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In his old resting-place, the bed of torture; Affection, kindness, the sweet offices
Bringing a stain on those who gave him life,
On those, alas, now worse than fatherless But now he comes, convicted of a crime
To be proclaim'd a ruffian, a night-stabber, Great by the laws of Venice. Night and day, He on whom none before had breathed reproach Brooding on what he had been, what he was, He lived but to disprove it. That hope lost, "T was more than he could bear. His longing fits Death follow'd. From the hour he went, he spoke Thicken'd upon him. His desire for home
not; Became a madness; and, resolved to go,
And in his dungeon, when he laid him down, If but to die, in his despair he writes
He sunk to rise no more. Oh, if there be A letter to Francesco, Duke of Milan,
Justice in Heaven, and we are assured there is, Soliciting his influence with the State,
A day must come of ample Retribution!
Then was thy cup, old Man, full to o'erflowing. And am prepared to suffer as I ought.
But thou wert yet alive; and there was one, But let me, let me, if but for an instant
The soul and spring of all that Enmity, (Ye must consent—for all of you are sons,
Who would not leave thee; fastening on thy flank, Most of you husbands, fathers), let me first
Hungering and thirsting, still unsatisfied ; Indulge the natural feelings of a man,
One of a name illustrious as thine own! And, ere I die, if such my sentence be,
One of the Ten! one of the Invisible Three! (64) Press to my heart ('t is all I ask of you)
"T was Loredano. My wife, my children—and my aged mother
When the whelps were gone, Say, is she yet alive !"
He would dislodge the Lion from his den;
And, leading on the pack he long had led,
The miserable pack that ever howld
Be Doge no longer; urging his great age, (What could they less ?) is granted.
His incapacity and nothingness ;
In a hall Calling a Father's sorrows in his chamber
Neglect of duty, anger, contumacy.
He was deposed,
His robes stript off, his ring, that ancient symbol, To meet him, and to part with him for ever! Broken before him. But now nothing moved
The meekness of his soul. All things alike! Time and their heavy wrongs had changed them all; Among the six that came with the decree, Him most! Yet when the Wife, the Mother look'd Foscari saw one he knew not, and inquired Again, 't was he himself, 't was Giacomo,
His name. “I am the son of Marco Memmo." Their only hope, and trust, and consolation ! “Ah,” he replied, “ thy father was my friend.” And all clung round him, weeping bitterly; Weeping the more, because they wept in vain. And now he goes. “It is the hour and past.
I have no business here.”—“But wilt thou not Unnerved, unsettled in his mind from long | Avoid the gazing crowd? That way is private." And exquisite pain, he sobs aloud and cries
“No! as I enter'd, so will I retire."
The staircase of the Giants. Turning round,
When in the court below, he stopt and said
Driven by the malice of my Enemies."
Then through the crowd withdrew, poor as he camo
But by the sighs of them that dared not speak.
This journey was his last. When the bell. rang,
It rang his knell.
Such as a shipwreck'd man might hope to build, But whence the deadiy hate Urged by the love of home when I descended That caused all this--the hale of Loredano ? Two long, long days' silence, suspense on board. It was a legacy his Father left him,
It was to offer at thy fount, Valclusa,
Petrarch had wander'd, in a trance to sit
Or the fantastic root of some old fig-tree,
That drinks the living waters as they stream
Over their emerald-bed ; and could I now
When all the illusions of his Youth were fled,
Indulged perhaps too long, cherish'd too fondly,
As if he now were busy in his garden.
This was his chair; and in it, unobserved,
He pass'd away as in a quiet slumber.
Ye who sit, Brooding from day to day, from day to day
Peace to this region! Peace to all who dwell here. Chewing the bitter cud, and starting up
They know his value-every coming step, As though the hour was come to whet your fangs,
That gathers round the children from their play, And, like the Pisan,' gnaw the hairy scalp
Would tell them if they knew not.—But could aught, Of him who had offended-if ye must,
Ungentle or ungenerous, spring up Sit and brood on; but oh! forbear to teach
Where he is sleeping ; where, and in an age
Of savage warfare and blind bigotry,
Leading to better things?
If ever you should come to Modena,
Tassoni's bucket (in its chain it hangs, (72
Stop at a Palace near the Reggio-gate,
Dwelt in of old by one of the Orsini, They sung the night that tomb received a tenant; Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace, When, as alive, clothed in his Canon's habit
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses, And, slowly winding down the narrow path
Will long detain you—but, before you go, He came to rest there. Nobles of the land, Enter the house forget it not, I prayPrinces and prelates mingled in his train,
And look awhile upon a picture there.
