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III

In Venice Tasso's 1 echoes are no more,
And silent rows the songless gondolier ;
Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
And music meets not always now the ear :
Those days are gone—but Beauty still is here.
States fall, arts fade-but nature doth not die,
Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity,
The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy !

IV

But unto us she hath a spell beyond
Her name in story, and her long array
Of mighty shadows, whose dim forms despond
Above the dogeless city's vanished sway ;
Ours is a trophy which will not decay
With the Rialto ;2 Shylock 3 and the Moor,
And Pierre, can not be swept or worn away-

The keystones of the arch! though all were o'er
For us repeopled were the solitary shore.

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The beings of the mind are not of clay ; 6
Essentially immortal, they create
And multiply in us a brighter ray
And more beloved existence : that which Fate
Prohibits to dull life, in this our state
Of mortal bondage, by these spirits supplied,
First exiles, then replaces what we hate ;

Watering the heart whose early flowers have died,
And with a fresher growth replenishing the void.

1 Of Tasso.] See below, and Byron's • Tasso's Lament,' in connection with Leonora and his imprisonment.

2 The Rialto.] The island in which the Exchange of Venice was. See Merchant of Venice,' • On the Rialto.' See Beppo.? 3 Shylock.] The Jew in Shakspeare's · Merchant of Venice.'

The Mcor.] The Othello of Shakspeare. 5 And Pierre.] A character in the Venice Preserved' of Otway.

6 The beings of the mind are not of clay.] Conf. ii. st. vi. Lament of Tasso' ii.

VI

1 Such is the refuge of our youth and age,
The first from Hope, the last from Vacancy ;
And this worn feeling peoples many a page,
And, may be, that which grows beneath mine eye :
Yet there are things whose strong reality
Outshines our fairy-land ; in shape and hues
More beautiful than our fantastic sky,

And the strange constellations which the Muse
O'er her wild universe is skilful to diffuse :

VII

I saw or dreamed of such,-but let them go,-
They came like truth, and disappeared like dreams;
And whatsoe'er they were-are now but so :
I could replace them if I would ; still teems
My mind with many a form which aptly seems
Such as I sought for, and at moments found ;
Let these too go—for waking reason deems

Such uver-weening phantasies unsound,
And other voices speak, and other sights surround.

VIII

I've taught me other tongues, and in strange eyes
Have made me not a stranger; to the mind
Which is itself, no changes bring surprise ;
Nor is it harsh to make, nor hard to find
A country with-ay, or without mankind ;
Yet was I born where men are proud to be,-
Not without cause ; and should I leave behind

The inviolate island 2 of the sage and free,
And seek me out a home by a remoter sea,

IX

Perhaps I loved it well ; and should I lay
My ashes in a soil which is not mine,
My spirit shall resume it—if we may
Unbodied choose a sanctuary. I twine
My hopes of being remembered in my line
With my land's language : if too fond and far
1. D. J.'—' In youth I wrote because my mind was full,

And now because I feel it growing dull.'
The inviolate island.] England,

These aspirations in their scope incline,

If my fame should be, as my fortunes are,
Of hasty growth and blight, and dull Oblivion bar

My name from out the temple where the dead
Are honoured by the nations ?-let it be-
And light the laurels on a loftier head!
And be the Spartan's epitaph on me-
'Sparta hath many a worthier son than he?
Meantime I seek no sympathies, nor need ;
The thorns which I have reaped are of the tree

I planted ; they have torn me, and I bleed :
I should have known what fruit would spring from such

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a seed.

XI

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The spouseless Adriatic 4 mourns her lord ;
And, annual marriage 4 now no more renewed,
The Bucentaur 4 lies rotting unrestored,
Neglected garment of her widowhood !
St. Mark yet sees his lion where he stood
Stand, but in mockery of his withered power,
Over the proud Place where an Emperor sued,
And monarchs gazed and envied in the hour
When Venice was a queen with an unequalled dower.

1 If my fame should be, 8c.] The impression of the two Cantos of the Childe Harold' on the public mind was instantaneous, and Byron woke one day, as he says, to find himself famous.

2 Though actually buried at Hucknall, in Nottinghamshire, he entertained the idea, even at this time, that his body would be admitted into the Christian Pantheon of England's great menWestminster Abbey. As in an allusion he makes below, he is conspicuous for his absence.

