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But if Freedom should awake
In her omnipotence, and shake
From the Celtic Anarch's hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chain'd like thee, ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,
Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime;
If not, perish thou and they,

Clouds which stain truth's rising day
By her sun consumed away,

Earth can spare ye: while like flowers,
In the waste of years and hours,
your dust new nations spring
With more kindly blossoming.

Perish! let there only be
Floating o'er thy hearthless sea,
As the garment of thy sky
Clothes the world immortally,
One remembrance, more sublime
Than the tatter'd pall of Time,
Which scarce hides thy visage wan;
That a tempest-cleaving swan
Of the songs of Albion,
Driven from his ancestral streams
By the might of evil dreams,
Found a nest in thee; and Ocean
Welcomed him with such emotion
That its joy grew his, and sprung
From his lips like music flung
O'er a mighty thunder-fit,
Chastening terror: what though yet
Poesy's unfailing river,

Which through Albion winds for ever,
Lashing with melodious wave
Many a sacred poet's grave,
Mourn its latest nursling fled!
What though thou with all thy dead
Scarce can for this fame repay
Aught thine own,-oh, rather say,
Though thy sins and slaveries foul
Overcloud a sunlike soul!
As the ghost of Homer clings
Round Scamander's wasting springs;
As divinest Shakspeare's might
Fills Avon and the world with light
Like omniscient power, which he
Imaged 'mid mortality;

As the love from Petrarch's urn,
Yet amid yon hills doth burn,

A quenchless lamp, by which the heart

Sees things unearthly; so thou art,

Mighty spirit: so shall be

The city that did refuge thee.

Lo, the sun floats up the sky

Like thought-winged Liberty,
Till the universal light

Seems to level plain and height;
From the sea a mist has spread,
And the beams of morn lie dead
On the towers of Venice now,
Like its glory long ago.

By the skirts of that grey cloud
Many-domed Padua proud
Stands, a peopled solitude,
'Mid the harvest shining plain,
Where the peasant heaps his grain

In the garner of his foe,

And the milk-white oxen slow
With the purple vintage strain,
Heap'd upon the creaking wain,
That the brutal Celt may swill
Drunken sleep with savage will;
And the sickle to the sword

Lies unchanged, though many a lord,
Like a weed whose shade is poison,
Overgrows this region's foison,
Sheaves of whom are ripe to come
To destruction's harvest-home:
Men must reap the things they sow,
Force from force must ever flow,
Or worse; but 't is a bitter woe
That love or reason cannot change
The despot's rage, the slave's revenge.

Padua, thou within whose walls
Those mute guests at festivals,
Son and Mother, Death and Sin,
Play'd at dice for Ezzelin,

Till Death cried, "« I win, I win!»
And Sin cursed to lose the wager,
But Death promised, to assuage her,
That he would petition for
Her to be made Vice-Emperor,
When the destined years were o'er,
Over all between the Po
And the eastern Alpine snow,
Under the mighty Austrian.
Sin smiled so as Sin only can,

And since that time, ay, long before,
Both have ruled from shore to shore,
That incestuous pair, who follow
Tyrants as the sun the swallow,
A's Repentance follows Crime,
And as changes follow Time.

In thine halls the lamp of learning,
Padua, now no more is burning;
Like a meteor, whose wild way
Is lost over the grave of day,
It gleams betray'd and to betray:
Once remotest nations came
To adore that sacred flame,
When it lit not many a hearth
On this cold and gloomy earth;
Now new fires from antique light
Spring beneath the wide world's might;
But their spark lies dead in thee,
Trampled out by tyranny.
As the Norway woodman quells,
In the depth of piny dells,

One light flame among the brakes,
While the boundless forest shakes,
And its mighty trunks are torn
By the fire thus lowly born;
The spark beneath his feet is dead,
He starts to see the flames it fed

Howling through the darken'd sky
With a myriad tongues victoriously,
And sinks down in fear: so thou,
O tyranny! beholdest now
Light around thee, and thou hearest
The loud flames ascend, and fearest :
Grovel on the earth; ay, hide
In the dust thy purple pride!

