« ПредишнаНапред »
The sacred relic met Ins view—
The land was charmed to list his lays; It knew the harp of ancient days. The Border-chiefs, that long had been In sepulchres unhearsed and green, Passed from their mouldy vaults away; In armour red and stern array, And by their moonlight-halls were seen, In visor helm, and habergeon. Even fairies sought oar land again, So powerful was the magic strain.
Hirst be his generous heart for aye! He told me where the relic lay; Pointed my way with ready will, Afar on Ettrick's wildest hill; Watched my first notes with curious eye, And wondered at my minstrelsy: He little weened a parent's tongue Such strains had o'er my cradle sung.
O could the bnrd I loved so long, Reprove ray fond aspiring song! Or could his tongue of candour say, That I should throw my harp away! Just when her notes began with skill To sound beneath the southern hill, And twine around my bosom's core, How could we part for evermore! Twas kindness nil, I cannot blame, For bootless is the minstrel-flame; But sure a bard might well have known Another's feelings by his own!
Of change enamoured, woe the while! He left our mountains, left the isle; And far to other kingdoms bore The Caledonian harp of yore; But, to the hand that framed her true, Only by force one strain she threw. That harp he never more shall see, Unless 'niong Scotland's hills with inc.
Now, my loved Harp, a while for?
I leave thee on the old gray tksn The evening-dews will mar thru
That waked to joy the cheerful ■
Farewell, sweet soother of my we?1 Chill blows the blast aronnJ i><:
And louder yet that blast may bin When down this weary Talc 1'ici
The wreath lies on Saint Mary'« * The mountain-sounds are banlii><
The lofty brows of stern Clocks!*Are visored with the moving rW.a
But Winter's deadly hues shall fi'On moorland bald and mounting
And soon the rainbow's lovely »t •' Sleep on the breast of Bowerb«j*
Then will the glowing suns of >:' The genial shower and straliar>'
Wake every forest-bird to sing, And every mountain-flower reie»
But not the rainbow's ample riar.
That spans the glen and mostui Though fanned by western lirec? •"
And sunned by Summer's gls*iK'
To man decayed, can ever more
Cnn ever second spring restart
But when the hue of softened t'"'-
And lowly primrose opes UDsrri
When hawthorns breathe their oi"*
And daisy spreads her silver star Unheeded by the mountain bun:
Then will I seek the aged thrnrs.
The haunted wild and fairy-rmt. Where oft thy erring numbers t"r
Have taught the wandering *'«*' *
*, ever and for ever shall tlion be ■> it the Invcr and the poet dear, >u land of sunlit skies and fountains clear, temples, and gray columns, and waving
woods, .1 mountains, from whose rifts the bursting
floods ih in bright tumult to the Adrian sea: lion romantic land of Italy! 'ther of painting and sweet sounds!—tho' *> now
n'e laurels are all torn from oft" thy brow— It, tho1 the shnpeof Freedom now no more y walk in beauty on thy piny shore, .ill I, upon whose soul thy poets' lays, I all thy songs nnd hundred stories fell , e dim Arabian charms, break the soft spell "it hound me to thee in mine earlier days? ver„ divinest Italy,—thou shalt be f aye the watchword of the heart to me. I
'anions thou art, and shalt be through
all time: t that because thine iron children hurled :e arrows o'er the conquest-stricken world eir tyrannies*—but that, in a Inter day, eat spirits, and gentle too, triumphing
came; d, as the mighty day-star makes its way oni darkness into light, they toward their
fame ent, gathering splendor till they grew
sublime, t first of all thy sons were they who wove iv silken language into tales of love, d fairest far the gentle forms that shine thy own poets' faery-songs divine, i ! long as lips shall smile or pitying tears in from the eyes of beauty,—lonp as fears doubts or hopes shall sear or soothe the
heart, flatteries softly fall on woman's cars, witching words be spoke at twilighthours, tender songs be sung in orange bowers,—
Long as the stars, like ladies'looks, by night Shall shine,—more constant nnd almost as