Tis of a Lady in her earliest youth,
The last of that illustrious family;
Done by Zampieri (73-but by whom I care not From distant countries from the north, the south,
He, who observes it mere he passes on, To see where he is laid.
Gazes his till, and comes and comes again, "Twelve years ago, When I descended the impetuous Rhone,
That he may call it up, when tar away. Is vuevants of such great and old renown, (69) She sits, inelining forward as to speak, Its eastles, each with some ruantie tale,
Her lips half-open, and her firger up, Varning fast--the pilot at the stern,
As though she said - Beware *** her vest of gold He who had steer so long, standing aloft.
Bruiderd with flowers, and clasp'd from head to fooi, llis eves on the white breakers and his hands An emerald-stone in every golden clasp; On what at once served bum tor car and rudder, And on her brow. fairer than alabaster, A huge misshapen plank--the bark itselt
A coronet of pearls ral sud uncouch, launch'd to return no more,
But then her face,
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
The overtiowings of an innocent heart
It haunts me still, though many a year has fled, When a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there,
Fasten'd her down for ever!
'Twas night; the noise and bustle of the day With scripture-stories from the Life of Christ; Were o'er. The mountebank no longer wrought A chest that came from Venice, and had held Miraculous cures-he and his stage were gone; The ducal robes of some old Ancestor
And he who, when the crisis of his tale
Melting the passenger. Thy thousand cries,'
Whose voice had swellid the hubbub in his youth, And in her fifteenth year became a bride,
Were hush'd, Bologna; silence in the streets, Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,
The squares, when hark, the clattering of fleet hoofs' Her playmate from her birth, and her first love. And soon a courier, posting as from far,
Housing and holster, boot and belted coat Just as she looks there in her bridal dress,
And doublet, staind with many a various soil, She was all gentleness, all gaiety,
Stopt and alighted. 'Twas where hangs aloft Her pranks the favorite theme of every tongue.
That ancient sign, the pilgrim, welcoming
All who arrive there, all perhaps save those
Clad like himself, with staff and scallop-shell,
Those on a pilgrimage: and now approach'd And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave
Wheels, through the lofty porticoes resounding, Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.
Arch beyond arch, a shelter or a shade
And, ere the man had half his story done,
Mine host received the Master-one long used When all sate down, the Bride herself was wanting. The
mg. To sojourn among strangers, everywhere Nor was she to be found! Her Father cried,
(Go where he would, along the wildest track) * Tis but to make a trial of our love!"
Flinging a charm that shall not soon be lost, And fill'd his glass to all; but his hand shook,
| And leaving footsteps to be traced by those And soon from guest to guest the panic spread.
Who love the haunts of Genius; one who saw, Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Observed, nor shunn'd the busy scenes of life, Laughing and looking back, and flying still,
But mingled not, and, 'mid the din, the stir, Her ivory-tooth imprinted on his finger.
Lived as a separate Spirit. But now, alas, she was not to be found;
Much had pass'd Nor from that hour could anything be guess'd,
Since last we parted; and those five short years But that she was not!
Much had they told! His clustering locks were turn'd Weary of his life,
Grey; nor did aught recall the Youth that swam Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking,
From Sestos to Abydos. Yet his voice, Flung it away in battle with the Turk.
Still it was sweet; still from his eye the thought Orsini lived and long might you have seen
Flash'd lightning-like, nor linger'd on the way, An old man wandering as in quest of something,
Waiting for words. Far, far into the night Something he could not find-he knew not what.
We sate, conversing—no unwelcome hour, When he was gone, the house remained awhile
The hour we met; and, when Aurora rose, Silent and tenantless—then went to strangers.
Rising, we climbed the rugged Apennine. Full fifty years were past, and all forgotten, Well I remember how the golden sun When on an idle day, a day of search
Fillid with its beams the unfathomable gulfs, 'Mid the old lumber in the Gallery,
As on we travell’d, and along the ridge,
Why not remove it from its lurking-place?" Battista, who upon the moonlight-sea
Served, and, at parting, Aung his oar away
Had worn so long that honorable badge,2
1 See the Cries of Bologna, as drawn by Annibal Carracci. Engraven with a name, the name of both,
He was of very humble origin ; and, to correct his brother's "Ginevra."
vanity, once sent him a portrait of their father, the tailor,
threading his needle. There then had she found a grave!