Noon descends around me now:
"T is the noon of autumn's glow,
When a soft and purple mist
Like a vaporous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolved star
Mingling light and fragrance, far
From the curved horizon's bound
To the point of heaven's profound,
Fills the overflowing sky;
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath, the leaves unsodden
Where the infant frost has trodden
With his morning-winged feet,
Whose bright print is gleaming yet;
And the red and golden vines,
Piercing with their trellis'd lines
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness;
The dun and bladed grass no less,
Pointing from this hoary tower
In the windless air; the flower
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandall'd Apennine
In the south dimly islanded;

And the Alps, whose snows are spread
High between the clouds and sun;
And of living things each one;
And my spirit, which so long
Darken'd this swift stream of song,
Interpenetrated lie

By the glory of the sky;
Be it love, light, harmony,
Odour, or the soul of all

Which from heaven like dew doth fall,
Or the mind which feeds this verse
Peopling the lone universe.

Noon descends, and after noon
Autumn's evening meets me soon,
Leading the infantine moon,
And that one star, which to her
Almost seems to minister
Half the crimson light she brings
From the sunset's radiant springs:
And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like winged winds had borne
To that silent isle, which lies
'Mid remember'd agonies,
The frail bark of this lone being),
Pass, to other sufferers fleeing,
And its ancient pilot, Pain,
Sits beside the helm again.

Other flowering isles must be
In the sea of life and agony:
Other spirits float and flee

O'er that gulf: even now, perhaps,
On some rock the wild wave wraps,

With folded wings they waiting sit
For my bark, to pilot it

To some calm and blooming cove,
Where for me, and those I love,
May a windless bower be built,
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,
In a dell 'mid lawny hills,
Which the wild sea-murmur fills,
And soft sunshine, and the sound
Of old forests echoing round,
And the light and smell divine

Of all flowers that breathe and shine.
We may live so happy there,
That the spirits of the air,
Envying us, may even entice
To our healing paradise

The polluting multitude;
But their rage would be subdued
By that clime divine and calm,

And the winds whose wings rain balm
On the uplifted soul, and leaves
Under which the bright sea heaves;
While each breathless interval
In their whisperings musical
The inspired soul supplies
With its own deep melodies,

And the love which heals all strife
Circling, like the breath of life,
All things in that sweet abode
With its own mild brotherhood.
They, not it would change; and soon
Every sprite beneath the moon
Would repent its envy vain,
And the earth grow young again.


Leghorn, July 1, 1820.

THE spider spreads her webs, whether she be

In poet's tower, cellar, or barn, or tree;

The silkworm in the dark green mulberry-leaves
His winding sheet and cradle ever weaves;
So I, a thing whom moralists call worm,
Sit spinning still round this decaying form,
From the fine threads of rare and subtle thought-
No net of words in garish colours wrought

To catch the idle buzzers of the day

But a soft cell, where, when that fades away,
Memory may clothe in wings my living name,
And feed it with the asphodels of fame,
Which in those hearts which most remember me
Grow, making love an immortality.

Whoever should behold me now, I wist,
Would think I were a mighty mechanist,
Bent with sublime Archimedean art
To breathe a soul into the iron heart

Of some machine portentous, or strange gin,
Which by the force of figured spells might win
Its way over the sea, and sport therein;

For round the walls are hung dread engines, such
As Vulcan never wrought for Jove to clutch

Ixion or the Titan:-or the quick

Wit of that man of God, St Dominic,

To convince Atheist, Turk, or Heretic;

Or those in philosophic councils met,
Who thought to pay some interest for the debt
They owed

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By giving a faint foretaste of damnation

To Shakspeare, Sidney, Spenser and the rest
Who made our land an island of the blest,

When lamp-like Spain, who now relumes her fire
On Freedom's hearth, grew dim with Empire:-

Near that a dusty paint-box, some old hooks,
An half-burnt match, an ivory block, three books,
Where conic sections, spherics, logarithms,
To great Laplace, from Saunderson and Sims,
Lie heap'd in their harmonious disarray
Of figures, disentangle them who may.
Baron de Tott's Memoirs beside them lie,
And some odd volumes of old chemistry.

