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XXXVI. And Tasso is their glory and their shame. Hark to his strain! and then survey his cell! And see how dearly earn'd Torquato’s fame, And where Alfonso bade his poet dwell: The miserable despot could not quell The insulted mind he sought to quench, and blend With the surrounding maniacs, in the hell Where he had plung'd it. Glory without end Scatter'd the clouds away-and on that name attend
; XXXVII. The tears and praises of all time; while thine Would rot in its oblivion in the sink Of worthless dust, which from thy boasted line Is shaken into nothing; but the link Thou formest in his fortunes bids us think Of thy poor malice, naming thee with scorn Alfonso ! how thy ducal pageants shrink From thee! if in another station born, Scarce fit to be the slave of him thou mad'st to mourn: XXXVIII. Thou! form’d to eat, and be despis’d, and die, Even as the beasts that perish, save that thou Hadst a more splendid trough and wider sty: He! with a glory round his furrow'd brow, Which emanated then, and dazzles now In face of all his foes, the Cruscan quire, And Boileau, whose rash envy could allow 18 No strain which shamed his country's creaking lyre, That whetstone of the teeth- monotony in wire!
XXXIX Peace to Torquato's injur'd shade! 'twas his In life and death to be the mark where Wrong Aim'd with her poison'd arrows; but to miss. Ol, victor unsurpassd' in modern song! Each year brings forth its millions; but how long The tide of generations shall roll on, And not the whole combin’d and countless throng Compose a mind like thine ? though all in one Condens’d their scatter'd rays, they would not form
XL. Great as thou-art, yet paralleld by those, Thy countrymen, before thee born to shine, The Bards of Hell and Chivalry: first rose The Tuscan father's comedy divine; Then not unequal to the Florentine, The southern Scott, the minstrel who callid forth A new creation with his magic line, And, like the Ariosto of the North, Sang ladye - love and war, romance and knightly
XLI.. The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust 19 The iron crown of laurel's mimic'd leaves." Nor was the ominous element unjust, For the true laurel - wreath which Glory weaves 20 Is of the tree no bolt of thunder cleaves, And the false semblance but disgraced his brow; Yet still, if fondly Superstition grieves, Know, that the lightning sanctifies below 21 Whate'erit strikes ;-yon head is doubly sacred now. VOL. VII.
LXII. Italia! oh Italia! thou who hast 22 The fatal gist of beauty, which became A funeral dower of present woes and past, On thy sweet brow' is sorrow plough’d by shame, And annals graved in characters of fame. Oh God! that thou wert in thy nakedness Less lovely or inore powerful, and could'st claim
Thy right, and awe the robbers back, who press To shed thy blood, and drink the tears of thy distress;
XLIII. Then might'st thou more appal; or, less desired, Be homely and be peaceful, undéplored For thy destructive charms; then, still untired, Would not be seen the armed tortents pour'd Down the deep Alps; nor would the hostile horde Of many - nation'd spoilers froth the Po Quaff blood and water; nor the stranget's sword Be thy sad weapon of defence, and so, Victor or vanquish'd, thou the slave of friend or foe, . XLIV. Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him, 23 'The Roman friend of Rome's least - mortal mind, The friend of Tully: as my bark did skim The bright blue waters with a fanning wind, ' Came Megara before me, and behind Aegina, lay, Piraeus on the right, And Corinth on the left; I lay reclined Along the prow, and saw all these unite In ruin, even as he had seen the desolate sight;
XLV. For Time hath not rebuilt them, but upreard Barbaric dwellings on their shatter'd site, Which only make more murn’d and more endear'd Th few last rays of their far - scatter'd light, And the crush'd relics of their vanish'd might. The Roman saw these tombs in his own age, These sepulchres of cities, which excite Sad wonder, and his yet surviving page The moral lesson bears, drawn from such pilgrimage.