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V. A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. The Lady of his love was wed with One Who did not love her better : -- in her home, A thousand leagues from his, - her native home, She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy, Daughters and sons of Beauty, — but behold ! Upon her face there was the tint of grief, The settled shadow of an inward. strife, And an unquiet drooping of the eye, As if its lid were charged with unshed tears. What could her grief bc ? — -she had all she loved, And he who had so loved her was not there To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish, Or ill-repress d affliction, her pure thoughts. What could her grief be ? — she had loved him not, Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved, Nor could he be a part of that which prey'd Upon her mind — a spectre of the past.

VI. A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. The Wanderer was return'd. - I saw him stand Before an Altar- - with a gentle bride; Her face was fair, but was not that which made The Starlight of his Boyhood ; - as he stcod Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came The selfsame aspect, and the quivering shock That in the antique Oratory shook His bosom in its solitude ; and then As in that hour - a moment o'er his face The tablet of unutterable thoughts Was traced —and then it faded as it came, And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke The fitting vows, but heard not his own words, And all things reel'd around him; he could see Not that which was, nor that which should have beenBut the old mansion, and the accustom'd hall, And the remember'd chambers, and the place, The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade, All things pertaining to that place and hour, And her who was his destiny, came back And thrist themselves between him and the light: What business had they there at such a time ? '

VII.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love ; -Oh! she was changed,
As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
Had wander'd from its dwelling, and her eyes,
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth ; she was become
The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
Were combinations of disjointed things ;
And forms impalpable and unperceived
Oi others' sight familiar were to hers.
And this the world calls frenzy ; but the wise
Hire a far deeper madness, and the glance
Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
What is it but the telescope of truth?
Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real !?

VIII.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Or were at war with him; he was a mark
For blight and desolation, compass'd round
With Hatred and Contention ; Pain was mix'd
In all which was served up to him, until,
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days, 3
He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains : with the stars
And the quick Spirit of the Universe
He held his dialogues ! and they did teach
To hin the magic of their mysteries;
To him the book of Night was opend wide,
And voices from the deep abyss reveal'd
A marvel and a secret - Be it so.

IX.
My dream was past; it had no further change.
It was of a strange order, that the doom
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
Almost like a reality — the one
To end in madness — both in misery. 4

July, 1871.

The Lament of Tasso.

ADVERTISEMENT. AT Ferrara, in the Library, are preserved the original MSS. of Tasso's Gierusalemme and of Guarini's

I (This touching picture agrees closely, in many of its circumstances, with Lord Byron's own prose account of the wedding in his Memoranda ; in which' he describes himself as waking, on the morning of his marriage, with the most melancholy reflections, on seeing his wedding-suit spread out before him. In the same mood, he wandered about the grounds alone, till he was summoned for the ceremony, and joined, for the first time, on that day, his bride and her family. He knelt down - he repeated the words after the clergyman ; but a mist was before his eyes - his thoughts were elsewhere ; and he was but awakened by the congratulations of the bystanders to find that he was – marrica. Moore.) ? (* For it becomes the telescope of truth,

And shows us all things naked as they arc." - MS.) 3 Mithridates of Pontus.

Pastor Fido, with letters of Tasso, one from Titian to Ariosto, and the inkstand and chair, the tomb and the house, of the latter. But, as misfortune has a greater interest for posterity, and little or none for

* (This poem is written with great beauty and genius but is extremely painful. We cannot maintain our accus. tomed tone of levity, or even speak like calm literary judzes, in the midst of these agonising traces of a wounded and dis. tempered spirit. Even our admiration is swallowed up in a most painful feeling of pity and of wonder. It is impossible to mistake these for fictitious sorrows, conjured up for the purpose of poetical effect. There is a dreadful tone of sin. cerity, and an energy that cannot be counterfeited, in the expression of wretchedness, and alienation from human-kind, which occurs in every line of this poem. - JEFFREY.]

[In a moment of dissatisfaction with himself, or during some melancholy niood, when his soul felt the worthlessness of fame and glory, Lord Byron told the world that his mouse should, for a long season, chrond herself in solitude (see antè, p. 160.); and every true lover of gcuius lamenict that her lofty music was to cease. But there was a tide in his spirit obeying the laws of its nature, and not to be controlled by any human will. When he said that he was to be silent, he looked, perhaps, into the inner regions of his soul, and saw there a dim, hard, and cheerless waste, like the sand of the sca-shore; but the ebbed waves of passion in due course returned, and the scene was restored to its former beauty and magnificence, - its foam, its splendours, and its thunder. The mind of a mighty poet cannot submit even to chains of its own inposing: when it feels most enslaved, even then, perhaps, is it about to become most free ; and one sudden Hlash inay raise it from the darkness of its despondency up to the pure air of untroubled confidence. It required, therefore, but small knowledge of human nature, to assure ourselves that the obligation under which Lord Byron had laid himself could not bind, and that the potent spirit within him would laugh to scorn whatever dared to curb the frenzy of its own inspirations.