With thumbscrews, wheels, with tooth and spike and jag, Near them a most inexplicable thing,

Which fishes found under the utmost crag

Of Cornwall and the storm-encompass'd isles,
Where to the sky the rude sea seldom smiles
Unless in treacherous wrath, as on the morn
When the exulting elements in scorn
Satiated with destroy'd destruction, lay
Sleeping in beauty on their mangled prey,
As panthers sleep: and other strange and dread
Magical forms the brick floor overspread――
Proteus transform'd to metal did not make
More figures, or more strange; nor did he take
Such shapes of unintelligible brass,
Or heap himself in such a horrid mass
Of tin and iron not to be understood,
And forms of unimaginable wood,
To puzzle Tubal Cain and all his brood:

Great screws, and cones, and wheels, and grooved blocks,
The elements of what will stand the shocks
Of wave and wind and time.-Upon the table
More knacks and quips there be than I am able
To catalogize in this verse of mine:-
A pretty bowl of wood-not full of wine,
But quicksilver; that dew which the gnomes drink
When at their subterranean toil they swink,
Pledging the demons of the earthquake, who
Reply to them in lava-cry, halloo !

And call out to the cities o'er their head,—
Roofs, towns and shrines,-the dying and the dead
Crash through the chinks of earth—and then all quaff
Another rouse, and hold their sides and laugh.
This quicksilver no gnome has drunk--within
The walnut bowl it lies, vein'd and thin,
In colour like the wake of light that stains

The Tuscan deep, when from the moist moon rains
The inmost shower of its white fire-the breeze
Is still-blue heaven smiles over the pale seas.
And in this bowl of quicksilver-for I
Yield to the impulse of an infancy
Outlasting manhood-I have made to float
A rude idealism of a paper boat-

A hollow screw with cogs-Henry will know
The thing I mean and laugh at me,—if so
He fears not I should do more mischief.-Next
Lie bills and calculations much perplext,
With steam-boats, frigates, and machinery quaint
Traced over them in blue and yellow paint.
Then comes a range of mathematical
Instruments, for plans nautical and statical,
A heap of rosin, a green broken glass
With ink in it;-a china cup that was
What it will never be again, I think,

A thing from which sweet lips were wont to drink
The liquor doctors rail at-and which I
Will quaff in spite of them-and when we die
We'll toss up who died first of drinking tea,
And cry out,-heads or tails? where'er we be.

With least in the middle-I'm conjecturing How to make Henry understand;-but-no, I'll leave, as Spenser says, with many mo, This secret in the pregnant womb of time, Too vast a matter for so weak a rhyme.

And here like some weird Archimage sit I,
Plotting dark spells, and devilish enginery,
The self-impelling steam-wheels of the mind
Which pump up oaths from clergymen, and grind
The gentle spirit of our meek reviews
Into a powdery foam of salt abuse,
Ruffling the ocean of their self content;
I sit and smile or sigh as is my bent,
But not for them-Libeccio rushes round
With an inconstant and an idle sound;

I heed him more than them-the thunder-smoke
Is gathering on the mountains, like a cloak
Folded athwart their shoulders broad and bare;
The ripe corn under the undulating air
Undulates like an ocean;—and the vines
Are trembling wide in all their trellis'd lines-
The murmur of the awakening sea doth fill
The empty pauses of the blast;-the hill
Looks hoary through the white electric rain,
And from the glens beyond, in sullen strain
The interrupted thunder howls; above
One chasm of heaven smiles, like the age of love
On the unquiet world;-while such things are,
How could one worth your friendship heed the war
Of worms? The shriek of the world's carrion jays,
Their censure, or their wonder, or their praise?

You are not here! the quaint witch Memory sees
In vacant chairs, your absent images,

And points where once you sat, and now should be,
But are not. I demand if ever we

Shall meet as then we met ;-and she replies,
Veiling in awe her second-sighted eyes;

I know the past alone-but summon home
My sister Hope, she speaks of all to come..
But I, an old diviner, who know well
Every false verse of that sweet oracle,
Turn'd to the sad enchantress once again,
And sought a respite from my gentle pain,
In acting every passage o'er and o'er
Of our communion.-How on the sea-shore
We watch'd the ocean and the sky together,
Under the roof of blue Italian weather;
How I ran home through last year's thunder-storm,
And felt the transverse lightning linger warm
Upon my cheek :-and how we often made
Treats for each other, where good-will outweigh'd
The frugal luxury of our country cheer,

