Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

No seat of pleasure glittering halfway down, In every bush and brake there was a voice
No hunting place-but with some damning spot Responsive!
That will not be wash'd out! There, at Caïano,

From the Thrasymene, that now Where, when the hawks were hooded and night Slept in the sun, a lake of molten gold, came,

And from the shore that once, when armies met, Pulci would set the table in a roar

Rock'd to and fro unfelt, so terrible With his wild lay—there, where the sun descends, The rage, the slaughter, I had turn'd away ; And hill and dale are lost, veil'd with his beams, The path, that led me, leading through a wood, The fair Venetian* died-she and her lord, A fairy wilderness of fruits and flowers, Died of a posset drugg'd by him who sate And by a brook that, in the day of strife, And saw them suffer, flinging back the charge, Ran blood, but now runs amber-when a glade, The murderer on the murder'd.

Far, far within, sunnd only at noonday,

Sobs of grief, Suddenly open'd. Many a bench was there, Sounds inarticulate-suddenly stopt,

Each round its ancient elm; and many a track And follow'd by a struggle and a gasp,

Well known to them that from the highway loved
A gasp in death, are heard yet in Cerreto, A while to deviate. In the midst a cross
Along the marble halls and staircases,

Of mouldering stone as in a temple stood,
Nightly at twelve; and, at the selfsame hour, Solemn, severe ; coeval with the trees
Shrieks, such as penetrate the inmost soul, That round it in majestic order rose ;
Such as awake the innocent babe to long,

And on the lowest step a pilgrim knelt,
Long wailing, echo through the emptiness Clasping his hands in prayer. He was the first
Of that old den far up among the hills,

Yet seen by me, (save in a midnight mask, Frowning on him who comes from Pietra-Mala: A revel, where none cares to play his part, In them, in both, within five days and less,

And they that speak at once dissolve the charm,) Two unsuspecting victims, passing fair,

The first in sober truth, no counterfeit; Welcomed with kisses, and slain cruelly,

And, when his orisons were duly paid,
One with the knife, one with the fatal noose.

He rose, and we exchanged, as all are wont,
But lo, the sun is setting ; earth and sky A traveller's greeting.
One blaze of glory-What but now we saw

Young, and of an age As though it were not, though it had not been ! When youth is most attractive, when a light He lingers yet, and, lessening to a point,

Plays round and round, reflected, if I err not, Shines like the eye of heaven—then withdraws; From some attendant spirit, that ere long And from the zenith to the utmost skirts

(His charge relinquish'd with a sigh, a tear) All is celestial red! The hour is come,

Wings his flight upward—with a look he won When they that sail along the distant seas

My favour ; and, the spell of silence broke,
Languish for home; and they that in the morn I could not but continue.
Said to sweet friends “ Farewell,” meltas at

“Whence," I ask'd, parting;

“ Whence art thou ?” -“ From Mont'alto,” he When, journeying on, the pilgrim, if he hears,

replied, As now we hear it, echoing round the hill,

“My native village in the Apennines.” The bell that seems to mourn the dying day,

“ And whither journeying ?”—“To the holy shrine Slackens his pace and sighs, and those he loved Of Saint Antonio, in the city of Padua. Loves more than ever. But who feels it not?

Perhaps, if thou hast ever gone so far, And well may we, for we are far away.

Thou wilt direct my course.”—“Most willingly; Let us retire, and hail it in our hearts.

But thou hast much to do, much to endure,
Ere thou hast enter'd where the silver lamps
Burn ever. Tell me-I would not transgress,

Yet ask I must--what could have brought thee forth,
PART II.

Nothing in act or thought to be atoned for?”–
“ It was a vow I made in my distress.

We were so blest, none were so blest as we,
I.

Till sickness came. First, as death-struck, I fell
THE PILGRIM.

Then my beloved sister ; and ere long, I1 Win an hour of universal joy.

