work rose before her, till the light Had I thy pencil, Crabbe, (when thou hast done,Glimmer'd and went-there, nightly, at that hour, Late may it be,-it will, like Prospero's staff, (You smile, and would it were an idle tale ! Be buried fifty fathoms in the earth,) Would we could say so !) at that hour she stands I would portray the Italian-Now I cannot. Shuddering—her eyes uplifted, and her hands Subtle, discerning, eloquent, the slave Join'd as in prayer ; then, like a blessed soul Of love, of hate, for ever in extremes ; Bursting the tomb, springs forward, and away Gentle when unprovoked, easily won, Flies o'er the woods, the mountains. Issuing forth, But quick in quarrel—through a thousand shades The hunter meets her in his hunting track; His spirit fits, chameleon-like; and mocks The shepherd on the heath, starting, exclaims, The eye of the observer. (For still she bears the name she bore of old,)

Gliding on, • 'Tis the White Lady !!

At length we leave the river for the sea.

At length a voice aloft proclaims “ Venezia !”

And, as call'd forth, it comes.

A few in fear, There is a glorious city in the sea.

Flying away from him whose boast it was, The sea is in the broad, the narrow streets, That the grass grew not where his horse had trod, Ebbing and flowing; and the salt sea-weed Gave birth to Venice. Like the waterfowl, Clings to the marble of her palaces.

They built their nests among the ocean waves; No track of men, no footsteps to and fro,

And, where the sands were shifting, as the wind Lead to her gates. The path lies o'er the sea, Blew from the north, the south; where they that Invisible; and from the land we went,

came, As to a floating city-steering in,

Had to make sure the ground they stood upon, And gliding up her streets as in a dream,

Rose, like an exhalation, from the deep, So smoothly, silently-by many a dome

A vast metropolis, with glittering spires, Mosque-like, and many a stately portico,

With theatres, basilicas adornd; The statues ranged along an azure sky;

A scene of light and glory, a dominion, By many a pile in more than eastern splendour, That has endured the longest among men. of old the residence of merchant kings ;

And whence the talisman by which she rose, The fronts of some, though time had shatter'd them, Towering? 'Twas found there in the barren sea Still glowing with the richest hues of art,

Want led to enterprise ; and, far and near, As though the wealth within them had run o'er. Who met not the Venetian ?-now in Cairo;

Thither I came, and in a wondrous ark, Ere yet the califa came, listening to hear (That, long before we slipp'd our cable, rang Its bells approaching from the Red Sea coast; As with the voices of all living things,)

Now on the Euxine, on the Sea of Azoph, From Padua, where the stars are, night by night, In converse with the Persian, with the Russ, Watch'd from the top of an old dungeon tower, The Tartar; on his lowly deck receiving Whence blood ran once, the tower of Ezzelin Pearls from the Gulf of Ormus, gems from Bagdad, Not as he watch'd them, when he read his fate Eyes brighter yet, that shed the light of love, And shudder'd. But of him I thought not then, From Georgia, from Circassia. Wandering round, Him or bis horoscope ; far, far from me

When in the rich bazaar he saw, display'd, The forms of guilt and fear; though some were there, Treasures from unknown climes, away he went, Sitting among us round the cabin board, Some who, like him, had cried, “Spill blood enough!”


And, travelling slowly upward, drew ere long

From the well-head supplying all below;

Making the imperial city of the east,
Herself, his tributary.

He who is on his travels and loves ease,
If we turn

Ease and companionship, should hire a youth,
To the black forests of the Rhine, the Danube, Such as thou wert, Luigi. Thee I found,
Where o'er each narrow glen a castle hangs, Playing at mora on the cabin roof
And, like the wolf that hunger'd at his door, With Pulcinella, crying, as in wrath,
The baron lived by rapine—there we meet, “ Tre! Quattro ! Cinque !”—'tis a game to strike
In warlike guise, the caravan from Venice; Fire from the coldest heart. What then from
When on its march, now lost and now emerging,

thine ? A glittering file, the trumpet heard, the scout And, ere the twentieth throw, I had resolved, Sent and recall'd—but at a city gate

Won by thy looks. Thou wert an honest lad; All gayety, and look'd for ere it comes ;

Wert generous, grateful, not without ambition. Winning its way with all that can attract, Had it depended on thy will and pleasure, Cages, whence every wild cry of the desert, Thou wouldst have number'd in thy family Jugglers, stage-dancers. Well might Charlemain, At least six doges and twelve procurators. And his brave peers, each with his visor up, But that was not to be. In thee I saw On their long lances lean and gaze a while, The last of a long line of Carbonari, When the Venetian to their eyes disclosed

Who in their forest, for three hundred years, The wonders of the east! Well might they then Had lived and labour'd, cutting, charring wood; Sigh for new conquests!