bright,— So long, tho' hidden in a foreign shroud, Shall Dante's mighty spirit speak aloud: So long the lamp of fame on Petrarch's urn Shall, like the light of learning, duly burn; And he he loved—he with his hundred tales. As varying as the shadowy cloud that sails Upon the bosom of the April sky, And musical as when the waters run Lapsing thro' sylvan haunts deliriously. Nor may that gay romancer who hath told Of knight and damsel and enchantments old, So well, be e'er forgot; nor he who sung Of Salem's holy city lost and won, The seer-like Tasso, who enamoured hung On Leonora's beauty, and bcrnme Her martyr,— blasted by a mingled flame. The masters of the world have vanished, and Thy gods have left or lost their old command; The painter and the poet now have fled, And slaves usurp the seat of Caesar dead: Prison nnd painted palace hast thou still, But filled with creatures whom mere terrors
kill; Afraid of life nnd death they live and die Eternally, and slay their own weak powers. And hate the past, and dread the future
time, And while they steal from pleasure droop
to crime, Plucking the leaves from all the rosy hours: Alas, alas, beautiful Italy! —Yet he who late hath risen like a star Amongst us, (now by the Venice waves afar He loiters with his song,) hath writ of thee, And shar'd his laurcll'd immortality With thy decaying fortunes. Murmur not: For me, with ray best skill will I rehearse My story, for it speaks of thine and thee: It is a sad and legendary verse. And thus it runs:
There is a lofty spot Visible amongst the mountains Appcninc, Where once a hermit dwelt, not yet forgot He or his famous miracles divine;
And there the convent of Lavernn standi
drear, Black pine, and giant beech, and oaks that
rear Their brown diminished heads like shrubs
between, And guarded by a river that is seen Flashing and wandering thro' the dell below, Lavernn stands.—It is a place of woe, And 'midst its cold dim aisles and cells of
gloom, The pale Franciscan meditates his doom;— An exile from his kind, save some sad few (Like him imprison'd and devoted) who, Deserting their high natures for the creed A bigot fashioned in his weaker dreams, Left love and life, (yet love is life, indeed.) And all the wonders of the world,—itsgleamB Of joy, of sunshine, fair as those which spring From the great poet's high imagining. Sounds, and gay sights, and woman's words
which bless And carry on their echoes happiness,— Left all that man inherits, and fell down To worship in the dust, a demon's crown: For there a phantom of a fearful size, Shaped out of shadow and cloud, and nursed
in pain, And born of doubt and sorrow, and of the
brain The ever evil spirit mocks man's eyes; And they who worship it are cold and wan. Timid and proud, envying while they despise The wealth and wishes of their fellow-man.
Amongst the squalid crowd that lingered
there, Mocking with empty forms and hopeless
prayer Their bounteous God, was one of princely
race,— The young Colon* »,—in his form and face Honoring the mighty stem from which he
sprung. Born amidst Roman ruins, he had hung O'er every talc of sad antiquity, And on its fallen honors, once so high, Had mused like one who hoped. His soul
had gone Into the depth of ages, and had brought From thence strange things and tidings, such
as none Or few e'er dream of now; and then he
That somewhat of the spin Still living in the land—perl The templea still; and oftej He wandered thro" the n _-l
The winds come wailiag by
The thistle stagger and the Shake in the blast—she whs Hangs her black tresses, likt O'er grave and arch alike, i He was the youngest of his I His very boyhood a severer Than such as marks the chik
grei Around him, like an oversha And yet at times—(often)wh Was told.from out that seemiii Flashes of mind and passion. Burned with the lightning ol
then He spoke more proudly ; yet. (Who some ancestral taint h< Mircian was shunned from' And marked and chartered fsr
At home he met neglect, an And so life grew, early, a he Studious he was, and on the Had pored beyond the feelinc And war, and high exploit.