Worn with continual watchings, night and day, The lark was up and at the gate of heaven, Our saint-like mother. Worse and worse she grew; Singing, as sure to enter when he came ;

And in my anguish, my despair, I vow'd, The butterfly was basking in my path,

That if she lived, if Heaven restored her to us, His radiant wings unfolded. From below I would forthwith, and in a pilgrim's weeds, The bell of prayer rose slowly, plaintively ; Visit that holy shrine. My vow was heard ; And odours, such as welcome in the day

And therefore am I come.”_" Thou hast done well; Such as salute the early traveller,

And may those weeds, so reverenced of old,
And come and go, each sweeter than the last, Guard thee in danger !"-
Were rising. Hill and valley breathed delight;

“ They are nothing worth. And not a living thing but bless'd the hour ! But they are worn in humble confidence;

Nor would I for the richest robe resign them, * Bianca Capello.

Wrought, as they were, by those I love so well,

II.

Lauretta and my sister ; theirs the task,

A rainbow's splendour, (somewhere in the east But none to them, a pleasure, a delight,

Rain-drops were falling fast,) a rivulet To ply their utmost skill, and send me forth Sported as loath to go; and on the bank As best became this service. Their last words, Stood (in the eyes of one, if not of both, *Fare thee well, Carlo. We shall count the hours !' | Worth all the rest and more) a sumpter-mule Will not go from me.”

Well laden, while two menials as in haste “ Health and strength be thine Drew from his ample panniers, ranging round In thy long travel! May no sunbeam strike; Viands and fruits on many a shining salver, No vapour cling and wither! Mayst thou be, And plunging in the cool translucent wave Sleeping or waking, sacred and secure !

Flasks of delicious wine. And, when again thou comest, thy labour done,

Anon a horn Joy be among ye! In that happy hour

Blew, through the champaign bidding to the feast, All will pour forth to bid thee welcome, Carlo; Its jocund note to other ears address'd, And there is one, or I am much deceived,

Not ours; and, slowly coming by a path One thou hast named, who will not be the last.”—That, ere it issued from an ilex grove, “0, she is true as truth itself can be!

Was seen far inward, though along the glade But ah, thou know'st her not. Would that thou Distinguish'd only by a fresher verdure, couldst!

Peasants approach'd, one leading in a leash My steps I quicken when I think of her ;

Beagles yet panting, one with various game,
For, though they take me further from her door, In rich confusion slung, before, behind,
I shall return the sooner.”

Leveret, and quail, and pheasant. All announced
The chase as over; and ere long appear'd

Their horses, full of fire, champing the curb,
AN INTERVIEW.

For the white foam was dry upon the flank, PLEASURE, that comes unlook’d-for, is thrice Two in close converse, each in each delighting, welcome;

Their plumage waving as instinct with life; And, if it stir the heart, if aught be there

A lady young and graceful, and a youth,
That may hereafter, in a thoughtful hour, Yet younger, bearing on a falconer's glove,
Wake but a sigh, 'tis treasured up among

As in the golden, the romantic time,
The things most precious; and the day it came His falcon hooded. Like some spirit of air,
Is noted as a white day in our lives.

Or fairy vision, such as feign'd of old,
The sun was wheeling westward, and the cliffs The lady, while her courser paw'd the ground,
And nodding woods, that everlastingly

Alighted; and her beauty, as she trod (Such the dominion of thy mighty voice,

Th’enamell’d bank, bruising nor herb nor flower, Thy voice, Velino, utter'd in the mist)

That place illumined. Hear thee and answer thee, were left at length

Ah, who should she be, For others still as noon; and on we stray'd (And with her brother, as when last we met, From wild to wilder, nothing hospitable

When the first lark had sung ere half was said, Seen up or down, no bush or green or dry, And as she stood, bidding adieu, her voice, That ancient symbol at the cottage door,

So sweet it was, recall’d me like a spell,) Offering refreshment--when Luigi cried,

Who but Angelica ? “Well, of a thousand tracts we chose the best!”