Discovering where they were, to those astray, Thus did Venice rise, By the re-echoing stroke, the crash, the fall, Thus flourish, till th' unwelcome tidings came, Or the blue wreath that travell’d slowly up That in the Tagus had arrived a fleet

Into the sky. Thy nobler destinics From India, from the region of the sun,

Led thee away to jostle in the crowd ; Fragrant with spices—that a way was found, And there I found thee-by thy own prescription A channel open'd, and the golden stream

Crossing the sea to try once more a change Turn'd to enrich another. Then she felt

Of air and diet, landing, and as gayly Her strength departing, and at last she fell, Near the Dogano-on the great canal, Fell in an instant, blotted out and razed;

As though thou knewest where to dine and sleep. She who had stood yet longer than the longest First didst thou practise patience in Bologna, Of the four kingdoms-who, as in an ark,

Serving behind a cardinal's gouty chair, Had floated down, amid a thousand wrecks, Laughing at jests that were no laughing matter; Uninjured, from the old world to the new,

Then teach the art to others in Ferrara, From the last trace of civilized life- to where -At the Three Moors—as guide, as cicerone Light shone again, and with unclouded splendour. Dealing out largely in exchange for pence

Though many an age in the midsea she dwelt, Thy scraps of knowledge through the grassy street From her retreat calmly contemplating

Leading, explaining-pointing to the bars The changes of the earth, herself unchanged. Of Tasso's dungeon, and the Latin verse Before her pass'd, as in an awful dream,

Graven in the stone, that yet denotes the door The mightiest of the mighty. What are these, Of Ariosto. Clothed in their purple ? O'er the globe they fiing

Many a year is gone Their monstrous shadows; and, while yet we speak, Since on the Rhine we parted; yet, methinks Phantom-like, vanish with a dreadful scream! I can recall thee to the life, Luigi, What—but the last that styled themselves the In our long journey ever by my side, Cæsars?

O'er rough and smooth, o'er Apennine, Maremma; And who in long array (look where they come; Thy locks jet black, and clustering round a face Their gestures menacing so far and wide)

Open as day, and full of manly daring. Wear the green turban and the heron's plume ? Thou hadst a hand, a heart for all that came, Who—but the caliphs ? follow'd fast by shapes Herdsman or pedlar, monk or muleteer ; As new and strange-emperor, and king, and czar, And few there were that met thee not with smiles. And soldan, each, with a gigantic stride,

Mishap pass’d o'er thee like a summer cloud. Trampling on all the flourishing works of peace Cares thou hadst none; and they, who stood to hear To make his greatness greater, and inscribe

thee, His name in blood—some, men of steel, steel-clad ; Caught the infection, and forgot their own. Others, nor long, alas ! the interval,

Nature conceived thee in her merriest mood,
In light and gay attire, with brow serene

Her happiest-not a speck was in the sky;
Wielding Jove's thunder, scattering sulphurous fire and at thy birth the cricket chirpa, Luigi,
Mingled with darkness; and, among the rest, Thine a perpetual voiceat every turn
Lo, one by one, passing continually,

A larum to the echo. In a clime
Those who assume a sway beyond them all; Where all the world was gay, thou wert the gayest,
Men gray with age, each in a triple crown, And, like a babe, hushd only by thy slumbers,
And in his tremulous hands grasping the keys Up hill and down, morning, and noon, and night,
That can alone, as he would signify,

Singing or talking ; singing to thyself Unlock heaven's gate.

When none gave car, but to the listener talking.

