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Nor perish like Heaven's children with man's daugh- Its mother's.-Let the coming chaos chafe
The tempest cometh; heaven and earth unite
For the annihilation of all life.
Unequal is the strife
Between our strength and the eternal might!
With all its elements! Heed not their din!
A brighter world than this, where thou shalt breathe Ethereal life, will we explore:
These darken'd clouds are not the only skies.
[AZAZIEL and SAMIASA fly off, and disapper with ANAH and AHOLIBAMAH.
The corpses of the world of thy young days:
Thy song of praise!
They are gone! They have disappear'd amidst the roar Then to Jehovah raise
Anah unto these eyes.
Chorus of Mortals.
Oh son of Noah! mercy on thy kind!
A MOTHER (offering her infant to Japhet).
Oh let this child embark!
I brought him forth in woe,
But thought it joy
To see him to my bosom clinging so.
What hath he done
My unwean'd son
To move Jehovah's wrath or scorn?
What is there in this milk of mine, that death Should stir all heaven and earth up to destroy
And roll the waters o'er his placid breath?
Or cursed be-with Him who made
Thee and thy race, for which we are betray'd!
Peace! 'tis no hour for curses, but for prayer!
Chorus of Mortals.
Shall prayer ascend,
When the swoln clouds unto the mountains bend
And gushing oceans every barrier rend,
Until the very deserts know no thirst?
Be He, who made thee and thy sire!
We deem our curses vain; we must expire;
But, as we know the worst,
Why should our hymns be raised, our knees be bent Before the implacable Omnipotent,
Since we must fall the same?
If He hath made earth, let it be His shame,
To make a world for torture:-Lo! they come,
And with their roar make wholesome nature dumb!
Ere Eve gave Adam knowledge for her dower, Or Adam his first hymn of slavery sung),
So massy, vast, yet green in their old age,
Their summer blossoms by the surges lopp'd,
Vainly we look up to the louring skies
They meet the seas,
And shut out God from our beseeching eyes.
Fly, son of Noah, fly, and take thine ease
Lu thine allotted ocean-tent;
And view all floating o'er the element,
A WOMAN. Blessed are the dead
Who die in the Lord!
And though the waters be o'er earth outspread, Yet, as His word,
Be the decree adored!
He gave me life-He taketh but
The breath which is His own:
And though these eyes should be for ever shut, Nor longer this weak voice before His throne Be heard in supplicating tone,
Still blessed be the Lord,
For what is past,
For that which is:
For all are His,
From first to last
The vast known and immeasurable unknown.
He made, and can unmake;
And shall 1, for a little gasp of breath, Blaspheme and groan?
No; let me die, as I have lived, in faith, Nor quiver, though the universe may quake!
The Prophecy of Dante.
'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
LADY! if for the cold and cloudy clime
I dare to build the imitative rhyme,
Spakest; and for thee to speak and be obey'd
Such sounds are utter'd, and such charms display'd,
So sweet a language from so fair a mouth-
In the course of a visit to the city of Ravenna, in the summer of 1819, it was suggested to the author that, having composed something on the subject of Tasso's confinement, he should do the same on Dante's exile the tomb of the poet forming one of the principal objects of interest in that city, both to the native and to the stranger.
"On this hint I spake," and the result has been the following four cantos, in terza rima, now offered to the
into Italian versi sciolti-that is, a poem written in the | Spenserean stanza into blank verse, without regard to the natural divisions of the stanza, or of the sense. If the present poem, being on a national topic, should chance to undergo the same fate, I would request the Italian reader to remember, that when I have failed in the imitation of his great "Padre Alighier," I have failed in imitating that which all study and few understand, since to this very day it is not yet settled what was the meaning of the allegory in the first canto of the Inferno, unless Count Marchetti's ingenious and probable conjecture may be considered as having decided the question.
not quite sure that he would be pleased with my sucmay also pardon my failure the more, as I am cess, since the Italians, with a pardonable nationality, are particularly jealous of all that is left them as a nation-their literature; and, in the present bitterness of the classic and romantic war, are but ill disposed to permit a foreigner even to approve or imitate them, without finding some fault with his ultramontane presumption. I can easily enter into all this, knowing what would be thought in England of an Italian imitator of Milton, or if a translation of Monti, or Pindemonte, or Arici, should be held up to the rising generation, as a model for their future poetical essays. But I perceive that I am deviating into an address to the Italian reader, when my business is with the English one, and, be they few or many, I must take my leave of both.
