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Sun-girt City! thou hast been
Ocean's child, and then his queen;
Now is come a darker day,
And thou soon must be his prey,
If the power that raised thee here
Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now,
With thy conquest-branded brow
Stooping to the slave of slaves
From thy throne among the waves,
Wilt thou be, when the sea-mew
Flies, as once before it flew,
O'er thine isles depopulate,
And all is in its ancient state,
Save where many a palace-gate
With green sea-flowers overgrown
Like a rock of ocean's own,
Topples o'er the abandon'd sea
As die tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way,
Wandering at the close of day,
Will spread his sail and seize his oar,
Till he pass the gloomy Bhore,
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep
Bursting o'er the starlight deep,
Lead a rapid masque of death
O'er the waters of his path.

Those who alone thy towers behold
Quivering through aerial gold,
As I now behold them here,
Would imagine not they were
Sepulchres, where human forms,
Like pollution-nourish'd worms,
To the corpse of greatness cling,
Murdered and now mouldering:
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
Chained 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,
From your dust new nations spring
With more kindly blossoming.

Perish ! let there only be
Floating o'er thy hearthloss sea,
As the garment of thy sky
Clothes the world immortally,
One remembrance, more sublime
Than the tattered 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

Row d 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,
Heaped 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 tliey sow,
Force from force must ever flow,
Or worse ; but 'tis 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,
Played 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,
As 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 betrayed 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 darkened sky

With 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 fearvst:

Grovel on the earth ; ay, hide

In the dust thy purple pride!

Noon descends around me now:
Tis the noon of autumn's glow,
When a soft and purple mist
Like a vaporous amethyst,
C'r 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 trellised lines
The rongh, 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-sandalled 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

Darkened 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 remembered 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 folding 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.


9 Coitumtattan.

The meadows with fresh Btreams, the beea with thyme,
The goats with the green leaves of budding spring,
Are saturated noV—nor Love with tears.

VrRGiL's Galms.

Count Maddalo is a Venetian nobleman of ancient family and of great fortune, who, without mixing much in the society of his countrymen, resides chiefly at his magnificent palace in that city. He is a person of the most consummate genius; and capable, if he would direct his energies to such an end, of becoming the redeemer of his degraded country. But it is his weakness to be proud: he derives, from a comparison of his own extraordinary mind with the dwarfish intellects that surround him, an intense apprehension of the nothingness of human life. His passions and his powers are incomparably greater than those of other men, and, instead of the latter having been employed in curbing the former, they have mutually lent each other strength. His ambition preys upon itself, for want of objects which it can consider worthy of exertion. I say that Maddalo is proud, because I can find no other word to express the concentered and impatient feelings which consume him; but it is on his own hopes and affections only that he seems to trample, for in social life no human being can be more gentle, patient, and unassuming than Maddalo. He is cheerful, frank, and witty. His more serious conversation is a sort of intoxication; men are held by it as by a spell. He has travelled much; and there is

an inexpressible charm in his relation of his adventures in different countries.

Julian is an Englishman of good family, passionately attached to those philosophical notions which assert the power of man over his own mind, and the immense improvements of which, by the extinction of certain moral superstitions, human society may yet be susceptible. Without concealing the evil in the wi?r!d, he is for ever speculating how good may be made superior. He is a complete infidel, and a scoffer at all things reputed holy; and Maddalo takes a wicked pleasure in drawing out his tauuts against religion. What Maddalo thinks on these matters is not exactly known. Julian, in spite of his heterodox opinions, is conjectured by his friends to possess eome good qualities. How far this is possible the pious reader will determine. Julian is rather serious.

Of the Maniac I can give no information. He seems by his own account to have been disappointed in love. He was evidently a very cultivated and amiable person when in his right senses. His story, told at length, might be like many other stories of the same kind: the unconnected exclamations of his agwiy will perhaps be found a sufficient comment for the text of every heart.

I Rode one evening with Count Maddalo

Upon the bank of land which breaks the flow

Of Adria towards Venice: a bare strand

Of hillocks, heaped from ever-shifting sand,

Matted with thistles and amphibious weeds,

Such as from earth's embrace the salt ooze breeds,

Is this, an uninhabited sea-side,

Which the lone fisher, when his nets are dried,

Abandons ; and no other object breaks

The waste, but one dwarf tree and some few stakes

Broken and unrepaired, and the tide makes

A narrow space of level sand thereon,

Where 'twas our wont to ride while day went down.

This ride was my delight. I love all waste

And solitary places ; where we taste

The pleasure of believing what we see

Is boundless, as we wish our souls to he:

And such was this wide ocean, and this shore

More barren than its billows : and yet more

Than all, with a remembered friend I love
To ride as then I rode ;—for the winds drove
The living spray along the sunny air
Into our faces; the blue heavens were bare,
Stripped to their depths by the awakening north:
And, from the waves, sound like delight broke forth
Harmonizing with solitude, and sent
Into our hearts aerial merriment.

