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Their children's children's doom already | For the world's granary; thou whose sky brought Forth from the abyss of time which is to be, The chaos of events, where lie halfwrought Shapes that must undergo mortality; What the great Seers of Israel wore within, That spirit was on them, and is on me, And if, Cassandra-like, amidst the din
Of conflict none will hear or hearing heed
With our old Roman sway in the wide West;
But I will make another tongue arise
Shall find alike such sounds for every
song; So that all present speech to thine shall
Her palace, in whose cradle Empire grew,
And finds her prior vision but portray'd
Of horrid snow,and rock and shaggy shade
And wistfully implores, as 'twere, for help To see thy sunny fields, my Italy,
Nearer and nearer yet, and dearer still The more approach'd, and dearest were they free;Thou—Thou must wither to each tyrant's will:
The Goth hath been, the German,
Rome at her feet lies bleeding; and the huc
Of human sacrifice and Roman slaughter Troubles the clotted air, of late so blue, And deepens into red the saffron water
Of Tiber, thick with dead; the helpless
All paths of torture, and insatiate yet,
Had but the royal Rebel lived, perchance
The note of meaner birds, and every tongue
Thou hadst been spared, but his involved | What is there wanting then to set thee free,
Oh! Rome,the spoiler or the spoil of France, From Brennus to the Bourbon,never, never Shall foreign standard to thy walls advance
But Tiber shall become a mournful river. Oh! when the strangers pass the Alps and Po,
Crush them ye rocks! floods, whelm them, and for ever!
Why sleep the idle avalanches so,
To topple on the lonely pilgrim's head? Why doth Eridanus but overflow The peasant's harvest from his turbid bed? Were not each barbarous horde a nobler prey?
Over Cambyses' host the desert spread Her sandy ocean, and the sea waves' sway Roll'd over Pharaoh and his thousands, -why
Mountains and waters do ye not as they! And you, ye men! Romans, who dare not die, Sons of the conquerors who overthrew Those who overthrew proud Xerxes, where yet lie
The dead whose tomb Oblivion never knew, Are the Alps weaker than Thermopyla? Their passes more alluring to the view Of an invader? is it they, or ye,
That to each host the mountain-gate unbar,
And leave the march in peace, the passage free?
Why, Nature's self detains the victor's car And makes your land impregnable, if earth Could be so; but alone she will not war, Yet aids the warrior worthy of his birth In a soil where the mothers bring forth
Not so with those whose souls are little worth;
For them no fortress can avail,—the den Of the poor reptile which preserves its sting
Is more secure than walls of adamant, when The hearts of those within are quivering. Are ye not brave? Yes, yet the Ausonian soil | Hath hearts, and hands, and arms, and hosts to bring Against Oppression; but how vain the toil, While still Division sows the seeds of woe And weakness, till the stranger reaps the spoil. Oh! my own beauteous land! so long laid low, So long the grave of thy own children's hopes, When there is but required a single blow To break the chain, yet-yet the Avenger stops, And Doubt and Discord step 'twixt thine and thee, And join their strength to that which with thee copes;
And show thy beauty in its fullest light? To make the Alps impassable; and we, Her sons, may do this with one deed-Unite!
There where the farthest suns and stars have birth. Spread like a banner at the gate of heaven, The bloody scroll of our millennial wrongs
Waves,and the echo of our groans is driven Athwart the sound of archangelic songs, And Italy, the martyr'd nation's gore, Will not in vain arise to where belongs Omnipotence and mercy evermore:
Like to a harpstring stricken by the wind, The sound of her lament shall, rising o'er The seraph-voices, touch the Almighty Mind. Meantime I, humblest of thy sons, and of Earth's dust by immortality refined To sense and suffering, though the vain may scoff,
And tyrants threat, and meeker victims bow
Before the storm because its breath is
To thee, my country! whom before as now, I loved and love,devote the mournful lyre And melancholy gift high powers allow To read the future; and if now my fire
Is not as once it shone o'er thee, forgive! I but foretell thy fortunes-then expire; Think not that I would look on them and live.