reader. If they are understood and approved, it is my PROPHECY OF DANTE. purpose to continue the poem in various other cantos to its natural conclusion in the present age. The reader is requested to suppose that Dante addresses him in the interval between the conclusion of the Divina Commedia and his death, and shortly before the latter event, foretelling the fortunes of Italy in general in the ensuing centuries. In adopting this plan, I have had in my mind the Cassandra of Lycophron, and the Prophecy of Nereus by Horace, as well as the Prophecies of Holy Writ. The measure adopted is the terza rima of Dante, which I am not aware to have seen hitherto tried in our language, except it may be by Mr. Hayley, of whose translation I never saw but one extract, quoted in the notes of Caliph Vathek; so that-if I do not err-this poem may be considered as a metrical experiment. The cantos are short, and about the same length of those of the poet whose name I have borrowed, and most probably taken in vain.
Amongst the inconveniences of authors in the present day, it is difficult for any who have a name, good or bad, to escape translation. I have had the fortune see the fourth canto of Childe Harold translated 63
ONCE more in man's frail world! which I had left
So long hath press'd, and the cold marble stone,
That nought on earth could more my bosom move,
Relieved her wing till found; without thy light
With the world's war, and years, and banishment,
By tyrannous faction, and the brawling crowd; And though the long, long conflict hath been spent In vain, and never more, save when the cloud Which overhangs the Apennine, my mind's eye Pierces to fancy Florence, once so proud 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 overcast, must set,
And the night cometh; I am old 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 er aim, To add to the vain-glorious list of those Who dabble in the pettiness of fame, And make men's fickle breath the wind that blows 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 free :3 Oh Florence! Florence! unto me thou wast Like that Jerusalem which the Almighty He Wept over: "but thou wouldst not ;" as the bird Gathers its young, I would have gather'd thee Beneath a parent pinion, hadst thou heard
My voice; but as the adder, deaf and fierce, Against the breast that cherish'd thee was stirr'd Thy venom, and my state thou didst amerce, And doom this body forfeit to the fire. Alas! how bitter is his country's curse To him who for that country would expire, But did not merit to expire by her,
And loves her, loves her even in her ire. The day may come when she will cease to err, The day may 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
No, she denied me what was mine-my roof,
Toc long her armed wrath hath kept aloof
For his reward the Gucif's ascendant art
Though, like old Marius from Minturnæ's marsh And Carthage' ruins, my lone breast may burn At times with evil feelings hot and harsh,
And sometimes the last pangs of a vile foe
But on the pillow of Revenge-Revenge,
The sense of earth and earthly things comes back. 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 to the passing sail
Nor raise my voice-for who would heed my wail?
And yet my harpings will unfold a tale
Of their perturbed annals could attract
Did not my verse embalm full many an act
in life, to wear their hearts out, and consume
To live in narrow ways with little men,
A wanderer, while even wolves can find a den,
This shalt thou owe to him thou didst so wrong,
The storms yet sleep, the clouds still keep their station,
But all things are disposing for thy doom;
"Let there be darkness!" and thou grow'st a tomb!
Revived in thee, blooms forth to man restored:
Without the power that makes them bear a crown-Ah! must the sons of Adam lose it twice?
To envy every dove his nest and wings
Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she,'
Their mother, the cold partner who hath brought
THE spirit of the fervent days of old,
Thou, Italy! whose ever-golden fields,
And form'd the eternal city's ornaments
Where earthly first, then heavenly glory made
In feeble colours, when the eye-from the Alp
Nods to the storm-dilates and dotes o'er thee,
When words were things that came to pass, and To see thy sunny fields, my Italy,
Flasn'd o'er the future, bidding men behold
What the great seers of Israel wore within,
Of conflict none will hear, or hearing heed,
Thou 'rt mine-my bones shall be wit in thy breast,
But I will make another tongue arise
And make thee Europe's nightingale of song;
Nearer and nearer yet, and dearer still
The more approach'd, and dearest were they free,
By the old barbarians, there awaits the new,
Of Tiber, thick with dead; the helpless priest,
All paths of torture, and insatiate yet
Nine moons shall rise o'er scenes like this and set;
Had but the royal rebel lived, perchance