That day we gave And, turning round an oak, oracular once,

To pleasure, and, unconscious of their flight, Now lightning-struck, a cave, a thoroughfare Another and another; hers a home For all that came, each entrance a broad arch, Dropt from the sky amid the wild and rude, Whence many a deer, rustling his velvet coat, Loretto-like. The rising moon we hailid, Had issued, many a gipsy and her brood

Duly, devoutly, from a vestibule Peer'd forth, then housed again—the floor yet gray of many an arch, o'erwrought, and lavishly, With ashes, and the sides, where roughest, hung With many a wildering dream of sylphs and flowers, Loosely with locks of hair-I look'd and saw When Raphael and his school from Florence came, What, seen in such an hour by Sancho Panza, Filling the land with splendour-nor less oft Had given his honest countenance a breadth, Watch'd her declining from a silent dell, His cheeks a flush of pleasure and surprise, Not silent once, what time in rivalry Unknown before, had chain'd him to the spot, Tasso, Guarini, waved their wizard wands, And thou, Sir Knight, hadst traversed hill and dale Peopling the groves from Arcady, and lo, Squire-less.

Fair forms appear'd, murmuring melodious verse, Below and winding far away, -Then, in their day, a sylvan theatre, A narrow glade unfolded, such as spring

Mossy the seats, the stage a verdurous floor,
Broiders with flowers, and, when the moon is high, The scenery rock and shrub-wood, nature's own;
The hare delights to race in, scattering round Nature the architect.
The silvery dews. Cedar and cypress threw

III.
Singly their length of shadow, checkering
The greensward, and, what grew in frequent tufts,

ROME.
An underwood of myrtle, that by fits

I am in Rome! Oft as the morning ray Sent up a gale of fragrance. Through the midst, Visits these eyes, waking at once I cry, Reflecting, as it ran, purple and gold,

Whence this excess of joy? what has befallen me

And from within a thrilling voice replies,

Just underneath! In many a heap the ground Thou art in Rome! A thousand busy thoughts Heaves, as though ruin in a frantic mood Rush on my mind, a thousand images ;

Had done his utmost. Here and there appears And I spring up as girt to run a race !

As left to show his handy-work, not ours,
Thou art in Rome! the city that so long An idle column, a half buried arch,
Reign'd absolute, the mistress of the world; A wall of some great temple.
The mighty vision that the prophets saw,

It was once,
And trembled ; that from nothing, from the least, And long, the centre of their universe,
The low liest village (what but here and there The Forum-whence a mandate, eagle-wing'd,
A reed-roof'd cabin by a river side ?)

Went to the ends of th' earth. Let us descend Grew into every thing; and, year by year, Slowly. At every step much may be lost; Patiently, fearlessly working her way

The very dust we tread stirs as with life; O’er brook and field, o'er continent and sea, And not the lightest breath that sends not up Not like the merchant with his merchandise, Something of human grandeur. Or traveller with staff and scrip exploring,

We are come, But hand to hand, and foot to foot, through hosts, Are now where once the mightiest spirits met Through nations numberless in battle array, In terrible conflict; this, while Rome was free, Each behind each, each, when the other fell, The noblest theatre on this side heaven! Up and in arms, at length subdued them all.

Here the first Brutus stood, when o'er the corse Thou art in Rome! the city where the Gauls, Of her so chaste all mourn'd, and from his cloud Entering at sunrise through her open gates, Burst like a god. Here, holding up the knife And, through her streets silent and desolate, That ran with blood, the blood of his own child, Marching to slay, thought they saw gods, not men; Virginius call'd down vengeance. But whence The city that, by temperance, fortitude,

spoke
And love of glory, tower'd above the clouds, They who harangued the people; turning now
Then fell-but, falling, kept the highest seat, To the twelve tables, now with lifted hands
And in her loneliness, her pomp of wo,

To the Capitoline Jove, whose fulgent shape
Where now she dwells, withdrawn into the wild, In the unclouded azure shone far off,
Still o'er the mind maintains, from age to age, And to the shepherd on the Alban mount
Her empire undiminish’d.

Seem'd like a star new risen ? Where were ranged
There, as though In rough array as on their element,
Grandeur attracted grandeur, are beheld

The beaks of those old galleys, destined still* All things that strike, ennoble—from the depths To brave the brunt of war—at last to know Of Egypt, from the classic fields of Greece, A calm far worse, a silence as in death? Her

groves, her temples-all things that inspire All spiritless; from that disastrous hour Wonder, delight! Who would not say the forms When he, the bravest, gentlest of them all,t Most perfect, most divine, had by consent

Scorning the chains he could not hope to break, Flock'd thither to abide eternally,

Fell on his sword! Within those silent chambers where they dwell,

Along the Sacred Way In happy intercourse?

