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Thy soil shall still be pregnant with the
The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and
Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name;
For thee alone they have no arm to save,
Oh! more than these illustrious far shall be
Thus trammell'd, thus condemn'd to
He toils through all, still trembling to
For fear some noble thoughts, like heavenly rebels,
Should rise up in high treason to his brain,
And he, their prince, shall rank among my
And noxious vapours from Avernus risen,
By servitude, and have the mind in prison.
Poets shall follow in the path I show,
Many of love, and some of liberty,
Sublime shall lavish'd be on some small
In all the prodigality of praise!
He who once enters in a tyrant's hall
How servile is the task to please alone!
And royal leisure, nor too much prolong
Till they are ashes and repose with me."
Borne onward with a wing that cannot tire;
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
The red-cross banners where the first
Shall be his sacred argument; the loss
Of courts would slide o'er his forgotten name,
To shield him from insanity or shame,
To be Christ's Laureate 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 I 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
Earth's mist with their pure pinions not
And die, or are degraded, for the mind
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,
Were prouder than more dazzling fame unblest;
The Alp's snow-summit nearer heaven is
Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest, Whose splendour from the black abyss is flung,
While the scorch'd mountain, from whose burning breast
A temporary torturing flame is wrung,
MANY are poets who have never penn'd Their inspiration, and perchance the best: They felt, and loved, and died, but would not lend
Their thoughts to meaner beings; they compress'd them, and rejoin'd the
The god within Unlaurell'd upon earth, but far more blest Than those who are degraded by the jars Of passion, and their frailties link'd to fame,
Conquerors of high renown, but full of
Many are poets but without the name,
And be the new Prometheus of new men,
And vultures to the heart of the bestower, Who,having lavish'd his high gift in vain, Lies chain'd to his lone rock by the seashore?
So be it: we can bear.—But thus all they, Whose intellect is an o'ermastering power Which still recoils from its encumbering clay
Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er The form which their creations may essay, Are bards; the kindled marble's bust may
More poesy upon its speaking brow Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear; One noble stroke with a whole life may glow, Or deify the canvas till it shine With beauty so surpassing all below, That they who kneel to idols so divine Break no commandment, for high heaven is there Transfused, transfigurated: and the line Of poesy which peoples but the air
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 heaven.
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 Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise To tyrants, who but take her for a toy, Emblems and monuments, and prostitute Her charms to pontiffs proud, who but employ
The man of genius as the meanest brute To bear a burthen, and to serve a need, To sell his labours, and his soul to boot : Who toils for nations may be poor indeed But free; who sweats for monarchs is no
Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed and fee'd,
Stands sleek and slavish bowing at his door. Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest! how Is it that they on earth, whose earthly power
Is likest thine in heaven in outward show, Least like to thee in attributes divine, Tread on the universal necks that bow, And then assure us that their rights are thine?
And how is it that they, the sons of fame, Whose inspiration seems to them to shine From high, they whom the nations oftest
Must pass their days in penury or pain, Or step to grandeur through the paths of shame,
And wear a deeper brand and gaudier chain?
I loved thee, but the vengeance of my verse,
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
As swept off sooner; in all deadly things Which make men hate themselves, and one another, In discord, cowardice, cruelty, all that springs From Death the Sin-born's incest with his mother,
In rank oppression in its rudest shape, The faction-Chief is but the Sultan's brother, And the worst despot's far less human ape: Florence! when this lone spirit, which so long
Yearn'd as the captive toiling at escape, To fly back to thee in despite of wrong, An exile, saddest of all prisoners, Who has the whole world for a dungeon strong,
Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge | Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass.
The limits of man's common malice, for
I may not overleap the eternal bar
OUR life is twofold; Sleep hath Its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
And a wide realm of wild reality;
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They take a weight from off our waking toils,
But a most living landscape, and the wave
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge The maid was on the eve of womanhood; The boy had fewer summers, but his heart Like sibyls of the future; they have power-Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye The tyranny of pleasure and of pain; They make us what we were not— what | they will,
There was but one beloved face on earth,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I saw two beings in the hues of youth
To live within himself; she was his life,
And his cheek change tempestuously—his
Unknowing of its cause of agony.
Her infant-friendship had bestow'd on him; | Reposing from the noon-tide sultriness, Herself the solitary scion left
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. There was an ancient mansion, and before Its walls there was a steed caparison'd: Within an antique Oratory stood The Boy of whom I spake;- he was alone And pale, and pacing to and fro; anon He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced
Words which I could not guess of; then he lean'd
His bow'd head on his hands, and shook as 'twere
With a convulsion-then arose again,
What he had written, but he shed no tears,
For quickly comes such knowledge, that
From out the massy gate of that old Hall,
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. The Boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds
Of fiery climes he made himself a home, And his soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt
With strange and dusky aspects; he was not Himself like what he had been; on the sea And on the shore he was a wanderer; There was a mass of many images Crowded like waves upon me, but he was A part of all; and in the last he lay
Couch'd among fallen columns, in the shade
Were fasten'd near a fountain; and a man Clad in a flowing garb did watch the while, While many of his tribe slumber'd around: And they were canopied by the blue sky, So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful, That God alone was to be seen in Heaven.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. The Lady of his love was wed with One Who did not love her better:-in her home A thousand leagues from his,- her native home,
She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy,
And he who had so loved her was not there
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
Nor could he be a part of that which prey'd Upon her mind—a spectre of the past.