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· LVI. But where repose the all Etruscan three Dante, and Petrarch, and, scarce less than they, The Bard of Prose, creative spirit! he Of the Hundred Tales of love — where did they lay Their bones, distinguish'd from our common clay In death as life? Are they resolv'd to dust, And have their country's marbles nought to say? Could not her quarries furnish forth one bust? Did they not to her breast their filial earth entrust?
LVII. Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar, 29 Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore; 31 Thy factions, in their worse than civil war, Proscribed the bard whose name for evermore Their children's children would in vain adore With the remorsc of ages; and the crown 32 Which Petrarch's laureate brow supremely wore, Upon'a far and foreign soil had grown, His life, his fame, his grave, though rifled not
LVIII. Boccaccio to his parent earth bequeath'd 33, His dust, – and lies it not her Great among, With many a sweet and solemn requiem breath'd O’er him who form'd the 'Tuscan's siren tongue ? That music in itself, whose sounds are song, The poetry of speech? No; – even his tomb Uptorn, must bear the hyaena bigot's wrong, No more amidst the meaner dead find room, Nor claim a passing sigh, because it told for whom!
LIX. And Santa Croce wants their mighty dust; Yet for this want more noted, as of yore The Caesar's pageant, shorn of Brutus' bust, Did but of Rome's best Son remind her more: Happier Ravenna! on thy hoary shore, Fortress of falling empire! honour'd sleeps The immortal exile; - Arqua, too, her store Of tuneful relics proudly claims and keeps, While Florence vainly begs her banis'd dead and
LX. What is her pyramid of precious stones ? 34 Of porphyry, jasper, agate, and all hues Of gem and marble, to encrust the bones Of merchant-dukes? the momentary dews Which, sparkling to the twilight stars, infuse Freshness in the green turf that wraps the dead, Whose names are mausoleums of the Muse, Are gently prest with far more reverent tread Than ever paced the slab which paves the princely
LXI. There be more things to greet the heart and eyes In Arno's dome of Art's most princely shrine, Where Sculpture with her rainbow sister vies; There be more marvels yet - but not for mine; For I have been accustom’d to entwine My thoughts with Nature rather in the fields, Than Art in galleries: though a work divine Calls for my spirit's homage, yet it yields Less than it feels, because the weapon which it wields LXII. Is of another temper, and I roam By Thrasimene's lake in the defiles Fatal to Roman rashness, more at home; For there the Carthaginian's warlike wiles Come back before me, as his skill beguiles The host between the mountains and the shore, Where Courage falls in her despairing files,
And torrents, swoln to rivers with their gore, Reek through the sultry plain, with legions scatter'd
LXIII. Like to a forest felld by mountain winds; And such the storm of battle on his day, And such the phrensy, whose convulsion blinds To all save carnage, that, beneath the fray, An earthquake reeld unheededly away! 35 None felt stern Nature rocking at his feet, And yawning forth a grave for those who lay Upon their bucklers for a winding sheet; Such is the absorbing hate when warring nations meet! LXIV. The Earth to them was as a rolling bark Which bore them to Eternity; they saw The Ocean round, but had no time to mark The motions of their vessel; Nature's law, In them suspended, reck’d'not of the awe Which reigns when mountains tremble, and the birds Plunge in the clouds for refuge and withdraw From their down-toppling nests; and bellowing
herds Stumble o'er heaving plains, and man's dread hath
LXV. Tar other scene is Thrasimene now; Her lake a sheet of silver, and her plain Rent by no ravage save, the gently plough; Her aged trees rise thick as once the slain Lay where their roots are; but a brook hath ta'enA little rill of scanty stream and bed A name of blood from that days sanguine rain; And Sanguinetto tells ye where the dead Made the earth wet, and turu'd the unwilling waters