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MARCI AN COLON N A.
P A R T I.
| Long as the stars, like ladies' looks, by night
Shall shine,- more constant and almost as ver and for ever shalt thou be
bright, the lover and the poet dear,
So long, tho’ hidden in a foreign shroud, land of sunlit skies and fountains clear,
Shall Dante's mighty spirit speak aloud :
So long the lamp of fame on Petrarch's urn imples, and gray columns, and waving | woods,
Shall, like the light of learning, duly burn; sountains, from whose rifts the bursting
And he be loved-he with his hundred tales, floods
As varying as the shadowy cloud that sails in bright tumult to the Adrian sea:
Upon the bosom of the April sky, ou romantic land of Italy !
And musical as when the waters run er of painting and sweet sounds !-tho' Lapsing thro' sylvan haunts deliciously. now
Nor may that gay romancer who hath told laurels are all torn from off thy brow
of knight and damsel and enchantments old, tho' the shape of Freedom now no more
So well, be e'er forgot; nor he who sung walk in beauty on thy piny shore,
of Salem's holy city lost and won, 11, upon wbose soul thy poets' laya,
The seer-like Tasso, who enamoured hung all thy songs and hundred stories fell
On Leonora's beauty, and became dim Arabian charms, break the soft spell
Her martyr,--blasted by a mingled flame. bound me to thee in mine earlier days?
The masters of the world have vanished, and er. divinest Italy,-thou shalt be
Thy gods have left or lost their old command; aye the watchword of the heart to me.
The painter and the poet now have fled,
But filled with creatures whom mere terrors amous thou art, and whalt be through all time:
Afraid of life and death they live and die that because thine iron children hurled Eternally, and slay their own weak powers, arrows o'er the conquest-stricken world And hate the past, and dread the future ir tyrannies, but that, in a later day,
time, at spirits, and gentle too, triumphing And while they steal from pleasure droop came;
to crime, 1, as the mighty day-star makes its way Plucking the leaves from all the rosy hours: m darkness into light, they toward their Alas, alas, beautiful Italy! fame
-Yet he who late hath rinen like a star int, gathering splendor till they grew Amongst us, (now by the Venice waves afar sublime.
He loiters with his song,) hath writ of thee, first of all thy sons were they who wove And shar'd his laurell'd immortality y silken language into tales of love, With thy decaying fortunes. Murmur not: à fairest far the gentle forms that shine For me, with my best skill will I rehearse thy own poets' faery-songs divine. My story, for it speaks of thine and thee: ! long as lips shall smile or pitying tears It is a sad and legendary verse, in from the eyes of beauty,--long as fears And thus it runs:doubts or hopes shall scar or soothe the
heart, flatteries softly fall on woman's cars, There is a lofty spot witching words be spoke at twilight-Visible amongst the mountains Appenine, hours,
Where once a hermit dwelt, not yet forgot tcoder songs be sung in orange bowers,—He or his famous miracles divine ;
And there the convent of Laverna stands That somewhat of the spiri
Shake in the blast—she whe The monarch eagle sits upon his throne, Hangs her black tresses, like Or floats upon the desert winds, alone. O’er grave and arch alike, a There, belted 'round and 'round by forests He was the youngest of his
His very boyhood a severer Black pine, and giant beech, aud oaks that Than such as marks the chil rear
gre Their brown diminished heads like shrubs Around him, like an oversha
And yet at times-(often) wht And guarded by a river that is seen Was told, from out that seemin Flashing and wandering thro'thc dell below, Flashes of mind and passion. Laverna stands.-It is a place of woe, Burned with the lightning of And 'midst its cold dim aisles and cells of
| He spoke more proudly ; yet. The pale Franciscan meditates his doom ;- ) |(Who some ancestral taint hi An exile from his kind, save some sad few (MARCIAN was shunned from (Like him imprison'd and devoted) who, And marked and chartered for Deserting their high natures for the creed
lot A bigot fashioned in his weaker dreams, Left love and life, (yet love is life, indeed,)| At home he met neglect, an And all the wonders of the world, -its gleams And so life grew, early, a he Of joy, of sunshine, fair as those which spring Studious he was, and on the From the great poet's high imagining, Had pored beyond the feeling Sounds, and gay sights, and woman's words And war, and high exploit which bless
woru And carry on their echocs happiness, And fiery love, and dark and Left all that man inherits, and fell down Fed, with distemper'd food, the To worship in the dust, a demon's crown: That haunted all his hours, a For there a phantom of a fearful size, To thirst of enterprize and Shaped out of shadow and cloud, and nursed Which died as they arose, -in
For he was doom'd by a father And born of doubt and sorrow, and of the The sullen cowl, and was for!