So, as we rode, we talked ; and the swift thought.
Winging itself with laughter, lingered not,
But flew from brain to brain \~~such glee was ours.
Charged with light memories of remembered hours,
None slow enough for sadness : till we came
Homeward, which always makes the spirit tame.
This day had been cheerful but cold, and now
The sun was sinking, and the wind also.
Our talk grew somewhat serious, as may be
Talk interrupted with such raillery

As mocks itself, because it cannot scorn

The thoughts it would extinguish :—'twas forlorn,

Vet pleasing ; such as once, so poets tell,

The devils held within the dales of hell,

Concerning God, freewill, and destiny.

Of all that Earth has been, or yet may be;

All that vain men imagine or believe,

Or hope can paint, or suffering can achieve,

We descanted ; and I (for ever still

Is it not wise to make the best of ill i)

Argued against despondency ; but pride

Made my companion take the darker side.

The sense that he was greater than his kind

Had struck, methinks, his eagle spirit blind

Bv gazing on its own exceeding light.

Meanwhile the sun paused ere it should alight

Over the horizon of the mountains—Oh!

How beautiful is sunset, when the glow

Of heaven descends upon a land like thee,

Thou paradise of exiles, Italy!

Thy mountains, seas, and vineyards, and the

towers, Of cities they encircle !—It was ours To stand on thee, beholding it: and then, Just where we had dismounted, the Count's men Were waiting for us with the gondola. As those who pause on some delightful way, Though bent on pleasant pilgrimage, we stood Looking upon the evening, and the flood Which lay between the city and the shore, Paved with the image of the sky : the hoar And airy Alps, towards the north, appeared, Thro' mist, a heaven-sustaining bulwark, reared Between the east and west; and half the sky Was roofed with clouds of rich emblazonry, Dark purple at the zenith, which still grew Down the steep west into a wondrous hue Brighter than burning gold, even to the rent Where the swift sun yet paused in his descent Among the many-folded hills—they were Those famous Euganean hills, which bear, As seen from Lido through the harbour piles, The likeness of a clump of peaked isles— And then, as if the earth and sea had been Dissolved into one lake of fire, were seen Those mountains towering, as from waves of flame, Around the vaporous sun, from which there came The inmost purple spirit of light, and made Their very peaks transparent. "Ere it fade," Said my companion," I will show you soon A better station." So, o'er the lagune We glided ; and from that funereal bark I leaned, and saw the city, and could mark How from their many isles, in evening's gleam, Its temples and its palaces did seem Like fabrics of enchantment piled to heaven. I was about to speak, when—" We are even Now at the point I meant," said Maddalo, And bade the gondolieri cease to row. "Look, Julian, on the west, and listen well If you hear not a deep and heavy bell." I looked, and saw between us and the sun A building on an island, such a one As age to age might add, for uses vile,— A windowless, deformed, and dreary pile; And on the top an open tower, where hung A bell, which in the radiance swayed and swung, We could just hear its coarse and iron tongue: The broad sun sank behind it, and it tolled In strong and black relief—" What we behold

Shall be the madhouse and its belfry tower,"—
Said Maddalo ; "and even at this hour,
Those who may cross the water hear that bell,
Which calls the maniacs, each one from his cell,
To vespers."—" As much skill-as need to pray,
In thanks or hope for their dark lot have they,
To their stern maker," I replied.—" 0, ho!
You talk as in years past," said Maddalo.
"'Tis strange men change not. You were ever still
Among Christ's flock a perilous infidel,
A wolf for the meek lambs : if you can't swim,
Beware of providence." I looked on him,
But the gay smile had faded from his eye.
"And such," he cried, " is our mortality;
And this must be the emblem and the sign
Of what should he eternal and divine;
And like that black and dreary bell, the soul,
Hung in a heaven-illumined tower, must toll
Our thoughts and our desires to meet below
Round the rent heart, and pray—as madmen do;
For whatJ they know not, till the night of death,
As sunset that strange vision, severeth
Our memory from itself, and us from all
We sought, and yet were baffled." I recall
The sense of what he said, although I mar
The force of his expressions. The broad star
Of day meanwhile had sunk behind the hill;
And the black bell became invisible;
And the red tower looked grey; and all between,
The churches, ships, and palaces, were seen
Huddled in gloom ; into the purple sea
The orange hues of heaven sunk silently.
We hardly spoke, and soon the gondola
Conveyed me to my lodging by the way.

The following morn was rainy, cold, and dim:
Ere Maddalo arose I called on him,
And whilst I waited with his child I played;
A lovelier toy sweet Nature never made;
A serious, subtle, wild, yet gentle being;
Graceful without design, and unforeseeing;
With eyes—Oh ! speak not of her eyes I which
Twin mirrors of Italian Heaven, yet gleam [seem
With such deep meaning as we never see
But in the human countenance. With me
She was a special favourite: I had nursed
Her fine and feeble limbs, when she came first
To this bleak world; and yet she seemed to know
On second sight her ancient playfellow,
Less changed than she was by six months or so.
For, alter her first shyness was worn out,
We sate there, rolling billiard balls about,
When the Count entered. Salutations passed:
"The words you spoke last night might well have
A darkness on my spirit:—if man be [east

