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As winter to fair flowers (though some be poison)
So Monarchy succeeds to Freedom's foison.

IV.

In Pisa's church a cup of sculptured gold

Was brimming with the blood of feuds forsworn At sacrament: more holy ne'er of old

Etrurians mingled with the shades forlorn Of moon-illumined forests.

V.

And reconciling factions wet their lips.

With that dread wine, and swear to keep each spirit Undarkened by their country's last eclipse.

*

*

VI.

Was Florence the liberticide? that band

Of free and glorious brothers who had planted, Like a green isle 'mid Ethiopian 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 thee.

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 crime?

IX.

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 overthrown,
And thus thy victim's fate is as thine own.

X.

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.

XI.

No record of his crime remains in story,

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.

XII.

For when by sound of trumpet was declared
A price upon his life, and there was set
A penalty of blood on all who shared

So much of water with him as might wet His lips, which speech divided not-he went Alone, as you may guess, to banishment.

XIII.

Amid the mountains, like a hunted beast,

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.

XIV.

And in the roofless huts of vast morasses,
Deserted by the fever-stricken serf,

All overgrown with reeds and long rank grasses,
And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven turf,
And where the huge and speckled aloe made,
Rooted in stones, a broad and pointed shade,

XV.

He housed himself. There is a point of strand
Near Vado's tower and town; and on one side

The treacherous marsh divides it from the land,
Shadowed by pine and ilex forests wide,
And on the other creeps eternally,
Through muddy weeds, the shallow sullen sea.

XVI.

Here the earth's breath is pestilence, and few
But things whose nature is at war with life—
Snakes and ill worms-endure its mortal dew.

The trophies of the clime's victorious strifeWhite bones, and locks of dun and yellow hair, And ringed horns which buffaloes did wear

XVII.

And at the utmost point [of land?] stood there
The relics of a weed-inwoven cot,

Thatched with broad flags. An outlawed murderer

Had lived seven days there: the pursuit was hot When he was cold. The birds that were his grave Fell dead upon their feast in Vado's wave.

XVIII.

There must have lived within Marenghi's heart

That fire, more warm and bright than life or hope, (Which to the martyr makes his dungeon

..

More joyous than the heaven's majestic cope
To his oppressor), warring with decay,-
Or he could ne'er have lived years, day by day.

XIX.

Nor was his state so lone as you might think.

He had tamed every newt and snake and toad, And every seagull which sailed down to drink

Those [marshes?] ere the death-mist went abroad. And each one, with peculiar talk and play, Wiled, not untaught, his silent time away.

XX.

And the marsh-meteors, like tame beasts, at night

Came licking with blue tongues his veinèd feet; And he would watch them, as, like spirits bright, In many entangled figures quaint and sweet To some inchanted music they would danceUntil they vanished at the first moon-glance.

XXI.

He mocked the stars by grouping on each weed
The summer dewdrops in the golden dawn;
And, ere the hoar-frost vanished, he could read
Its pictured footprints, as on spots of lawn
Its delicate brief touch in silence weaves
The likeness of the wood's remembered leaves.

XXII.

And many a fresh Spring-morn would he awaken-
While yet the unrisen sun made glow, like iron
Quivering in crimson fire, the peaks unshaken

Of mountains and blue isles which did environ
With air-clad crags that plain of land and sea,-
And feel
liberty.

XXIII.

And in the moonless nights, when the dim ocean
Heaved underneath the heaven,...
Starting from dreams...

Communed with the immeasurable world;
And felt his life beyond his limbs dilated,
Till his mind grew like that it contemplated.

XXIV.

His food was the wild fig and strawberry;

The milky pine-nuts which the autumnal blast Shakes into the tall grass; and such small fry

As from the sea by winter-storms are cast; And the coarse bulbs of iris-flowers he found Knotted in clumps under the spongy ground.

XXV.

And so were kindled powers and thoughts which made His solitude less dark. When memory came

(For years gone by leave each a deepening shade),

His spirit basked in its internal flame,-
As, when the black storm hurries round at night,
The fisher basks beside his red firelight.

XXVI.

Yet human hopes and cares and faiths and errors,
Like billows unawakened by the wind,
Slept in Marenghi still; but that all terrors,

Weakness, and doubt, had withered in his mind.

His couch...

XXVII.

And, when he saw beneath the sunset's planet
A black ship walk over the crimson ocean,-
Its pennons streaming on the blasts that fan it,

Its sails and ropes all tense and without motion,
Like the dark ghost of the unburied even
Striding across the orange-coloured heaven,-

XXVIII.

The thought of his own kind who made the soul Which sped that winged shape through night and day,— The thought of his own country...

POEMS WRITTEN IN 1819.

LINES

WRITTEN DURING THE CASTLEREAGH ADMINISTRATION.

I. ·

CORPSES are cold in the tomb;

Stones on the pavement are dumb;

Abortions are dead in the womb,

And their mothers look pale-like the white shore
Of Albion, free no more.

II.

Her sons are as stones in the way-
They are masses of senseless clay-
They are trodden, and move not away,-
The abortion with which she travaileth

Is Liberty, smitten to death.

III.

Then trample and dance, thou Oppressor!
For thy victim is no redresser;
Thou art sole lord and possessor

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