wort! And fiery love, and dark aad Fed.with disteraper'd food, the That haunted all his hours. * To thirst of enterprise and w Which died as they arose,—io; For he was doom'd by a father The sullen cowl, and was fori The splendour of an elder bn And therefore came distrust »And envy, like the serpent's t Ran 'round his heart aad fa
then And thro' his veins did lariia Until they burst in madness;— Became, at last, as is that U.-, That floats across the calm bioAnd rises o'er the Colisram > And he like that great ruin Of misery, when the son! Kti When memory slept, and thai: More hideous than death—u i Is nothing, nor remorse—rsar His features, they (hi* eantk»The youth unto Laverna. R> Of the blue dashing Meditr-r-i They travell'd, and at times »
Came playing 'round his brs* errp
Silently o'er his eye. aad tbn
Like one who thought, assl » wis*'
He listened to its gentle ft- «
• It him to hi* prison, and then
returned; 1 Hounds were heard, and song* were
sung round the walls were giirlnnil* hung I. and pny renters brightly burned nlonna palace. He was missed
nnd when hi* mother fondly kissed eat born, and bade him on that day liini to the dove-eyed Julia, ud Vitelli't child, Rome's paragon, aght no longer of her cloistered son.
■tame night of mirth Vitclli came a fair child,sole heiress of hi* name,— ne amidst the lovely and the proud, s; and when she moved, the gallant
crowd I, aa the obsequious vapours light to let the queen-moon pas* by night: ook* of love were seen, and many a
sigh ■anted on the air, and some aloud of the pang* they felt and swore to die: ike the solitary ro*c that spring* first warmth of summer-days, and
fling* [nine the more sweet because alone— .uniting into beauty, with n zone girl's half woman's, smiled and then
forgot gentle thing* to which «he answered
not. L Inn Colonnn't heir bespoke her hand, •d her to the dance, she questional why rothrr joined not in thnt revelry: r*« he turned aside and did command ly the many instrument* to sound, • ell did that young couple tread the
ground: ■trp was lost in each accordant note, -h thro' the palace sermed that night
to float icrrily, as tho' the Satyr-god i his inspiring reed, (the mighty Pan) left his old Arcadian woods, and trod iig upon the shore* Italian. in she asked in vain: yet, a* he turned i' brother)from her.a fierce colour burned n his cheek, and fading left it pale l.ath, and half proclaimed the guilty tale. he dwelt upon that night till pity grew
* wilder passion: the sweet dew
it 1'iRger'd in her eye for pity'* sake, < (like an exhalation in the sun) id and absorbed by love. Oh! love can takr .it shape he pleases, and when once begun fury inroad in the soul, how vain o after-knowledge which hi* presence give*!
We weep or rave, bnt still he live*, and live* Matter and lord, 'midst pride and team and pain.
Now may we seek Colonna. When he found Himself a prisoner in his cell, and bound. And taw the eyeless skull and glass nf sand And ghastly crucifix before him, he 'Hose with a sndden shriek and burst the hand Thnt tied him to his pallet, and stood free: Not thus alone he stood, for the wild shock. Darted upon hit brain and did unlock The gates of memory, and from his soul Gradual he felt the clouds of madness roll. And with his mind's redemption every bate And darker passion fled—shrunk 'fore it*
light. A* at the glance of morning shrink* the night. Not suddenly,—but slow, from day to day, The ahadow from his spirit passed away, And sometimes would return at interval*, A* blight upon the opening blossom fall*. —And then he pondered in hi* prison-place. On many an awful theme ne'er conn'd before, Of darkness and decny, and of that shore I'pan whose shadowy strand pale spirits walk, "Pis said, for many ages, and would talk Right eloquent with every monk who there Boasted of penitence, and felt despair. In whose dull eye Hope shone not, and whose
breath Was one unvaried tale of Death and Death.