Hither the triumph came, and, winding round And I am there!

With acclamation, and the martial clang Ah, little thought I, when in school I sate, Of instruments, and cars laden with spoil, A schoolboy on his bench, at early dawn

Stopt at the sacred stair that then appear'd, Glowing with Roman story, I should live

Then through the darkness broke, ample, star-bright, To tread the Appian, once an avenue

As though it led to heaven. 'Twas night; but now Of monuments most glorious, palaces,

A thousand torches, turning night to day, Their doors seal'd up and silent as the night, Blazed, and the victor, springing from his seat, The dwellings of the illustrious dead-to turn Went up, and, kneeling as in fervent prayer, Toward Tiber, and, beyond the city gate,

Enter'd the capitol. But what are they, Pour out my unpremeditated verse,

Who at the foot withdraw, a mournful train Where on his mule I might have met so oft In fetters? And who, yet incredulous, Horace himself-or climb the Palatine,

Now gazing wildly round, now on his sons, Dreaming of old Evander and his guest,

On those so young, well pleased with all they see, Dreaming and lost on that proud eminence, Staggers along, the last ?—They are the fallen, Longwhile the seat of Rome, hereafter found Those who were spared to grace the chariot wheels; Less than enough (so monstrous was the brood And there they parted, where the road divides, Engender'd there, so Titan-like) to lodge

The victor and the vanquish'd—there withdrew; One in his madness ;* and, the summit gain'd, He to the festal-board, and they to die. Inscribe my name on some broad aloe-leaf,

Well might the great, the mighty of the world, That shoots and spreads within those very walls They who were wont to fare deliciously, Where Virgil read aloud his tale divine,

And war but for a kingdom more or less, Where his voice falter'd, and a mother wept Shrink back, nor from their thrones endure to look, Tears of delight!

To think that way! Well might they in their But what a narrow space

state

• Nero.

The Rostra.

† Marcus Junius Brutus.

yours !”

Humble themselves, and kneel and supplicate Alas,I knew her from her earliest youth,
To be delivered from a dream like this!

That excellent lady. Ever would she say,
Here Cincinnatus pass'd, his plough the while Good even, as she pass'd, and with a voice
Left in the furrow, and how many more

Gentle as theirs in heaven !”—But now by fits Whose laurels fade not, who still walk the earth, A dull and dismal noise assail'd the ear, Consuls, dictators, still in curule pomp

A wail, a chant, louder and louder yet; Sit and decide ; and, as of old in Rome,

And now a strange fantastic troop appeard ! Name but their names, set every heart on fire! Thronging, they came as from the shades below; Here, in his bonds, he whom the phalanx saved | All of ghostly white! “O say," I cried, not,

“Do not the living here bury the dead? The last on Philip's throne; and the Numidian,t Do spirits come and fetch them? What are these So soon to say, stript of his cumbrous robe, That seem not of this world, and mock the day; Stript to the skin, and in his nakedness

Each with a burning taper in his hand ?"Thrust under ground, " How cold this bath of “ It is an ancient brotherhood thou seest.

Such their apparel. Through the long, long line, And thy proud queen, Palmyra, through the sandst Look where thou wilt, no likeness of a man; Pursued, o'ertaken on her dromedary ;

The living mask'd, the dead alone uncover'd. Whose temples, palaces, a wondrous dream But mark”-And, lying on her funeral couch, That passes not away, for many a league

Like one asleep, her eyelids closed, her hands Illumine yet the desert. Some invoked

Folded together on her modest breast, Death, and escaped ; the Egyptian, when her asp As 'twere her nightly posture, through the crowd Came from his covert under the green leaf;$ She came at last—and richly, gayly clad, And Hannibal himself; and she who said,

As for a birth-day feast ! But breathes she not? Taking the fatal cup between her hands,|| A glow is on her cheek—and her lips move! « Tell him I would it had come yesterday ; And now a smile is there—how heavenly sweet! For then it had not been his nuptial gift.”

