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Thy choral memory of the Bard divine,
Thy love of Tasso, I should have cut the knot
Which ties thee to thy tyrants ; and thy lot
Is shameful to the nations, most of all,
Albion ! ? to thee : the Ocean queen should not

Abandon Ocean's children ; in the fall
Of Venice think of thine, despite thy watery wall.


I loved her from my boyhood ; she to me
Was as a fairy city of the heart,
Rising like water-columns from the sea,
Of joy the sojourn, and of wealth the mart;
And Otway,3 Radcliffe,4 Schiller, Shakspeare's art,
Had stamped her image in me, and even so,
Although I found her thus, we did not part;

Perchance even dearer in her day of woe,
Than when she was a boast, a marvel, and a show.


I can repeople with the past—and of 6
The present there is still for eye and thought,
And meditation chastened down, enough ;
And more, it may be, than I hoped or sought;
And of the happiest moments which were wrought
Within the web of my existence, some
From thee, fair Venice ! have their colours caught :

There are some feelings time can not benumb;
Nor Torture shake, or mine would now be cold and dumb.

| Tusso.] Torquato Tasso, 1514–1595. His great work was the • Jerusalem Delivered.'

2 Albion.) Byron reproaches his country with the humiliation of Venice under Austria ; but it was the French Republic that in 1797 betrayed the sister Republic into the hands of the Emperor of Germany.

3 Otway.] From 1651 to 1685. He is often ranked as second to Shakspeare.

4 Mrs. Radcliffe.] 1764-1823. Wrote the 'Mysteries of Udolpho.'

5 Schiller.] 1759–1805. Wrote the “Ghost-Seer, or the Ar menian.' These writers touch on Venice; but to include Mrs. Radcliffe in this quaternion is, of course, only to give the boyish impressions of the poet.

6 And of:] This peculiarity is noted in the introduction. It is not uncommon in the later plays of Shakspeare. A weak ending' occurs in D. J.?- Her voice, though sweet, is not so fit to warble those bravuras.'

But from their nature will the tannen 'grow
Loftiest on loftiest and least sheltered rocks,
Rooted in barrenness, where nought below
Of soil supports them'gainst the Alpine shocks
Of eddying storms ; yet springs the trunk, and mocks
The howling tempest, till its height and frame
Are worthy of the mountains from whose blocks

Of bleak, gray granite into life it came,
And grew a giant tree ;-the mind may grow the same,


Existence may be borne, and the deep root
Of life and sufferance make its firm abode
In bare and desolated hosoms ; mute
The camel labours with the heaviest load,
And the wolf dies in silence,-not bestowed
In vain should such example be; if they,
Things of ignoble or of savage mood,

Endure and shrink not, we of nobler clay
May temper it ? to bear,-it is but for a day.


All suffering doth destroy, or is destroyed,
Even by the sufferer; and, in each event,
Ends : -Some, with hope replenished and rebuoyed,
Return to whence they came-with like intent,
And weave their web again ; some, bowed and bent,
Wax gray and ghastly, withering ere their time,
1 The tannen.] The Alpine ‘fir.'

2 It.] This pronoun may here be merged in the verb, fulfil the same office, as in the expressions—lord it,' carry it' with a high hand.

3 All suffering doth destroy, &c.] Of the comforts of the doctrine which Hamlet expresses

• There's a divinity which shapes our ends,

Rough-hew them how we will'Byron knew nothing. Conf. Gray's different sentiments in his Ode to Adversity :

• Thy form benign, oh goddess ! wear,

Thy milder influence impart,
To soften, not to wound, my heart,'


And perish with the reed on which they leant ;

Some seek devotion, toil, war, good, or crime, According as their souls were formed to sink or climb.