A spirit forces me to see and speak,
And for my guerdon grants not to survive ; My heart shall be pour'd over thee and break:
Yet for a moment, ere I must resume Thy sable web of sorrow, let me take Over the gleams that flash athwart thy gloom
A softer glimpse; some stars shine through thy night,
And many meteors, and above thy tomb Leans sculptured Beauty, which Death cannot blight; And from thine ashes boundless spirits rise To give thee honour and the earth delight;
Thy soil shall still be pregnant with the wise, The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and the brave, Native to thee as summer to thy skies, Conquerors on foreign shores and the far
Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name; For thee alone they have no arm to save, And all thy recompense is in their fame, A noble one to them, but not to thee Shall they be glorious, and thou still the same? Oh! more than these illustrious far shall be The being and even yet he may be born— The mortal saviour who shall set thee free, And see thy diadem, so changed and worn By fresh barbarians, on thy brow replaced; And the sweet sun replenishing thy morn, Thy moral morn, too long with clouds defaced
And noxious vapours from Avernus risen, Such as all they must breathe who are debased By servitude, and have the mind in prison. Yet through this centuried eclipse of woe Some voices shall be heard, and earth shall listen; Poets shall follow in the path I show, And make it broader;the same brilliant sky Which cheers the birds to song shall bid them glow, And raise their notes as natural and high; Tuneful shall be their numbers: they shall sing Many of love, and some of liberty, But few shall soar upon that eagle's wing, And look in the sun's face with eagle's gaze All free and fearless as the feather'd king, But fly more near the earth; how many a phrase Sublime shall lavish'd be on some small prince In all the prodigality of praise! And language, eloquently false, evince The harlotry of genius, which, like beauty, Too oft forgets its own self-reverence, And looks on prostitution as a duty.
He who once enters in a tyrant's hall As guest is slave, his thoughts become a booty, And the first day which sees the chain enthral A captive, sees his half of manhood goneThe soul's emasculation saddens all His spirit; thus the Bard too near the throne Quails from his inspiration, bound to please,How servile is the task to please alone! To smooth the verse to suit his sovereign's
And royal leisure, nor too much prolong Aught save his eulogy, and find, and seize, Or force, or forge fit argument of song!
Thus trammell'd, thus condemn'd to Flattery's trebles, He toils through all, still trembling to be wrong:
For fear some noble thoughts, like heavenly rebels,
Should rise up in high treason to his brain, He sings, as the Athenian spoke, with pebbles In's mouth, lest truth should stammer through his strain. But out of the long file of sonneteers There shall be some who will not sing in vain, And he, their prince, shall rank among my peers,
And love shall be his torment; but his grief
Shall make an immortality of tears, And Italy shall hail him as the Chief Of Poet-lovers, and his higher song Of Freedom wreathe him with as green a leaf. But in a farther age shall rise along The banks of Po two greater still than he; The world which smiled on him shall do them wrong Till they are ashes and repose with me.
The first will make an epoch with his lyre, And fill the earth with feats of chivalry: His fancy like a rainbow, and his fire,
Like that of heaven, immortal, and his thought
Borne onward with a wing that cannot tire; Pleasure shall, like a butterfly new caught,
Flutter her lovely pinions o'er his theme, And Art itself seem into Nature wrought By the transparency of his bright dream. – The second, of a tenderer, sadder mood, Shall pour his soul ont o'er Jerusalem; He, too, shall sing of arms, and christian blood Shed where Christ bled for man; and his high harp Shall, by the willow over Jordan's flood, Revive a song of Sion, and the sharp
Conflict, and final triumph of the brave And pious, and the strife of hell to warp Their hearts from their great purpose, until wave The red-cross banners where the first red Cross Was crimson'd from his veins who died to save, Shall be his sacred argument; the loss
Of years, of favour, freedom, even of fame Contested for a time, while the smooth gloss
Of courts would slide o'er his forgotten name, And call captivity a kindness, meant To shield him from insanity or shame, Such shall be his meet guerdon! who was sent To be Christ's Laurcate—they reward him well!