“O no!" replied the dame, wiping her tears, Now all is changed ; and here, as in the wild, But with an accent less of grief than anger, The day is silent, dreary as the night ;

“ No, she will never, never wake again!" None stirring, save the herdsman and his herd, Death, when we meet the spectre in our walks, Savage alike; or they that would explore,

As we did yesterday, and shall to-morrow, Discuss and learnedly; or they that come,

Soon grows familiar-like most other things, (And there are many who have cross'd the earth,) Seen, not observed; but in a foreign clime, That they may give the hours to meditation, Changing his shape to something new and strange, And wander, often saying to themselves,

(And through the wošld he changes as in sport, “ This was the Roman Forum !

Affect he greatness or humility)

Knocks at the heart. His form and fashion here
IV.

To me, I do confess, reflect a gloom,
A FUNERAL.

A sadness round; yet one I would not lose; “Whence this delay ?” “ Along the crowded Being in unison with all things else street

In this, this land of shadows, where we live A funeral comes, and with unusual pomp." More in past time than present, where the ground, So I withdrew a little, and stood still,

League beyond league, like one great cemetery, While it went by. “She died as she deserved," Is cover'd o'er with mouldering monuments; Said an abatė, gathering up his cloak,

And, let the living wander where they will, And with a shrug retreating as the tide

They cannot leave the footsteps of the dead. Flow'd more and more. But she was beautiful!" Oft, where the burial rite follows so fast, Replied a soldier of the pontiff's guard.

The agony, oft coming, nor from far, “ And innocent as beautiful!" exclaim'd

Must a fond father meet his darling child, A matron sitting in her stall, hung round

(Him who at parting climb'd his knees and clung.) With garlands, holy pictures, and what not? Clay cold and wan, and to the bearers cry, Her Alban grapes and Tusculan figs display'd Stand, I conjure ye !" In rich profusion. From her heart she spoke;

Seen thus destitute, And I accosted her to hear her story.

What are the greatest ? They must speak beyond “ The stab," she cried," was given in jealousy ; A thousand homilies. When Raphael went, But never fied a purer spirit to heaven,

His heavenly face the mirror of his mind, As thou wilt say, or much.my mind misleads, His mind a temple for all lovely things When thou hast seen her face. Last night at dusk To flock to and inhabit—when he went, When on her way from vespers—None were near, Wrapt in his sable cloak he wore, None save her serving boy, who knelt and wept, To sleep beneath the venerable dome,* But what could tears avail him, when she fell By those attended, who in life had loved, Last night at dusk, the clock then striking nine, Had worshipp'd, following in his steps to fame, Just by the fountain-that before the church, ('Twas on an April day, when nature smiles,) The church she always used, St. Isidore's

All Rome was there. But, ere the march began,

Ere to receive their charge the bearers came, * Perseus. † Jugurtha. i Zenobia. $ Cleopatra || Sophonisba.

The Fantheon.

[ocr errors]

Who had not sought him? And when all beheld -I respect knowledge ; but I do not despise ignoHim, where he lay, how changed from yesterday, rance. They think only as their fathers thought, Him in that hour cut off, and at his head

worship as they worshipped. They do no more ; His last great work; when, entering in, they look'd and, if ours had not burst their bondage, braving Now on the dead, then on that master-piece, imprisonment and death, might not we at this very Now on his face, lifeless and colourless,

moment have been exhibiting, in our streets and our Then on those forms divine that lived and breathed, churches, the same processions, ceremonials, and And would live on for agesmall were moved ; mortifications? And sighs burst forth, and loudest lamentations. Nor should we require from those who are in an

earlier stage of society, what belongs to a later ? V.

