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And trace the smooth Clitumnus to his source,
Fired with a thousand raptures, I survey
Sometimes, misguided by the tuneful throng,
Sometimes to gentle Tiber I retire,
See how the golden groves around me smile, That shun the coast of Britain's stormy isle, Or when transplanted and preserved with care, Curse the cold clime, and starve in northern air. Here kindly warmth their mounting juice ferments To nobler tastes and more exalted scents : Even the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom,
And trodden weeds send out a rich perfume.
Bright as the summer Italy extends.
theatric pride ; While oft some temple’s mouldering tops between With venerable grandeur mark the scene.
Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast,
Oliver Goldsmith. ITALY.
ITALY, how beautiful thou art !
Yet I could weep, — for thou art lying, alas, Low in the dust; and we admire thee now As we admire the beautiful in death. Thine was a dangerous gift, when thou wert born, The gift of Beauty. Would thou hadst it not; Or wert as once, awing the caitiffs vile That now beset thee, making tbee their slave ! Would they had loved thee less, or feared thee more! – But why despair? Twice hast thou lived already; Twice shone among the nations of the world, As the sun shines among the lesser lights Of heaven ; and shalt again. The hour shall come When they who think to bind the ethereal spirit, Who, like the eagle cowering o'er his prey, Watch with quick eye, and strike and strike again If but a sinew vibrate, shall confess Their wisdom folly. Even now the flame Bursts forth where once it burnt so gloriously, And, dying, left a splendor like the day, That like the day diffused itself, and still Blesses the earth, — the light of genius, virtue, Greatness in thought and act, contempt of death, Godlike example.
Samuel Rogers. ITALY.
LIKE on autumn evenings to ride out
Without being forced to bid my groom be sure My cloak is round his middle strapped about,
Because the skies are not the most secure;
Where the green alleys windingly allure,
To see the sun set, sure he 'll rise to-morrow,
A drunken mau's dead eye in maudlin sorrow,
Beauteous as cloudless, nor be forced to borrow
Which melts like kisses from a female mouth,
With syllables which breathe of the sweet South, And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,
That not a single accent seems uncouth, Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural, Which we're obliged to hiss, and spit, and sputter all. I like the women too (forgive my folly),
From the rich peasant-cheek of ruddy bronze,
And large black eyes that flash on you a volley
Of rays that say a thousand things at once,
But clear, and with a wild and liquid glance,
FOREVER and forever shalt thou be
Unto the lover and the poet dear, Thou land of sunlit skies and fountains clear, Of temples, and gray columns, and waving woods, And mountains, from whose rifts the bursting floods Rush in bright tumult to the Adrian sea : O thou romantic land of Italy ! Mother of painting and sweet sounds ! though now The laurels are all torn from off thy brow, Yet, though the shape of Freedom now no more May walk in beauty on thy piny shore, Shall I, upon whose soul thy poets' lays, And all thy songs and hundred stories, fell Like dim Arabian charms, break the soft spell That bound me to thee in mine earlier days? Never, divinest Italy, — thou shalt be For aye the watchword of the heart to me.
Famous thou art, and shalt be through all time: Not that because thine iron children hurled Like arrows o'er the conquest-stricken world