The splendour of an elder bru The ever evil spirit mocks man's eyes; And therefore came distrust as And they who worship it are cold and wan, And envy, like the serpent's t Timid and proud, envying while they despise Ran 'round his heart and fix The wealth and wishes of their fellow-man.
there And thro' his veins did lurkim
Until they burst in madness;Amongst the squalid crowd that lingered Became, at last, as is that lan there,
That floats across the calm blur Mocking with empty forms and hopeless And rises o'er the Coliseums
And he like that great ruinTheir bounteous God, was one of princely Of misery, when the soul had
When memory slept, and that b The young COLONNA,-in his form and face More hideous than deathHonoring the mighty stem from which he Is nothing, nor remorsecam
His features, they (his cantious Born amidst Roman ruins, he had hung The youth unto Laverna. By O'er every tale of sad antiquity,
Of the blue dashing Mediters And on its fallen honors, once so high, They travell’d, and at times Had mused like one who hoped. His soul
brers had gone a Came playing 'round his bar Into the depth of ages, and had brought
cre From thence strange things and tidings, such Silently o'er his eye, and tha
Like one who thought, an vi Or few c'er dream of now; and then he
He listened to its gentle fall a
d not the change, but bore him on We weep or rave, but still he lives, and lives ponvent-prison, and their gold Master and lord, 'midst pride and tears and with the weight of truth the tale
pain. they told; they left bim to his fate,-alone.
Now may we seek Colonna. When he found
Himself a prisoner in his cell, and bound, eft him to his prison, and then
And saw the eyeless skull and glass of sand returned ;
And ghastly crucifix before hin, be I sounds were heard, and songs were
'Rose with a sudden shriek and burst the band
That tied him to his pallet, and stood free: sung round the walls were garlands hung
Not thus alone he stood, for the wild shock I, and gay censers brightly burned
Darted upon his brain and did unlock olonna palace. He was missed
The gates of memory, and from his soul and when his mother fondly kissed
| Gradual he felt the clouds of madness roll, est born, and bade him on that day
And with his mind's redemption every base him to the dove-eyed Julia,
" And darker passion fled-shrunk 'fore its nd Vitelli's child, Rome's paragon,
light, ught no longer of her cloistered son.
As at the glance of morning shrinks the night. same night of mirth Vitelli came
Not suddenly,--but slow, from day to day, s fair child, sole heiress of bis name,
The shadow from his spirit passed away, ne amidst the lovely and the proud,
And sometimes would return at intervals, s; and when she moved, the gallant
ant As blight upon the opening blossom falls. crowd
--And then he pondered in his prison-place, 1, as the obsequious vapours light
On many an awful theme ne'er conn'd before, to let the queen-moon pass by night:
Of darkness and decay, and of that shore ooks of love were seen, and many a
Upon whose shadowy strand pale spirits walk, sigh
| 'Tis said, for many ages, and would talk rasted on the air, and some aloud
Right eloquent with every monk who there of the pangs they felt and swore to die:
Boasted of penitencc, and felt despair, ike the solitary rose that springs
In whose dull eye Hope shone not, and whose first warmth of summer-days, and
Was one unvaried tale of Death and Death. fume the more sweet because alonevursting into beanty, with a zone girl's half woman's, smiled and then But in his gentler moments he would gaze, forgot
With something of the love of earlier days, gentle things to which she answered On the far prospects, and on summer-morns not.
Would wander to a high and distant peak hen Colonna's heir bespoke her hand, Against whose rocky bosom the clouds break d her to the dance, she question'd why In showers upon the forests. It adorns rother joined not in that revelry: The landscape, and from out a pine-wood high, ess he turned aside and did command Springs like a craggy giant to the sky. ly the many instruments to sound, Here, on this summit of the hills, he loved well did that young couple tread the To lie and look upon the world below; ground:
And almost did he wish at times to know step was lost in each accordant note, How in that busy world man could be moved :h thro' the palace seemed that night to live for ever-what delights were there to float
To equal the fresh sward and odorous air, Terrily, as tho' the Satyr-god
The valleys and green slopes, and the sweet his inspiring reed, (the mighty Pan)
call left his old Arcadian woods, and trod of bird to bird, what time the shadows fall ng upon the shores Italian.
