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And hark! the lash and the increasing howl, | Dwelling deep in my shut and silent heart And the half-inarticulate blasphemy! As dwells the gather'd lightning in its cloud, There be some here with worse than frenzy Encompass'd with its dark and rolling


Some who do still goad on the o'er-labour'd

mind, And dim the little light that's left behind With needless torture, as their tyrant-will Is wound up to the lust of doing ill: With these and with their victims am I class'd,

Mid sounds and sights like these long years have pass'd; Mid sights and sounds like these my life may close:

So let it be-for then I shall repose.

I have been patient, let me be so yet; had forgotten half I would forget, But it revives--oh! would it were my lot To be forgetful as I am forgot!Feel I not wroth with those who bade me dwell

In this vast lazar-house of many woes? Where laughter is not mirth, nor thought the mind,

Nor words a language, nor even men mankind;

Where cries reply to curses, shrieks to blows,

And each is tortured in his separate hell-
For we are crowded in our solitudes-
Many, but each divided by the wall,
Which echoes Madness in her babbling

While all can hear, none heeds his neighbour's call

None! save that One, the veriest wretch of all, Who was not made to be the mate of these, Nor bound between Distraction and Disease. Feel I not wroth with those who placed

me here?

Who have debased me in the minds of men, Debarring me the usage of my own, Blighting my life in best of its career, Branding my thoughts as things to shun

and fear.

Would I not pay them back these pangs again,

And teach them inward sorrow's stifled groan?

The struggle to be calm, and cold distress,
Which undermines our Stoical success?
No!-still too proud to be vindictive-I
Have pardon'd princes' insults, and would die.
Yes. Sister of my Sovereign! for thy sake
I weed all bitterness from out my breast,
It hath no business where thou art a guest;
Thy brother hates-but I can not detest,
Thou pitiest not-but I can not forsake.

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And for a moment all things as they were
Flit by me ;-they are gone-I am the same.
And yet my love without ambition grew;
I knew thy state, my station, and I knew
A princess was no love-mate for a bard ;
I told it not, I breathed it not, it was
Sufficient to itself, its own reward;
And if my eyes reveal'd it, they, alas!
Were punish'd by the silentness of thine,
And yet I did not venture to repine.
Thou wert to me a crystal-girded shrine,
Worshipp'd at holy distance, and around
Hallow'd and meekly kiss'd the saintly

Not for thou wert a princess, but that Love
Had robed thee with a glory, and array'd
Thy lineaments in beauty that dismay'd–
Oh! not dismay'd-but awed, like One

And in that sweet severity there was
A something which all softness did surpass —
I know not how-thy genius master'd mine-
My star stood still before thee:-if it were
Presumptuous thus to love without design,
That sad fatality hath cost me dear;
But thou art dearest still, and I should be
Fit for this cell, which wrongs me, but
for thee.

The very love which lock'd me to my chain Hath lighten'd half its weight; and for the rest,

Though heavy, lent me vigour to sustain, And look to thee with undivided breast, And foil the ingenuity of Pain.

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Stamp madness deep into my memory,
And woo compassion to a blighted name,
Sealing the sentence which my foes proclaim.
No it shall be immortal!—and I make
A future temple of my present cell,
Which nations yet shall visit for my sake.
While thou, Ferrara! when no longer dwell
The ducal chiefs within thee, shalt fall down,
And crumbling piecemeal view thy hearth-
less halls,

I loved all solitude--but little thought To spend I know not what of life, remote From all communion with existence, save The maniac and his tyrant; had I been Their fellow, many years ere this had seen My mind like theirs corrupted to its grave; But who hath seen me writhe, or heard me rave? Perchance in such a cell we suffer more Than the wreck'd sailor on his desert shore; The world is all before him—miné is here, Scarce twice the space they must accord my bier. What though he perish, he may lift his eye And with a dying glance upbraid the sky-That such as I could love—who blush'd to I will not raise my own in such reproof, Although 'tis clouded by my dungeon-roof. To less than monarchs that thou couldst be dear, Go! tell thy brother that my heart, untamed By grief, years, weariness-and it may be A taint of that he would impute to meFrom long infection of a den like this, Where the mind rots congenial with the abyss, Adores thee still;-and add-that when the towers And battlements which guard his joyous hours


Of banquet, dance, and revel, are forgot,
Or left untended in a dull repose,
This-this shall be a consecrated spot!
But Thou-when all that Birth and Beauty
Of magic round thee is extinct-shalt have
One half the laurel which o'ershades my

No power in death can tear our names apart.
As none in life could rend thee from my

A poet's wreath shall be thine only crown,
A poet's dungeon thy most far renown,
While strangers wonder o'er thy unpeopled

