Imágenes de páginas


MELoDIoUs Arethusa, o'er my verse
Shed thou once more the spirit of thy stream:
Who denies verse to Gallus? So, when thou
Glidest beneath the green and purple gleam
Of Syracusan waters, mayst thou flow
Unmingled with the bitter Doric dew!
Begin, and, whilst the goats are browzing now
he soft leaves, in our way let us pursue
The melancholy loves of Gallus. List !
We sing not to the dead: the wild woods

knew IO His sufferings, and their echoes . . Young Naiads, . . in what far woodlands wild

Wandered ye when unworthy love possessed
Your Gallus? Not where Pindus is up-piled,
Nor where Parnassus’ sacred mount, nor where
Aonian Aganippe expands . . .
The laurels and the myrtle-copses dim.
The pine-encircled mountain, Maenalus,
The cold crags of Lycaeus, weep for him;
And Sylvan, crowned with rustic coronals, 20
Came shaking in his speed the budding wands
And heavy lilies which he bore: we knew
Pan the Arcadian.

# * * * *

What madness is this, Gallus? Thy heart's care With willing steps pursues another there.



YE who intelligent the third heaven move,
Hear the discourse which is within my heart,

Which cannot be declared, it seems so new; The Heaven whose course follows your power

and art,

O gentle creatures that ye are ! me drew,

And therefore may I dare to speak to you, Even of the life which now I live—and yet

I pray that ye will hear me when I cry,

And tell of mine own heart this novelty; How the lamenting spirit moans in it, 10 And how a voice there murmurs against her Who came on the refulgence of your sphere.

A sweet thought, which was once the life within
This heavy heart, many a time and oft
Went up before our Father’s feet, and there
It saw a glorious Lady1 throned aloft ;
And its sweet talk of her my soul did win,
So that I said, Thither I too will fare.
That thought is fled, and one doth now
Which tyrannizes me with such fierce stress, 20
That my heart trembles—he may see it leap-
And on another Lady2 bids me keep
Mine eyes, and says—Who would have blessed-
- ness

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Let him but look upon that lady’s eyes,
Let him not fear the agony of sighs.

This lowly thought, which once would talk with
Of a bright seraph sitting crowned on high,
Found such a cruel foe it died, and so
My spirit wept, the grief is hot even now-
And said, Alas for me! how swift could flee 30
That piteous thought which did my life console!
And the afflicted one questioning
Mine eyes, if such a lady saw they never,
And why they would . . . ‘
I said, beneath those eyes might stand for
He whom regards must kill with . . .
To have known their power stood me in little
Those eyes have looked on me, and I am dead.


Thou art not dead, but thou hast wandered,

Thou soul of ours, who thyself dost fret, 40 A spirit of gentle love beside me said;

For that fair lady, whom thou dost regret, Hath so transformed the life which thou hast


Thou scornest it, so worthless art thou made.
And see how meek, how pitiful, how staid,
Yet courteous, in her majesty she is.

And still call thou her woman in thy thought;

Her whom, if thou thyself deceivest not, Thou wilt behold decked with such loveliness, That thou wilt cry [Love] only Lord, 10 here 50 Thy handmaiden,l do what thou wilt with her.

1 Soul being feminine in Italian—ED.

[ocr errors]

V. My song, I fear that thou wilt find but few Who fitly shall conceive thy reasoning Of such hard matter dost thou entertain. Whence, if by misadventure chance should bring Thee to base company, as chance may do, Quite unaware of what thou dost contain, I prithee comfort thy sweet self again, My last delight; tell them that they are dull, And bid them own that thou art beautiful. 60


CANTO xxv.1II, l. 1-51.

AND earnest to explore within—around
The divine wood, whose thick green living woof
Tempered the young day to the sight—I wound

Up the green slope, beneath the forest's roof,

With slow soft steps leaving the mountain’s steep,

And sought those inmost labyrinths, motionproof

Against the air, that in that stillness deep And solemn, struck upon my forehead bare,— The slow soft stroke of a continuous . . .

In which the leaves tremblingly were 10
All bent towards that part where earliest
The sacred hill obscures the morning air.

Yet were they not so shaken from the rest,
But that the birds, perched on the utmost spray,
Incessantly renewing their blithe quest,

With perfect joy received the early day, Singing within the glancing leaves, whose sound Kept a low burden to their roundelay,

Such as from bough to bough gathers around The pine forest on bleak Chiassi’s shore, zo When Eolus Scirocco has unbound.

. My slow steps had already borne me o’er

Such space within the antique wood, that I
Perceived not where I entered any more,

When, 10 ! a stream whose little waves went by, Bending towards the left through grass that grew

Upon its bank, impeded suddenly

My going on. Water of purest hue

On earth, would appear turbid andimpure 29.

Compared with this, whose unconcealing dew,

Dark, dark, yet clear, moved under the obscure
Eternal shades, whose interwoven looms
The rays of moon or sunlight ne’er endure.

I moved not with my feet, but ’mid the glooms Pierced with my charmed eye contemplating The mighty multitude of fresh May blooms

That starred that night, when, even as a thing
That suddenly for blank astonishment
Charms every sense, and makes all thought

take wing,

« AnteriorContinuar »