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As winter to fair flowers (though some be poison) So Monarchy succeeds to Freedom's foison.


In Pisa's church a cup of sculptured gold

Was brimming with the blood of feuds forsworn At sacrament; more holy ne'er of old

Etrurians mingled with the shades forlorn Of moon-illumined forests.

And reconciling factions wet their lips

With that dread wine, and swear to keep each


Undarkened by their country's last eclipse.


Was Florence the liberticide? that band

Of free and glorious brothers who had planted, Like a green isle 'mid Ethiopian sand,

A nation amid slaveries, disenchanted Of many impious faiths-wise, just do they, Does Florence, gorge the sated tyrants' prey?


O foster-nurse of man's abandoned glory,

Since Athens, its great mother, sunk in splendor; Thou shadowest forth that mighty shape in story, As ocean its wrecked fanes, severe yet tender. The light-invested angel Poesy

Was drawn from the dim world to welcome thee.


And thou in painting didst transcribe all taught
By loftiest meditations; marble knew
The sculptor's fearless soul, and as he wrought,
The grace of his own power and freedom grew.
And more than all, heroic, just, sublime,
Thou wert among the false

was this thy crime?


Yes; and on Pisa's marble walls the twine
Of direst weeds hangs garlanded; the snake
Inhabits its wrecked palaces; in thine

A beast of subtler venom now doth make
Its lair, and sits amid their glories overthrown,
And thus thy victim's fate is as thine own.

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The sweetest flowers are ever frail and rare,

And love and freedom blossom but to wither; And good and ill like vines entangled are,

So that their grapes may oft be plucked together.

Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then make
Thy heart rejoice for dead Marenghi's sake.


No record of his crime remains in story,
But if the morning bright as evening shone,
It was some high and holy deed, by glory
Pursued into forgetfulness, which won
From the blind crowd he made secure and free
The patriot's meed, toil, death, and infamy.


For when by sound of trumpet was declared
A price upon his life, and there was set
A penalty of blood on all who shared

So much of water with him as might wet His lips, which speech divided not, he went Alone, as you may guess, to banishment.


Amid the mountains, like a hunted beast,

He hid himself, and hunger, toil, and cold, Month after month endured; it was a feast Whene'er he found those globes of deep-red gold

Which in the woods the strawberry-tree doth bear, Suspended in their emerald atmosphere.


And in the roofless huts of vast morasses,
Deserted by the fever-stricken serf,
All overgrown with reeds and long rank grasses,
And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven turf,
And where the huge and speckled aloe made,
Rooted in stones, a broad and pointed shade,


He housed himself. There is a point of strand

Near Vado's tower and town; and on one side The treacherous marsh divides it from the land, Shadowed by pine and ilex forests wide, And on the other creeps eternally, Through muddy weeds, the shallow sullen sea.


Here the earth's breath is pestilence, and few

But things whose nature is at war with life — Snakes and ill worms – endure its mortal dew.

The trophies of the clime's victorious strife White bones, and locks of dun and yellow hair, And ringed horns which buffaloes did wear


And at the utmost point stood there
The relics of a weed-inwoven cot,
Thatched with broad flags. An outlawed mur-

Had lived seven days there; the pursuit was hot When he was cold. The birds that were his grave Fell dead upon their feast in Vado's wave.


There must have lived within Marenghi's heart That fire, more warm and bright than life or hope,

(Which to the martyr makes his dungeon. ..

More joyous than the heaven's majestic cope
To his oppressor), warring with decay,
Or he could ne'er have lived years, day by day.


Nor was his state so lone as you might think.
He had tamed every newt and snake and toad,
And every seagull which sailed down to drink
ere the death-mist went abroad.


And each one, with peculiar talk and play,
Wiled, not untaught, his silent time away.


And the marsh-meteors, like tame beasts, at night
Came licking with blue tongues his veinèd feet;
And he would watch them, as, like spirits bright,
In many entangled figures quaint and sweet
To some enchanted music they would dance-
Until they vanished at the first moon-glance.


He mocked the stars by grouping on each weed.
The summer dewdrops in the golden dawn ;
And, ere the hoarfrost vanished, he could read

Its pictured footprints, as on spots of lawn
Its delicate brief touch in silence weaves
The likeness of the wood's remembered leaves.


And many a fresh Spring morn would he awaken, While yet the unrisen sun made glow, like iron Quivering in crimson fire, the peaks unshaken

Of mountains and blue isles which did environ With air-clad crags that plain of land and sea, And feel liberty.


And in the moonless nights, when the dim ocean Heaved underneath the heaven,

Starting from dreams . . .

Communed with the immeasurable world; And felt his life beyond his limbs dilated, Till his mind grew like that it contemplated.

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