As it well might, were it less firm and clear

Than ours must ever be ;-and how we spun
A shroud of talk to hide us from the sun
Of this familiar life, which seems to be
But is not, or is but quaint mockery
Of all we would believe; or sadly blame
The jarring and inexplicable frame

Of this wrong world-and then anatomize
The purposes and thoughts of men whose eyes
Were closed in distant years;—or widely guess
The issue of the earth's great business,
When we shall be as we no longer are;
Like babbling gossips safe, who hear the war
Of winds, and sigh, but tremble not; or how
You listen'd to some interrupted flow
Of visionary rhyme;-in joy and pain
Struck from the inmost fountains of my brain,
With little skill perhaps ;-or how we sought
Those deepest wells of passion or of thought
Wrought by wise poets in the waste of years,
Staining the sacred waters with our tears;
Quenching a thirst ever to be renew'd!
Or how I, wisest lady! then indued
The language of a land which now is free,
And, wing'd with thoughts of truth and majesty,
Flits round the tyrant's sceptre like a cloud,

And bursts the peopled prisons, and cries aloud,

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You will see C--; he who sits obscure
In the exceeding lustre and the pure
Intense irradiation of a mind,

Which, with its own internal lustre blind,
Flags wearily through darkness and despair-
A cloud-encircled meteor of the air,
A hooded eagle among blinking owls.
You will see H-t; one of those happy souls
Which are the salt of the earth, and without whom
This world would smell like what it is-a tomb;
Who is, what others seem;-his room no doubt
Is still adorn'd by many a cast from Shout,
With graceful flowers, tastefully placed about;
And coronals of bay from riband hung,
And brighter wreaths in neat disorder flung,
The gifts of the most learn'd among some dozens
Of female friends, sisters-in-law and cousins.
And there is he with his eternal puns,
Which beat the dullest brain for smiles, like duns

Thundering for money at a poet's door;
Alas! it is no use to say, I'm poor!»>
Or oft in graver mood, when he will look
Things wiser than were ever said in book,
Except in Shakspeare's wisest tenderness.
You will see H-, and I cannot express

you are bit.

His virtues, though I know that they are great,
Because he locks, then barricades, the gate
Within which they inhabit;-of his wit
And wisdom, you 'il cry out when
He is a pearl within an oyster shell,
One of the richest of the deep. And there
Is English P- with his mountain Fair
Turn'd into a Flamingo,-that shy bird
That gleams i' the Indian air. Have you not heard
When a man marries, dies, or turns Hindoo,
His best friends hear no more of him? but you
Will see him and will like him too, I hope,
With the milk-white Snowdonian Antelope
Match'd with this cameleopard; his fine wit
Makes such a wound, the knife is lost in it;
A strain too learned for a shallow age,
Too wise for selfish bigots;-let his page
Which charms the chosen spirits of the age,
Fold itself up for a serener clime

Of years to come, and find its recompense
In that just expectation. Wit and sense,
Virtue and human knowledge, all that might
Make this dull world a business of delight,
Are all combined in H. S.-And these,
With some exceptions, which I need not tease
Your patience by descanting on, are all
You and I know in London.

I recal
My thoughts and bid you look upon
the night.
As water does a sponge, so the moonlight
Fills the void, hollow, universal air.
What see you?-Unpavilion'd heaven is fair,
Whether the moon, into her chamber gone,
Leaves midnight to the golden stars, or wan
Climbs with diminish'd beams the azure steep;
Or whether clouds sail o'er the inverse deep,
Piloted by the many wandering blast,

And the rare stars rush through them, dim and fast.
All this is beautiful in every land.

But what see you beside? A shabby stand
Of hackney-coaches-a brick house or wall,
Fencing some lonely court, white with the scrawl
Of our unhappy politics;-or worse-

A wretched woman reeling by, whose curse
Mix'd with the watchman's, partner of her trade,
You must accept in place of serenade-

I see a chaos of green leaves and fruit

Built round dark caverns, even to the root

Of the living stems who feed them; in whose bowers
There sleep in their dark dew the folded flowers;
Beyond, the surface of the unsickled corn
Trembles not in the slumbering air, and borne
In circles quaint, and ever-changing dance,
Like winged stars the fire-flies flash and glance
Pale in the
but each one
Under the dark trees seems a little sun,
A meteor tamed; a fix'd star gone astray
From the silver regions of the milky way.

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