And thou, Leonora! thou - who wert ashamed

Yet do I feel at times my mind decline, But with a sense of its decay:-I see Unwonted lights along my prison shine, And a strange demon, who is vexing me With pilfering pranks and petty pains, below The feeling of the healthful and the free; But much to One, who long hath suffer'd so Sickness of heart, and narrowness of place, And all that may be borne, or can debase. I thought mine enemies had been but men, But spirits may be leagued with them-all Earth Abandons - Heaven forgets me; - in the dearth Of such defence the Powers of Evil can, It may be, tempt me further, and prevail Against the outworn creature they assail. Why in this furnace is my spirit proved Like steel in tempering fire? because I loved? heart. Because I loved what not to love, and see, Yes, Leonora! it shall be our fate Was more or less than mortal, and than me. [ To be entwined for ever—but too late!

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'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.



LADY! if for the cold and cloudy clime Where I was born, but where I would not die,

Of the great Poet-Sire of Italy

I dare to build the imitative rhyme,
Harsh Runic copy of the South's sublime,
THOU art the cause; and, howsoever I
Fall short of his immortal harmony,
Thy gentle heart will pardon me the crime.
Thou, in the pride of beauty and of youth,
Spak'st; and for thee to speak and be

Are one; but only in the sunny South
Such sounds are utter'd, and such charms

in our language, except it may be by Mr. Hayley, of whose translation I never saw but one extract, quoted in the notes to Caliph Vathek; so that-if I do not err- this poem may be considered as a metrical experiment. The cantos are short, and about the same

length of those of the poet whose name I have borrowed, and most probably taken in vain.

Amongst the inconveniences of authors in the present day, it is difficult for any who have a name, good or bad, to escape translation. I have had the fortune to see the fourth canto of Childe Harold translated

into Italian versi sciolti—that is, a poem written in the Spenserean stanza into blank · So sweet a language from so fair a mouth-verse, without regard to the natural diAh! to what effort would it not persuade?

Ravenna, June 21, 1819.


In the course of a visit to the city of Ravenna, in the summer of 1819, it was suggested to the author that, having composed something on the subject of Tasso's confinement, he should do the same on Dante's exile-the tomb of the poet forming one of the principal objects of interest in that city, both to the native and to the stranger.


visions of the stanza, or of the sense.
the present poem, being on a national topic,
should chance to undergo the same fate, I
would request the Italian reader to remem-
ber, that when I have failed in the imita-
tion of his great “Padre Alighier,” I have
failed in imitating that which all study and
few understand, since to this very day it is
not yet settled what was the meaning of
the allegory in the first canto of the Inferno,
unless Count Marchetti's ingenious and pro-
bable conjecture may be considered as hav-
ing decided the question.

He may also pardon my failure the more, as I am not quite sure that he would be pleased with my success, since the Italians, "On this hint I spake," and the result with a pardonable nationality, are partihas been the following four cantos, in terza cularly jealous of all that is left them as rima, now offered to the reader. If they a nation- their literature; and, in the preare understood and approved, it is my pur- sent bitterness of the classic and romantic pose to continue the poem in various other war, are but ill disposed to permit a foreigncantos to its natural conclusion in the pre-er even to approve or imitate them, without sent age. The reader is requested to sup- finding some fault with his ultramontane pose that Dante addresses him in the inter-presumption. I can easily enter into all val between the conclusion of the Divina this, knowing what would be thought in Commedia and his death, and shortly before England of an Italian imitator of Milton, the latter event, foretelling the fortunes of Italy in general in the ensuing centuries. In adopting this plan I have had in my mind the Cassandra of Lycophron, and the Prophecy of Nereus by Horace, as well as the Prophecies of Holy Writ. The measure adopted is the terza rima of Dante, which I am not aware to have seen hitherto tried

or if a translation of Monti, or Pindemonte, or Arici, should be held up to the rising generation as a model for their future_poetical essays. But I perceive that I am deviating into an address to the Italian reader, when my business is with the English one, and be they few or many, I must take my leave of both.