Where the archangel, turning with the wind,

Blesses the city from the topmost tower,

His arms extended-there continually

Two phantom shapes were sitting side by side, OVER how many tracts, vast, measureless, Nothing from day to day, from year to year,

Or up, and, as in sport, chasing each other ;

Horror and Mirth. Both vanish'd in one hour ! Passes, save now and then a cloud, a meteor, A famish'd eagle ranging for his prey ;

But Ocean only, when again he claims

His ancient rule, shall wash away their footsteps.
While on this spot of earth, the work of man,
How much has been transacted! Emperors, popes, Down which the grisly head of old Faliero

Enter the palace by the marble stairs *
Warriors, from far and wide, laden with spoil,
Landing, have here perform’d their several parts,

Roll'd from the block. Pass onward through the

chamber, Then left the stage to others. Not a stone In the broad pavement, but to him who has

Where, among all drawn in their ducal robes, An eye, an ear for the inanimate world,

But one is wanting-where, thrown off in heat, Tells of past ages.

A short inscription on the doge's chair
In that temple porch

Led to another on the wall yet shorter ;

And thou wilt track them--wilt from halls of state (The brass is gone, the porphyry remains,) Did Barbarossa fling his mantle off

Where kings have feasted, and the festal song And kneeling, on his neck receive the foot

Rung through the fretted roof, cedar and gold,
Step into darkness ; and be told,

6 'Twas here Of the proud pontiff—thus at last consoled For flight, disguise, and many an anguish shake

Trusting, deceived, assembled but to die,

To take a long embrace and part again, On his stone pillow. In that temple porch

Carrara and his valiant sons were strangled; Old as he was, so near his hundredth year, And blind-his eyes put out-did Dandolo

He first—then they, whose only crime had been Stand forth, displaying on his ducal crown

Struggling to save their father.”—Through that

door The cross just then assumed at the high altar. There did he stand, erect, invincible,

So soon to cry, smiting his brow," I'm lost !” Though wan his cheeks, and wet with many tears, Was shown, and with all courtesy, all honour, For in his prayers he had been weeping much;

The great and noble captain, Carmagnola. And now the pilgrims and the people wept

That deep descent (thou canst not yet discern With admiration, saying in their hearts,

Aught as it is) leads to the dripping vaults “ Surely those aged limbs have need of rest!”

Under the flood, where light and warmth came Dever, --There did he stand, with his old armour on,

Leads to a cover'd bridge, the Bridge of Sighs ; Ere, gonfalon in hand, that stream'd aloft,

And to that fatal closet at the foot, As conscious of its glorious destiny,

Lurking for prey, which, when a victim enter'd, So soon to float o'er mosque and minaret,

Grew less and less, contracting to a span; He sail'd away, five hundred gallant ships,

An iron door, urged onward by a screw, Their lofty sides hung with emblazon'd shields,

Forcing out life. But let us to the roof, Following his track to glory. He returned not ;

And, when thou hast survey'd the sea, the land, But of his trophies four arrived ere long,

Visit the narrow cells that cluster there, Snatch'd from destruction—the four steeds divine, As in a place of tombs. They had their tenants, That strike the ground, resounding with their feet, And each supplied with sufferings of his own. And from their nostrils snort ethereal flame

There burning suns beat unrelentingly, Over that very portal in the place

Turning all things to dust, and scorching up Where in an after-time Petrarch was seen

The brain, till reason fled, and the wild yell Sitting beside the doge, on his right hand,

And wilder laugh burst out on every side, Amid the ladies of the court of Venice,

Answering each other as in mockery! Their beauty shaded from the setting sun

-Few houses of the size were better fillid; By many-colour'd hangings; while, beneath,

Though many came and left it in an hour. Knights of all nations, some from merry England,

“ Most nights,” so said the good old Nicolo, Their lances in the rest, charged for the prize.

(For three-and-thirty years his uncle kept Here, among other pageants, and how oft The water gate below, but seldom spoke, It came, as if returning to console

Though much was on his mind,) “ most nights The least, instruct the greatest, did the doge,

arrived Himself, go round, borne through the gazing crowd, The prison boat, that boat with many oars, Once in a chair of state, once on his bier.

And bore away as to the lower world, They were his first appearance, and his last.

Disburdening in the canal Orfano, The sea, that emblem of uncertainty,

That drowning-place, were never net was thrown Changed not so fast for many and many an age,

Summer or winter, death the penalty ; As this small spot. To-day 'twas full of maskers; And where a secret, once deposited, And lo, the madness of the carnival,

Lay till the waters should give up their dead.” The monk, the nun, the holy legate mask'd !

Yet what so gay as Venice ? Every gale To-morrow came the scaffold and the headsman;

Breathed heavenly music! and who flock'd not And he died there by torchlight, bound and gagg’d,

thither Whose name and crime they knew not. Underneath

* Scala de' Giganti.

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