But in his gentler moment* he would gaic. With something oT the love of earlier days. On the far prospects, and on summer-morn* Would wander to a high and distant peak Against whose rocky bosom the clouds break In showers upon the forests. It adorns The landscape.nnd from out a pine-wood high, Springs like a craggy giant to the sky. Here, on this summit of the hills, he loved To lie and look upon the world below; And almost did he wish at timrs to know How in that busy world man could be moved I'o live for ever—what delights were there To equal the fresh sward and odorous air, The valley* and green slopes, and the sweet
call Of bird to bird, what time the shadows fall Toward the west:—yet something there must
be He felt, and that he now desired to see. As once he pondered there, on the far world. And on himself, like a lone creature hurled From all its pleasure*—it* temptation*, all. Over hi* heart there fell, like a dark pall, The memory of the past: he thought and
thought, 'Till in his brain a busier spirit wrought. And Nature then unlocked with her sweet
smile The icy harrier of hi* heart, and he Returned unto hi* first humanitv.
He frit n vnid.anri much he grieved the while, V ilhiii liia heart, as tlm' he wished to share A joy he knew not with another mind; Wild were his thought!, hut every wish
refined, And pure as waters of the mountain-spring;: Was it the hirth ofLovc ?—did he unhind (Like the far scent of wild flowers blossoming) His perfumed pinions in that rocky lair,. To urn: a heart so young from perishing
Some memory had he of Vitelli's child, Rut gathered where he now remembered not; Perhaps, like a faint dream or vision wild, Which, once beheld, may never be forgot, She floated in his fancy; and when pain And fevers hot came thronging round his
brain, Her shape and voice fell like a balm upon His sad and dark imagination. A gentle' minister she -was, when he Saw forms, 'twas said, which often silently Passed by his midnight-couch, and felt at
times Strange horror for imaginary crimes, (Committed, or to be,) and in his walk Of Fate and Death, and phantom things
would talk. Shrieks scared him from his sleep, and figures
came On his alarmed sight, and thro' the glades, W hen evening filled the woods with trembling
shades, Followed his footsteps; and a stnrlikc flame Floated before his eyes palely hy day, And glared by night and would not pass away. —At last his brother died. Giovanni fell A victim in a cause he loved too well; And the Colonna prince, without his heir, Bethought him of the distant convent, where A child had been imprison'd, that he might
gain Riches for one he better lov'd:—How vain, Anil idle now! Dead was the favoured son. And sad the father,—but the crime was done.
Then Marcian sought his home. A ghastly
gloom Hang o'er the pillars and the wrecks of Rome, And scarcely, as the clouds were swiftly
driven Tn masses shronding the blue face of Heaven, Was seen, by tremulous glimpses, the pale
moon, Who looked abroad in fear and vanished soon. The winds were loud amongst the ruins,
where The wild weeds shook abroad their ragged
hair, And sounds were heard, like sobs from some
lone man, And murmuring 'tween his hanks the Tybcr
In the Colonna palace there were trtn
grasp He pressed his hand, and he returad £•
clasp. And spoke assuring words—that he wun» To soothe his grief and cheer his dt,
home,— And then he bade him quite forget th. Thus hand in hand they sat awhile; »t »■ A deep deep sob came bursting from thepktt That hid the far part of the palarr-rws And, after, all was silent as the :;ra»> Colonna 'rose, and by the lamp that rn A feeble light, saw like a shape of itw. His mother conching in the dusk, slur Her hand was clenched, and her eye made*
wild Like one who lost and sought (in niil ■
child; And now and then a smile, but not t tt» Told that she fancied still her darling*;' And then she shook her head,crossed hrram Over her hrenst and turned her from IhtW And seemed as though she mutter'd iavX
charms, To scare some doubtful phantom from ke
sight. He spoke to her in vain: her heart Wmgiw With grief, and every passion else irantiM Was buried,—lost. Just as the nti/rhl/'»,> Which, gathering,Hood the valleyi inthesii' Of Autumn, or as rivers when snow dm?1 Sweep all things in their course, 'til' —&
remains Distinguishable,—earth, and roots, sadf* And stones, and casual things, s nii«f«
mass, Driven onwards hy the waters and o'erb** 'Till but the stream is seen: so tbrj ,a
mourn Deeply, and they, 'tis said, who love tb*l** In one wild mastering passion lose Uk k*1
At last the woes that wrapped thfia»ll"r
About his mouth, and he at times would'P1