But ever and anon of griefs subdued
There comes a token like a scorpion's sting,
Scarce seen, but with fresh bitterness imbued ;
And slight withal may be the things which bring
Back on the heart the weight which it would fling
Aside for ever : it may be a sound-
A tone of music !---summer's eve-or spring-

A flower—the wind- the ocean—which shall wound, Striking the electric chain wherewith we are darkly



And how and why we know not, nor can trace
Home to its cloud this lightning of the mind,
But feel the shock renewed, nor can efface
The blight and blackening which it leaves behind,
Which out of things familiar, undesigned,
When least we deem of such, calls up to view
The spectres whom no exorcism can bind, -

The cold, the changed, perchance the dead-anew,
The mourned, the loved, the lost—too many !-yet how

few !


But my soul wanders ; I demand it back
To meditate amongst decay, and stand
A ruin amidst ruins ; there to track
Fallen states and buried greatness, o'er a land
Which was the mightiest in its old command,
And is the loveliest, and must ever be
The master-mould of Nature's heavenly hand ;

Wherein were cast the heroic and the free,
The beautiful, the brave, the lords of earth and sea.?

| A tone of music, 8c.] A noble exposition of the association of ideas,' similarity, contrast, and contiguity.

2 The lords of earth and sea.] The terrarum dominos' in Horace's first Ode.


The commonwealth of kings,' the men of Rome !
And even since, and now, fair Italy !
Thou art the garden of the world, the home
Of all Art yields, and Nature can decree;
Even in thy desert, what is like to thee?
Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste
More rich than other climes' fertility ;
Thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced
With an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced.


The moon is up, and yet it is not night; Sunset divides the sky with her ; a sea Of glory streams along the Alpine height Of blue Friuli's ? mountains ; Heaven is free From clouds, but of all colours seems to be, Melted to one vast Iris of the West, SWhere the Day joins the past Eternity; While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest Floats through the azure air-an island of the blest !"


A single star is at her side, and reigns With her o'er half the lovely heaven ; but still Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains Rolled o’er the peak of the far Rhætian hill, As Day and Night contending were, until Nature reclaimed her order : gently flows The deep-dyed Brenta, 5-where their hues instil The odorous purple of a new-born rose, Which streams upon her stream, and glassed within it


1 The commonwealth of kings.] Conf. the expression of Cineas, that he had seen at Rome, in the Senate, an assembly of kings.' 2 Friuli.]

A province in Lombardy, on the north of the Adriatic.

3 The Iris of the West.] Sunset.
4 An island of the blest. One of the 'insulæ fortunatorum,'

Deep-dyed Brenta.] A river of Lombardy.



Filled with the face of heaven, which, from afar,
Comes down upon the waters ; all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,
Their magical variety diffuse :
And now they change ; a paler shadow strews
Its mantle o'er the mountains ; parting day
Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues

With a new colour as it gasps away,
The last still loveliest, till — tis gone-and all is gray.


There is a tomb in Arqua ; 1_reared in air,
Pillared in their sarcophagus, repose
The bones of Laura's ? lover : here repair
Many familiar with his well-sung woes,
The pilgrims of his genius. He arose
To raise a language, and his land reclaim
From the dull yoke of her barbaric foes :

Watering the trees which bears his lady's name
With his melodious tears, he gave himself to fame.


They keep his dust in Arqua, where he died;
The mountain-village where his latter days
Went down the vale of years ; and 'tis their pride-
An honest pride—and let it be their praise,
To offer to the passing stranger's gaze
His mansion and his sepulchre ; both plain


| A tomb in Arqua.] Rogers' • Italy:'-
• Three leagues from Padua stands, and long has stood,

A lonely tomb beside a mountain church'-
Petrarch's tomb and house, who died at Arqua 1374.

2 Laura.] Her virtues and her beauty form the subject-matter of most of Petrarch's sonnets. Her death (from the plague in 1348) threw a serious air over his writings. Laura was the daughter of Audebert de Noves, Syndic of Avignon, and the wife of Hugh de Sade. Some have supposed her to be a purely idcal person, from the discrepancies in her history. Petrarch was a Tuscan, and, with his contemporary Dante, had a great influence on Italian literature.

3 The laurel tree, Laurus.'

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