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Yet haply Arno shall be spared all cause
O FLOWER of all that springs from gentle blood,
Not without heavy grief of heart did He
POZZOBONXELLI his illustrious house;
of all Savona streamed with tears.
* In justice to the Author I subjoin the original —
E degli amici
Enriched and beautified his studious mind :
I have been unable to obtain any definite information in reference to the persons commemorated in these epitaphs by Chiabrera : Titus, Ambrosio Salinero, Roberto Dati, Francesco Pozzobonnelli, and Balbi. Mr W. M. Rossetti writes that he “ supposes all the men named by Chiabrera to be such as enjoyed a certain local and temporary reputation, which has hardly passed down to any sort of posterity, and certainly not to the ordinary English reader.”
Chiabrera was born at Savona on the 8th of June 1552, and educated at Rome. He entered the service of Cardinal Cornaro, married in his 50th year, lived to the age of 85, and died October 14, 1637. His poetical faculty showed itself late. Having commenced to read the Greek writers at home, he conceived a great admiration for Pindar, and strove successfully to imitate him. He was not less happy in catching the naïve and pleasant spirit of Anacreon ; his canzonetti being distinguished for their ease and elegance, while his Lettera Famigliari was the first attempt to introduce the poetical epistle into Italian Literature. He wrote also several epics, bucolics, and dramatic poems. His Opere appeared at Venice, in 6 vols., in 1768.”
Wordsworth says of him, in his Essay on Epitaphs (see The Friend, February 22, 1810—where translations of some of those epitaphs of
Chiabrera first appeared—and notes to The Excursion)—“His life was long, and every part of it bore appropriate fruits. Urbino, his birthplace, might be proud of him, and the passenger who was entreated to pray for his soul has a wish breathed for his welfare. ... The Epitaphs of Chiabrera are twenty-nine in number, and all of them, save two, upon men probably little known at this day in their own country, and scarcely at all beyond the limits of it; and the reader is generally made acquainted with the moral and intellectual excellence which distinguished them by a brief history of the course of their lives, or a selection of events and circumstances, and thus they are individualized; but in the two other instances, namely, in those of Tasso and Raphael, he enters into no particulars, but contents himself with four lines expressing one sentiment, upon the principle laid down in the former part of this discourse, when the subject of the epitaph is a man of prime note. ..."
Compare the poem Musings near Aquapendente. In reference to the places referred to in these Epitaphs of Chiabrera, it may be mentioned that Savona (Epitaphs V., VII., VIII.) is a town iu the Genovese Territory. Permessus (Epitaph v.) is a river of Bootia, rising in Mount Helicon and flowing round it, hence sacred to the muses ; the fountain of Hippocrene-also referred to in this epitaph-was not far distant. Sebeto (Epitaph iv.), now cape Faro, is a Sicilian-promontory.-Ed.
[This was in part an overflow from the Solitary's description of his own and his wife's feelings upon the decease of their children. (See "Excursion," book 3d.)]
DEPARTED Child ! I could forget thee once
What one short sigh so easily removed ?-
The Child she mourned had overstepped the pale Of Infancy, but still did breathe the air That sanctifies its confines, and partook Reflected beams of that celestial light To all the Little ones on sinful earth Not unvouchsafed—a light that warmed and cheered Those several qualities of heart and mind Which, in her own blest nature, rooted deep, Daily before the Mother's watchful eye, And not hers only, their peculiar charms Unfolded,,beauty, for its present self, And for its promises to future years, With not unfrequent rapture fondly hailed.
Have you espied upon a dewy lawn
Such union, in the lovely Girl maintained And her twin Brother, had the parent seen