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That without which my soul, like the arkless dove, Had wander'd still in search of, nor her feet Relieved her wing till found; without thy light

My Paradise had still been incomplete. Since my tenth sun gave summer to my sight Thou wert my life, the essence of my thought, Loved ere I knew the name of love, and bright Still in these dim old eyes, now overwrought With the world's war, and years, and banishment,

And tears for thee,by other woes untaught; For mine is not a nature to be bent

By tyrannous faction, and the brawling crowd; And though the long, long conflict hath been spent In vain, and never more,save when the cloud, Which overhangs the Apennine, my mind's eye Pierces to fancy Florence, once so proud Of me, can I return, though but to die, Unto my native soil, they have not yet Quench'd the old exile's spirit, stern and high. But the sun, though not overcast, must set, And the night cometh; I am old in days, And deeds, and contemplation, and have


Destruction face to face in all his ways. The world hath left me, what it found me-pure,

And if I have not gather'd yet its praise, I sought it not by any baser lure; Man wrongs, and Time avenges, and my


May form a monument not all obscure, Though such was not my ambition's end or aim,

To add to the vain-glorious list of those Who dabble in the pettiness of fame. And make men's fickle breath the wind that blows

Their sail, and deem it glory to be class'd With conquerors, and Virtue's other foes, In bloody chronicles of ages past.

I would have had my Florence great and free:

Oh Florence! Florence! unto me thou wast Like that Jerusalem which the Almighty He Wept over: "but thou wouldst not;" as the bird Gathers its young, I would have gather'd thee Beneath a parent-pinion, hadst thou heard My voice; but as the adder,deaf and fierce, Against the breast that cherish'd thee was stirr'd

Thy venom, and my state thou didst amerce,

And doom this body forfeit to the fire. Alas! how bitter is his country's curse To him who for that country would expire, But did not merit to expire by her,

And loves her, loves her even in her ire. The day may come when she will cease to err, The day may come she would be proud to have The dust she dooms to scatter, and transfer Of him, whom she denied a home, the


But this shall not be granted; let my dust Lie where it falls; nor shall the soil which gave Me breath, but in her sudden fury thrust Me forth to breathe elsewhere, so re


My indignant bones, because her angry gust Forsooth is over, and repeal'd her doom. No, she denied me what was mine- my roof, And shall not have what is not hers - my tomb. Too long her armed wrath hath kept aloof The breast which would have bled for her, the heart That beat, the mind that was temptationproof, The man who fought, toil'd, travell`d, and each part

Of a true citizen fulfill'd, and saw For his reward the Guelf's ascendant art Pass his destruction even into a law.

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And yet being mortal still, have no repose But on the pillow of Revenge-Revenge, Who sleeps to dream of blood, and waking glows

With the oft-baffled, slakeless thirst of change,

When we shall mount again, and they that trod Be trampled on, while Death and Ate range O'er humbled heads and sever'd necksGreat God! Take these thoughts from me-to thy hands I yield My many wrongs, and thine almighty rod Will fall on those who smote me,-be my shield!

As thou hast been in peril, and in pain, In turbulent cities, and the tented fieldIn toil, and many troubles borne in vain

For Florence. I appeal from her to Thee! Thee, whom I late saw in thy loftiest reign, Even in that glorious vision, which to see And live was never granted until now, And yet thou hast permitted this to me. Alas! with what a weight upon my brow The sense of earth and earthly things come back,

Corrosive passions, feelings dull and low, The heart's quick throb upon the mental rack,

Long day,and dreary night; the retrospect Of half a century bloody and black, And the frail few years I may yet expect

Hoary and hopeless, but less hard to bear, For I have been too long and deeply wreck'd

On the lone rock of desolate Despair

To lift my eyes more to the passing sail Which shuns that reef so horrible and bare;

Nor raise my voice for who would heed my wail? I am not of this people, nor this age, And yet my harpings will unfold a tale Which shall preserve these times when not a page

Of their perturbed annals could attract An eye to gaze upon their civil rage, Did not my verse embalm full many an act Worthless as they who wrought it: 'tis the doom

Of spirits of my order to be rack'd In life,to wear their hearts out, and consume Their days in endless strife,and die alone; Then future thousands crowd around their tomb, And pilgrims come from climes where they have known

The name of him-who now is but a name, And wasting homage o'er the sullen stone Spread his- by him unheard, unheeded— fame;

And mine at least hath cost me dear: to die

Is nothing; but to wither thus-to tame My mind down from its own infinity— To live in narrow ways with little men, A common sight to every common eye, A wanderer, while even wolves can find a den, Ripp'd from all kindred, from all home, all things That make communion sweet, and soften painTo feel me in the solitude of kings Without the power that makes them bear a crown→ To envy every dove his nest and wings Which waft him where the Apennine looks down

On Arno, till he perches, it may be, Within my all-inexorable town, Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she, Their mother, the cold partner who hath brought

Destruction for a dowry-this to see And feel, and know without repair, hath taught

A bitter lesson; but it leaves me free: I have not vilely found, nor basely sought,They made an Exile—not a slave of me.


THE Spirit of the fervent days of Old, When words were things that came to pass, and thought Flash'd o'er the future, bidding men behold

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