They are only where we once were ; and why NATIONAL PREJUDICES.

hold them in derision? It is their business to cul“ ANOTHER assassination! This venerable city,” | tivate the inferior arts before they think of the more I exclaimed, “ what is it, but as it began, a nest of refined ; and in many of the last what are we as a robbers and murderers ? We must away at sun- nation, when compared to others tnat have passed rise, Luigi.” But before sunrise I had reflected a away? Unfortunately, it is too much the practice little, and in the soberest prose. My indignation of governments to nurse and keep alive in the was gone ; and, when Luigi undrew my curtain, governed their national prejudices. It withdraws crying, “ Up, signor, up! The horses are at the their attention from what is passing at home, and door.”_"Luigi,” I replied,“ if thou lovest me, draw makes them better tools in the hands of ambition. the curtain.”

Hence next-door neighbours are held up to us from It would lessen very much the severity with our childhood as natural enemies ; and we are urged which men judge of each other, if they would but on like curs to worry each other.* trace effects to their causes, and observe the pro

In like manner we should learn to be just to indigress of things in the moral as accurately as in the viduals. Who can say, “ In such circumstances I physical world. When we condemn millions in the should have done otherwise ?” Who, did he but mass as vindictive and sanguinary, we should re- reflect by what slow gradations, often by how many member that wherever justice is ill administered, strange concurrences, we are led astray ; with how the injured will redress themselves. Robbery pro- much reluctance, how much agony, how many vokes to robbery; murder to assassination. Re-efforts to escape, how many self-accusations, how sentments become hereditary; and what began in many sighs, how many tears-Who, did he but disorder, ends as if all hell had broke loose.

reflect for a moment, would have the heart to cast Laws create a habit of self-restraint, not only by a stone ? Fortunately, these things are known to the influence of fear, but by regulating in its exer- Him, from whom no secrets are hidden ; and let us cise the passion of revenge. If they overawe the rest in the assurance that his judgments are not as bad by the prospect of a punishment certain and ours are. well defined, they console the injured by the infiction of that punishment; and, as the infliction

THE CAMPAGNA OF ROME. is a public act, it excites and entails no enmity. The laws are offended; and the community, for None since they went as though it still were

HAVE none appear'd as tillers of the ground, its own sake, pursues and overtakes the offender; often without the concurrence of the sufferer, And they might come and claim their own again?

theirs, sometimes against his wishes. Now those who were not born, like ourselves, to

Was the last plough a Roman's ?

From this seat, such advantages, we should surely rather pity than hate; and, when at length they venture to turn against The Queen of Heaven, alighting from the sky

Sacred for ages, whence, as Virgil sings, their rulers,t we should lament, not wonder at

Look'd down and saw the armies in array,t their excesses ; remembering that nations are naturally patient, and long-suffering, and seldom rise in

Let us contemplate ; and, where dreams from Jove rebellion till they are so degraded by a bad govern- Soine inspirations may be lingering still,

Descended on the sleeper, where perhaps ment as to be almost incapable of a good one.

“ Hate them, perhaps,” you may say, “ we should Some glimmerings of the future or the past, not; but despise them we must, if enslaved, like

Await their influence; silently revolving the people of Rome, in mind as well as body; if The changes from that hour, when he from Troy their religion be a gross and barbarous superstition.”

Went up the Tiber; when refulgent shields,

No strangers to the iron hail of war, * A dialogue, which is said to have passed many years Stream’d far and wide, and dashing oars were heard ago at Lyons, (Mem. de Grammoni, I. 3,) and which may still be heard in almost every hôtellerie at daybreak. * Candour, generosity, how rare are they in the world;

† As the descendants of an illustrious people have late- and how much is to be deplored the want of them! When ly done. Can it be believed there are many among us,

a minister in our parliament consents at last to a meawho, from a desire to be thought superior to common. sure, which, for many reasons perhaps existing no place sentiments and vulgar feelings, affect an indif- longer, he had before refused to adopt, there should be no ference to their cause! “If the Greeks," they say, “ bad exultation as over the fallen, no taunt, nojuer. How often the probity of other nations--but they are false to a pru- may the resistance be continued lest an enemy should verb!" And is not falsehood the characteristic of slaves ? | lriumph, and the result of conviction be received as a Man is the creature of circumstances. Free, he has the symptom of fear! qualiues of a freeman; enslaved, those of a slave. † Eneid, xii. 131.

VI.

« AnteriorContinuar »