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ALBANO. Buried in some strange talk. The Duke was
leaning, His finger on his brow, his lips unclosed. The Princess sate within the window-seat, 20 And so her face was hid ; but on her knee Her hands were clasped, veinèd, and pale as
snow, And quivering-young Tasso, too, was there.
MADDALO. Thou seest on whom from thine own wor
shipped heaven Thou drawest down smiles—they did not rain
MALPIGLIO. Would they were parching lightnings for his
sake On whom they fell!
SONG FOR “TASSO.”
The dregs of such despair, and live,
LET those who pine in pride or in revenge,
Or think that ill for ill should be repaid, Or barter wrong for wrong, until the exchange Ruins the merchants of such thriftless
trade, Visit the tower of Vado, and unlearn Such bitter faith beside Marenghi's urn.
1 Mrs. Shelley says—“This fragment refers to an event, told in Sismondi's Histoire des Républiques Italiennes, which occurred during the war when Florence finally subdued Pisa, and reduced it to a province.” Pietro Marenghi is said to have been a Florentine exile, who, while Florence was trying to reduce Pisa by famine, swam to a galley that was bringing provision for Pisa and fired it in circumstances of considerable heroism. The galley was taking refuge from the enemy under the tower of Vado at the time. -ED.
A massy tower yet overhangs the town,
A scattered group of ruined dwellings now.
Another scene ere wise Etruria knew
Its second ruin through internal strife, And tyrants through the breach of discord
threw The chain which binds and kills. As death
to life, As winter to fair flowers (though some be
poison) So Monarchy succeeds to freedom's foison.
In Pisa's church a cup of sculptured gold
Etrurians mingled with the shades forlorn Of moon-illumined forests.
And reconciling factions wet their lips
Was Florence the liberticide? that band
Like a green isle 'mid Æthiopian sand,
A nation amid slaveries, disenchanted Of many impious faiths—wise, just-do they, Does Florence, gorge the sated tyrants' prey ?
VII. O foster-nurse of man's abandoned glory, Since Athens, its great mother, sunk in
splendour; Thou shadowest forth that mighty shape in
story, As ocean its wrecked fanes, severe yet
tender :The light-invested angel Poesy Was drawn from the dim world to welcome
VIII. And thou in painting didst transcribe all
taught By loftiest meditations; marble knew The sculptor's fearless soul—and as he wrought, The grace of his own power and freedom
grew. And more than all, heroic, just, sublime, Thou wert among the false — was this thy
Yes; and on Pisa's marble walls the twine
Of direst weeds hangs garlanded—the snake Inhabits its wrecked palaces ;-in thine
A beast of subtler venom now doth make Its lair, and sits amid their glories over
thrown, And thus thy victim's fate is as thine own.
The sweetest flowers are ever frail and rare,
And love and freedom blossom but to wither; And good and ill like vines entangled are, So that their grapes may oft be plucked
together ;Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then make Thy heart rejoice for dead Marenghi's sake.
But if the morning bright as evening shone, It was some high and holy deed, by glory
Pursued into forgetfulness, which won From the blind crowd he made secure and free The patriot's meed, toil, death, and infamy.
A price upon his life, and there was set
So much of water with him as might wet His lips, which speech divided not-he went Alone, as you may guess, to banishment.
He hid himself, and hunger, toil, and cold, Month after month endured; it was a feast Whene'er he found those globes of deep-red
gold Which in the woods the strawberry-tree doth
bear, Suspended in their emerald atmosphere.
Deserted by the fever-stricken serf,