Toward the west:-yet something there must in she asked in vain: yet, as he turned
be e brother) from her,a fierce colour burned He felt, and that he now desired to see. n his cheek, and fading left it pale As once he pondered there, on the far world, leath, and half proclaimed the guilty tale. And on himself, like a lone creature burled he dwelt upon that night till pity grew From all its pleasures-its temptations, all, I a wilder passion: the sweet dew Over his heart there fell, like a dark pall, it lingerd in her eye for pity's sake, The memory of the past: he thought and --(like an exhalation in the sun)
thought, ed and absorbed by love. Oh! love can take 'Till in his brain a busier spirit wrought, at shape he pleases, and when once begun And Nature then unlocked with her sweet fiery inroad in the soul, how vain
smile o aftor-knowledge which his presence 'The icy barrier of his heart, and he gives!
Returned unto his first humanity.
He felt a void.and much he grieved the while, In the Colonna palace there were tears
-The father met his child: with trenar And pure as waters of the mountain-spring:
grasp Was it the birth of Love?-did he unbind He pressed his hand, and he returned to. (Like the far scent of wild flowers blossoming)
clasp, Hje perfumed pinions in that rocky lair, And spoke assuring words—that he was com To save a heart so young from perishing To soothe his grief and cheer his desalu there?
home,And then he bade him quite forget the par
Thus hand in hand they sat awhile; at be Some memory had he of Vitelli's child, LA deep deep sob came bursting from the glona But gathered where he now remembered not; | That hid the far part of the palace-roas Perhaps, like a faint dream or vision wild, | And, after, all was silent as the grave. Which, once beheld, may never be forgot, Colonna 'rose, and by the lamp that gare She floated in his fancy; and when pain LA feeble light, saw like a shape of store, And fevers hot came thronging round his His mother coaching in the dusk, ale
Her hand was clenched, and her eye wandere Her shape and voice fell like a balm upon His sad and dark imagination.
Like one who lost and sought (in rain) A gentle' minister she was, when he
child; Saw forms, 'twas said, which often silently | And now and then a smile, but not a tear, Passed by his midnight-couch, and felt at Told that she fancied still her darling med
And then she shook her head, crossed herans Strange horror for imaginary crimes,
Over her breast and turned her from the light (Committed, or to be,) and in his walk
| And seemed as though she mutter'd invart Of Fate and Death, and phantom things
charms, would talk.
To scare some doubtful phantom from be Shrieks scared him from his sleep, and figures
He spoke to her in vain: her heart was fille On his alarmned sight, and thro’ the glades,
| With grief, and every passion else was stilled. When evening filled the woods with trembling
i trembling Was buried,- lost. Just as the mighty raiso shades,
Which,gathering, flood the valleys in the day Followed his footsteps; and a starlike flame
of Autumn, or as rivers when snow decy Floated before his eyes palely by day,
Sweep all things in their course, 'till nong And glared by night and would not pass away.
remains -At last his brother died. Giovanni fell Distinguishable,-earth, and roots, and grasa A victim in a cause he loved too well;
And stones, and casual things, a mingia And the Colonna prince, without his heir,
mass, Bethought him of the distant convent, where | Driven onwards by the waters and o'erder A child had been imprison'd, that he might | Till but the stream is seen : 80 they a gain
mourn Riches for one he better lov'd :- How vain, Deeply, and they, 'tis said, who love the be And idle now! Dead was the favoured son, line
", In one wild mastering passion lose the rest And sad the father,-. but the crime was done.
At last the woes that wrapped the mother Then Marcian sought his home. A ghastly
Broke and dissolved, and a serener day Hung o'er the pillars and the wrecks of Rome, Shone on her life; but never more the sound And scarcely, as the clouds were swiftly of noisy mirth or festal music gay
Was heard within Colonna's walls, and a In manses sbronding the blue face of Heaven, A calm and pleasant circle often met. Was seen, by tremulous glimpses, the pale And the despised neglected Marcian now
| Wore the descended hononre on his brow. Who looked abroad in fear and vanished soon. Unlike he was in boyhood,- yet so grate The winds were loud amongst the ruins, They doubted sometimes if he quite for
The past; and then there played a more! The wild weeds shook abroad their ragged
About his mouth, and heat times would spe, And sounds were heard, like sobs from some of one with heavenly bloom upon her ches
Whose vision did his convent-hours beguile And murmuring 'tween his banks the Tyber A phantom-shape,and which in sleep stil
| And fanned the colour of his check to