Florence dooms me but death or banishment, Ferrara him a pittance and a cell, Harder to bear and less deserved, for 1 Had stung the factions which I strove to quell; But this meek man, who with a lover's eye Will look on earth and heaven, and who will deign To embalm with his celestial flattery As poor a thing as e'er was spawn'd to reign, What will he do to merit such a doom? Perhaps he'll love,- and is not love in vain Torture enough without a living tomb?
Yet it will be so- he and his compeer, The Bard of Chivalry, will both consume In penury and pain too many a year,
And, dying in despondency, bequeath To the kind world, which scarce will yield a tear, A heritage enriching all who breathe With the wealth of a genuine poet's soul, And to their country a redoubled wreath, Unmatch'd by time; not Hellas can unrol Through her Olympiads two such names, though one
Of hers be mighty ;-and is this the whole Of such men's destiny beneath the sun? Must all the finer thoughts, the thrilling
sense, The electric blood with which their arteries run, Their body's self turn'd soul with the intense Feeling of that which is, and fancy of That which should be, to such a recompense
Conduct? shall their bright plumage on the rough
Storm be still scatter'd? Yes,and it must be, For, form'd of far too penetrable stuff, These birds of Paradise but long to flee Back to their native mansion, soon they find Earth's mist with their pure pinions not agree, And die, or are degraded, for the mind Succumbs to long infection, and despair, And vulture-passions flying close behind, Await the moment to assail and tear;
And when at length the winged wanderers stoop, Then is the prey-birds' triumph, then they share The spoil, o'erpower'd at length by one fell swoop. Yet some have been untouch'd, who learn'd to bear, Some whom no power could ever force to droop, Who could resist themselves even, hardest
And task most hopeless! but some such have been,
And if my name amongst the number were That destiny austere, and yet serene,
With thought and beings of our thought reflected, Can do no more: then let the artist share The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected Faints o'er the labour unapproved -- Alas! Despair and Genius are too oft connected. Within the ages which before me pass,
Art shall resume and equal even the sway Which with Apelles and old Phidias She held in Hellas' unforgotten day.
Ye shall be taught by Ruin to revive The Grecian forms at least from their decay, And Roman souls at last again shall live In Roman works wrought by Italian hands, And temples, loftier than the old temples, give New wonders to the world; and while still stands The austere Pantheon, into heaven shall
A dome, its image, while the base expands Into a fane surpassing all before,
Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in: ne'er
Such sight hath been unfolded by a door As this, to which all nations shall repair And lay their sins at this huge gate of
And the bold architect unto whose care The daring charge to raise it shall be given, Whom all arts shall acknowledge as their lord, Whether into the marble-chaos driven His chisel bid the Hebrew, at whose word Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone, Or hues of hell be by his pencil pour'd Over the damn'd before theJudgment-throne, Such as I saw them, such as all shall see, Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown, The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me, The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realms Which form the empire of eternity. Amidst the clash of swords and clang of helms, The age which I anticipate, no less Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelms Calamity the nations with distress,
The genius of my country shall arise, A Cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, Lovely in all its branches to all eyes, Fragrant as fair, and recognized afar, Wafting its native incense through the skies. Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport of war, Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and gaze On canvas or on stone; and they who mar All beauty upon earth, compell'd to praise, Shall feel the power of that which they destroy;
And wear a deeper brand and gaudier chain?
Or if their destiny be born aloof From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain. In their own souls sustain a harder proof. The inner war of passions deep and fierce! Florence! when thy harsh sentence razed my roof,
I loved thee, but the vengeance of my verse.
The hate of injuries, which every year Makes greater and accumulates my curse. Shall live, outliving all thou holdest dear. Thy pride, thy wealth, thy freedom. and even that, The most infernal of all evils here, The sway of petty tyrants in a state;
For such sway is not limited to kings, And demagogues yield to them but in date As swept off sooner; in all deadly things Which make men hate themselves, and one another,