2 The principal gondolier, il fante di poppa, was almost alWithin that chest had she conceal'd herself,
ways in the confidence of his master, and employed on occa
The gondolier's, in a Patrician House
Of all the fairest cities of the earth
None are so fair as Florence. "T is a gem llowling in grief.
of purest ray, a treasure for a casket! He had just left that place
And what a glorious lustre did it shed, (74) Of old renown, once in the Adrian sea,
When it emerged from darkness! Search within, Ravenna; where, from Dante's sacred tomb
Without, all is enchantment! "Tis the past He had so oft, as many a verse declares,
Contending with the present; and in turn Drawn inspiration; where, at twilight-time,
Each has the mastery. Through the pine-forest wandering with loose rein,
In this chapel wrought (75) Wandering and lost, he had so oft beheld 3
Massaccio; and he slumbers underneath. (What is not visible to a Poet's eye?)
Wouldst thou behold his monument ? Look round! The spectre-knight, the hell-hounds, and their prey, And know that where we stand, stood oft and long The chase, the slaughter, and the festal mirth
Oft till the day was gone, Raphael himself, Suddenly blasted. 'T was a theme he loved,
He and his haughty Rival-patiently, But others claim'd their turn; and many a tower,
Humbly, to learn of those who came before, Shatter'd, uprooted from its native rock,
To steal a spark from their authentic fire, Its strength the pride of some heroic age,
Theirs, who first broke the gloom, Sons of the Morning. Appear'd and vanish'd (many a sturdy steer 4 Yoked and unyoked), while as in happier days
There, on the seat that runs along the wall, He pour'd his spirit forth. The past forgot,
South of the Church, east of the belfry-tower All was enjoyment. Not a cloud obscured
(Thou canst not miss it), in the sultry time Present or future. He is now at rest;
Would Dante sit conversing (76), and with those
Who little thought that in his hand he held , And praise and blame fall on his ear alike,
The balance, and assign’d at his good pleasure Now dull in death. Yes, Byron, thou art gone,
To each his place in the invisible world, Gone like a star that through the firmament
To some an upper, some a lower region;
Reserving in his secret mind a niche
For thee, Saltrello, who with quirks of law
Hadst plagued him sore, and carefully requiting (77)
Such as ere-long condemu'd his mortal part
To fire.(78) Sit down awhile-then by the gates
Wondrously wrought, so beautiful, so glorious, None more than I, thy gratitude would build
That they might serve to be the gates of Heaven, On slight foundations : and, if in thy life
Enter the Baptistery. That place he loved,
Calling it his! And in his visits there
Well might he take delight! For, when a child,
Playing, with venturous feet, near and yet nearer Where thy young mind had caught ethereal fire,
One of the fonts, fell in, he flew and saved him, (79) Dying in Greece, and in a cause so glorious !
Flew with an energy, a violence,
That broke the marblema mishap ascribed They in thy train-ah, little did they think,
To evil motives ; his, alas! to lead As round we went, that they so soon should sit
A life of trouble, and ere-long to leave Mourning beside thee, while a Nation mourn'd,
All things most dear to him, ere-long to know Changing her festal for her funeral song;
How salt another's bread is, and how toilsome
The going up and down another's stairs.
Nor then forget that Chamber of the Dead, (80) Thy years of joy and sorrow.
Thou art gone;
Where the gigantic forms of Night and Day, And he who would assail thee in thy grave,
Turn'd into stone, rest everlastingly, Oh, let him pause! For who among us all,
Yet still are breathing; and shed round at noon Tried as thou wert-even from thine earliest years,
A two-fold influence-only to be felt
| A light, a darkness, mingling each with each ; When wandering, yet unspoilt, a highland-boyTried as thou wert, and with thy soul of flame;
Both and yet neither. There, from age to age,
Two Ghosts are sitting on their sepulchres.
That is the Duke Lorenzo. Mark him well. (81) Her charmed cup-ah, who among us all
He meditates, his head upon his hand.