3 A worthier son.] The language of the mother of Brasidas, when she heard of her son's death at Amphipopulis, B.C. 422.

4 The spouseless Adriatic, the annual marriage, the Bucentuur.] The Republic of Venice, in the twelfth century, baving cspoused the party of Pope Alexander III. against Frederick Barbarossa, the Pope gave the city a ring, with which to wed the Adriatic. The ring was thrown into the sea by the Doge from the ‘Bucentaur,' the Doge's barge. The ceremony became annual. See • Two Foscari.' 3 An emperor sued.] Frederick Barbarossa. See Rogers’ ‘Italy'

• Did Barbarossa fling his mantle off,
And, kneeling, on his neck receive the foot

Of the proud pontiff' (Alexander III.).
See Two Foscari.'

XII

The Suabian 1 sued, and now the Austrian 2 reigns-
An Emperor tramples where an Emperor knelt;
Kingdoms are shrunk to provinces, and chains
Clank over sceptred cities ; nations melt
From power's high pinnacle, when they have felt
The sunshine for a while, and downward go
Like lauwine 3 loosened from the mountain's belt ;

Oh for one hour of blind old Dandolo ! 4
Th' octogenarian chief, Byzantium's * conquering foe.

XIII

Before St. Mark still glow his steeds of brass,5
Their gilded collars glittering in the sun ;
But is not Doria's 6 menace come to pass ?
Are they not bridled ?—Venice, lost and won,
Her thirteen hundred years of freedom done,
Sinks, like a sea-weed, into whence she rose !
Better be whelmed beneath the waves, and shun,

Even in destruction's depth, her foreign foes,
From whom submission wrings an infamous repose.

XIV

In youth she was all glory,-a new Tyre ;?
Her
very by-word

sprung

from victory, The ‘Planter of the Lion,'8 which through fire And blood she bore o'er subject earth and sea ;

The Suabian.] Though elected Emperor of Austria, Frederick Barbarossa was Duke of Suabia.

2 The Austrian.] Venice was given up to Austria in 1814, and she was at this time still trampled on. She was, however, freed from the Austrian yoke by Napoleon III.

3 Lauvine.] German lawine,' avalanche.'

4 Dandolo.] From A.D. 1110 to 1205. The Eastern Emperor Manuel Comnenus put out his eyes in 1173. Taking part in the fourth Crusade in 1202, he diverted his forces and took Constantinople, i.e. Byzantium.

*5 His steeds of brass.] These horses were removed by Napoleon I., but subsequently restored.

6 Doria.] Peter Doria, the Genoese, who made himself master or Chiozza, and proudly rejected the terms of the Venetians, A.D. 1380.

? A new Tyre.] The Phænician town on the coast of Palestine. 8 The lion on the flag of St. Mark-Pianta-leone, the planter of

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Though making many slaves, herself still free,
And Europe's bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite ;
Witness Troy's rival, Candia ! ?

Immortal waves that saw Lepanto’s fight!
For ye are names no time nor tyranny can blight.

Vouch it, ye

XV

Statues of glass—all shivered—the long file
Of her dead Doges are declined to dust;
But where they dwelt, the vast and sumptuous pile
Bespeaks the pageant of their splendid trust;
Their sceptre broken, and their sword in rust,
Have yielded to the stranger : empty halls,
Thin streets, and foreign aspects, such as must

Too oft remind her who and what enthrals,
Have flung a desolate cloud o’er Venice' lovely walls.

XVI
When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse,
And fettered thousands bore the yoke of war,
Redemption rose up in the Attic Muse,
Her voice their only ransom from afar :
See! as they chant the tragic hymn, the car
Of the o'ermastered victor stops, the reins
Fall from his hands, his idle scimitar

Starts from its belt-he rends his captive's chains,
And bids him thank the bard for freedom and his strains.

XVII
Thus, Venice, if no stronger claim were thine,

Were all thy proud historic deeds forgot, the lion ; hence pantaloon,' in the sense of a character on the stage. The French pantalon (a garment) is a modern word.

1 Ottomite.] Follower of Othman, or Osman, i.e. the Ottoman, a Turk.

2 Candia.] The island of Crete, with its Mount Ida. See Virg. Æn. iii

. 180, 1 Agnovit prolem ambiguam. Lepanto.] Alluding to the fleet of Venice which fought the battle.

4 Thin streets.] In the sense of empty, as opposed to frequens or creber. Note modern use: a thin house (an empty theatre).

Syracuse.] After the disastrous termination of the Athenian expedition to Syracuse, A.D. 413, the Athenian captives were said to have gained their freedom by reciting some of the ems of Euripides, the Attic muse.

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