The passive thing you say, I should not see
Much harm in the religions and old saws,
(Tho' / may never own such leaden laws)
Which break a teachless nature to the yoke:
Mine is another faith."—Thus much I spoke,
And, noting he replied not, added—" See
This lovely child ; blithe, innocent, and free;
She spends a happy time, with little care;
While we to such sick thoughts subjected are,
As came on you last night. It is our will
Which thus enchains us to permitted ill.
We might be otherwise; we might be all
We dream of, happy, high, mnjestical.
Where is the beauty, love, and truth, we seek,
But in our minds? And, if we were not weuk,
Should wc be less in deed than in desire !"—
—" Ay, if we were not weak,—and we aspire,
How vainly! to be strong," said Maddalo:
"Yon talk Utopian"—

"It remains to know,"
I then rejoined, "and those who try, may find
How strong the chains are which our spirit bind:
Brittle perchance as straw. We are assured
Much may be conquered, much may be endured,
Of what degrades and crushes us. We know
That we have power over ourselves to do
And suffer—what, we know not till we try;
But something nobler than to live and die:
So taught the kings of old philosophy,
Who reigned before religion made men blind;
And those who suffer with their suffering kind,
Yet feel this faith, religion."

"My dear friend,"
Said Maddalo, "my judgment will not bend
To your opinion, though I think you might
Make such a system refutation-tight,
As far as words go. I knew one like you,
Who to this city came some months ago,
With whom I argued in this sort,—and he
Is now gone mad—and so he answered me,
Poor fellow !—But if you would like to go,
We'll visit him, and his wild talk will show
How vain are such aspiring theories."

"I hope to prove the induction otherwise,
And that a want of that true theory still,
Which seeks a soul of goodness in things ill,
Or in himself or others, has thus bowed
His being :—there are some by nature proud,
Who, patient in all else, demand but this—
To love and be beloved with gentleness :—
And being scorned, what wonder if they die
Some living death 1 This is not destiny,
But man's own wilful ill."

As thus I spoke,
Servants announced the gondola, and we
Through the fast-falling rain and high-wrought sea
Sailed to the island where the madhouse stands.
We disembarked. The clap of tortured hands,
Fierce yells and howlings, and lamentings keen,
And laughter where complaint had merrier been,
Accosted us. We climbed the oozy stairs
Into an old court-yard. I heard on high,
Then, fragments of most touching melody,
But looking up saw not the singer there.—
Thro' the black bars in the tempestuous air
1 saw, like weeds on a wrecked palace growing,
Long tangled locks flung wildly forth and flowing,
Of those on a sudden who were beguiled
Into strange silence, and looked forth and smiled,
Hearing sweet sounds. Then I:

"Methinks there were A cure of these with patience and kind care, If music can thus move. But what is he, Whom we seek here?"

"Of his sad history I know but this," said Maddalo: "he came To Venice a dejected man, and fame Said he was wealthy, or he had been so. Some thought the loss of fortune wrought him woe;

But he was ever talking in such sort

As you do,—but more sadly ;—he seemed hurt,

Even as a man with his peculiar wrong,

To hear but of the oppression of the strong,

Or those absurd deceits (I think with you

In some respects, you know) which carry through

The excellent impostors of this earth

When they outface detection. He had worth,

Poor fellow ! but a humourist in his way."—

—" Alas, what drove him mad!"

"I cannot say: A lady came with him from France, and when She left him and .returned, he wandered then

About yon lonely isles of desert sand,

Till he grew wild. He had no cash nor land

Remaining :—the police had brought him here—

Some fancy took him, and he would not bear

Removal, so I fitted up for him

Those rooms beside the seaj to please his whim;

And sent him busts, and books, and urns for

flowers, Which had adorned his life in happier hours. And instruments of music. You may guess A stranger could do little more or less For one so gentle and unfortunate— And those are his sweet strains which charm the

weight From madmen's chains, and make this hell appear A heaven of sacred silence, hushed to hear."

"Nay, this was kind of you,—he had no claim, As the world says."

"None but the very
Which I on all mankind, were I, as he,
Fallen to such deep reverse. His melody
Is interrupted now: we hear the din
Of madmen, shriek on shriek, again begin:
Let us now visit him: after this strain,
He ever communes with himself again,
And sees and hears not any."

Having said
These words, we called the keeper, and he led
To an apartment opening on the sea—
There the poor wretch was sitting mournfully
Near a piano, his pale fingers twined
One with the other ; and the ooze and wind
Rushed through an open casement, and did sway
His hair, and starred it with the brackish spray:
His head was leaning on a music-book,
And he was muttering; and his lean limbs shook.
His lips were pressed against a folded leaf,
In hue too beautiful for health, and grief
Smiled in their motions as they lay apart,
As one who wrought from his own fervid heart
The eloquence of passion : soon he raised
His sad meek face, and eyes lustrous and glazed,
And spoke,—sometimes as one who wrote, and

thought His words might move some heart that heeded not, If sent to distant lands ;—and then as one Reproaching deeds never to be undone, With wondering self-compassion;—then his speech Was lost in grief, and then his words came each Unmodulated and expressionless,— But that from one jarred accent you might guess

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