What scowls beneath his broad and helm-like bonnet? |
"T is hid in shade; yet, like the basilisk,
His mien is noble, most majestical! 4 They wait for the traveller's carriage at the foot of every hill. Then most so, when the distant choir is heard,
At morn or evenor fail thou to attend
The bloody sheet. "Look there! Look there'" ho On that thrice-hallow'd day, (82) when all are there ; cried, When all, propitiating with solemn songs,
“ Blood calls for blood-and from a father's hand! With light, and frankincense, and holy water, -Unless thyself wilt save him that sad office. Visit the Dead. Then wilt thou feel his power! What!” he exclaim'd, when, shuddering at the sight,
The boy breathed out, “I stood but on my guard." But let not Sculpture, Painting, Poesy,
“Darest thou then blacken one who never wrong'd Or they, the masters of these mighty spells,
thee, Detain us. Our first homage is to Virtue.
Who would not set his foot upon a worm ? Where, in what dungeon of the Citadel
Yes, thou must die, lest others fall by thee, (It must be known—the writing on the wall (83)
And thou shouldst be the slayer of us all." Cannot be gone-'t was cut in with his dagger,
Then from Garzia's side he took the dagger, Ere, on his knees to God, he slew himselt),
That fatal one which spilt his brother's blood : Where, in what dungeon, did Filippo Strozzi,
And, kneeling on the ground, "Great God!" he cried, The last, the greatest of the Men of Florence,
“Grant me the strength to do an act of Justice. Breathe out his soullest in his agony,
Thou knowest what it costs me; but, alas. When on the rack and call'd upon to answer,
How can I spare myself, sparing none else He might accuse the guiltless.
Grant me the strength, the will—and oh forgive That debt paid,
The sinful soul of a most wretched son. But with a sigh, a tear for human frailty,
'Tis a most wretched father who implores it." We may return, and once more give a looso
Long on Garzia's neck he hung, and wept To the delighted spirit-worshipping,
Tenderly, long press'd him to his bosom ; In her small temple of rich workmanship,
And then, but while he held him by the arm, Venus herself, who, when she left the skies,
Thrusting him backward, turn'd away his face, Came hither.
And stabb'd him to the heart.
Well might De Thou,
When in his youth he came to Cosmo's court,
Think on the past; and, as he wander'd through Among the awful forms that stand assembled
The Ancient Palace (87)—through those ample spaces In the great square of Florence, may be seen Silent, deserted-stop awhile to dwell That Cosmo, (84) not the Father of his Country, Upon two portraits there, drawn on the wall (88) Not he so styled, but he who play'd the tyrant. Together, as of two in bonds of love, Clad in rich armor like a paladin,
One in a Cardinal's habit, one in black, But with his helmet off—in kingly state,
Those of the unhappy brothers, and infer Aloft he sits upon his horse of brass;
From the deep silence that his questions drew, (89) And they, who read the legend underneath, The terrible truth. Go and pronounce him happy. Yet there is
Well might he heave a sigh A Chamber at Grosseto, that, if walls
For poor humanity, when he beheld Could speak, and tell of what is done within, That very Cosmo shaking o'er his fire, Would turn your admiration into pity.
Drowsy and deaf and inarticulate, Half of what pass'd died with him ; but the rest, Wrapt in his night-gown, o'er a sick man's mess, All he discover'd when the fit was on,
In the last stage-death-struck and deadly pale; All that, by those who listen'd, could be glean'd His wife, another, not his Eleonora, From broken sentences and starts in sleep,
At once his nurse and his interpreter. is told, and by an honest Chronicler. (85)
XXII. Two of his sons, Giovanni and Garzia (The eldest had not seen his sixteenth summer),
THE CAMPAGNA OF FLORENCE.
Where Cimabue (90) found a shepherd-boy!
The phases of the moon, look round below
On Arno's vale, where the dove-color'd oxen When all slept sound, save the disconsolate Mo- Are plowing up and down among the vines, ther,” (86)
While many a careless note is sung aloud, Who little thought of what was yet to come, Filling the air with sweetness—and on thee, And lived but to be told—he bade Garzia
Beautiful Florence, (91) all within thy walls, Arise and follow him. Holding in one hand Thy groves and gardens, pinnacles and towers, A winking lamp, and in the other a key
Drawn to our feet. Massive and dungeon-like, thither he led;
From that small spire, just caught And, having enter'd in and lock'd the door,
By the bright ray, that church among the rest (92) The father fix'd his cyes upon the son,
By One of Old distinguish'd as The Bride, And closely questioned him. No change betray'd Let us pursue in thought (what can we better ?) Or guilt or fear. Then Cosmo lifted up
Those who assembled there at matin-prayers;? (93)
1 The Tribune.
2 See the Decameron. First Day.
2 Eleonora di Toledo.