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the cotemporary, the cell where Tasso was confined Long years of outrage, calumny, and wrong;
in the hospital of St. Anna attracts a more fixed Imputed madness, prisou'd solitude, o
attention than the residence or the monument of And the mind's canker in its savage mood,
Ariosto at least it had this effect ou me. There When the impatient thirst of light and air
are two inscriptions, one on the outer gate, the Parches the heart ; and the abhorred grate,
second over the cell itself, inviting, unnecessarily, Marring the sunbeams with its hideous shade,
the wonder and the indignation of the spectator. Works through the throbbing eyeball to the brain,
Ferrara is much decayed, and depopulated : the With a hot sense of heaviness and pain;
castle still exists entire ; and I saw the court where And bare, at once, Captivity display'd
Parisina and Hugo were beheaded, according to the Stands scoffing through the never-open'd gate,
annal of Gibbon. 1

Which nothing through its bars admits, save day,
And tasteless food, which I have eat alone
Till its unsocial bitterness is gone;

And I can banquet like a beast of prey,
The Lament of Tasso.

Sullen and lonely, couching in the cave
Which is my lair, and it may be - my grare.3

All this hath somewhat worn me, and may wear,
I.

But must be borne. I stoop not to despair;
Long years! - It tries the thrilling frame to bear For I have battled with mine agony,
And eagle-spirit of a child of Song -

And made me wings wherewith to overfly

It was not long, therefore, till he again came forth in his perfect strength, and exercised that doininion over our spirits which is truly a power too noble to be possessed without being wielded. Though all his heroes are of one family, yet arc they a noble band of brothers, whose countenances and whose souls are strongly distinguished by peculiar characteristics. Each personage, as he advances before us, reminds us of some other being, whose looks, thoughts, words, and deeds had troubled us by their wild and perturbed grandeur. But though all the same, yet are they all strangely different. We hail each successive existence with a profounder sympathy; and we are lost.in wonder, in fear, and in sorrow, at the infinitely varied struggles, the endless and agonising mo. difications of the human passions, as they drive along through every gate and avenue of the soul, darkening or brightening, elevating or laying prostrate.

From such agitating and terrific pictures, it is delightful to turn to those compositions in which Lord Byron has allowed his soul to sink down into gentler and more ordinary feelings. Many beautiful and pathetic strains have flowed from his heart, of which the tenderness is as touching as the grandeur of his nobler works is agitating and sublime. To those, indeed, who looked deeply into his poetry, there never was at any time a want of pathos; but it was a pathos so subduing and so profound, that even the poet himself seemed afraid of being delivered up unto it ; nay, he seemed ashamed of being overcome by emotions, which the glooiny pride of his intellect often vainly strove to scorn ; and he dashed the weakness from his heart, and the tear from his eyes, like a man suddenly assailed by feelings which he wished to hide, and which, though true to his nature, were inconsistent with the character which that mysterious nature had been forced, as in self-defence, to assume.

But there is one poem in which he has almost wholly laid aside all remembrance of the darker and stormier passions ; in which the tone of his spirit and his voice at once is changed, and where he who seemed to care only for agonies, and remorse, and despair, and death, and insanity, in all their most appalling forms, shows that he has a heart that can feed on the purest sympathies of our nature, and deliver itself up to the sorrows, the sadness, and the melancholy of humbler gouis. The “ Prisoner of Chillon" is a poem over which Infancy has shed its tirst nysterious tears for sorrows so alien to its own happy innocence, - over which the gentle, pure, and pious soul of Woman has brooded with inettable, and yearning, and bursting tenderness of affection, -- and over which old Age, almost loosened from this world, has bowed his hoary head in delighted approbation of that fra

ternal love, whose beauty and simplicity Aing a radiance orer the earth he is about to leave, and exhibit our fallen nature in near approximation to the glories of its ultimate destiny. The “ Lament "possesses much of the tenderness and pathos of the “ Prisoner of Chillon." Lord Byron has not delivered himself unto any one wild and fearful vision of the imprisoned Tasso, - he has not dared to allow himself to rush forward with headlong passion into the horrors of his dungeon, and to describe, as he could fearfully have done, the conflict and agony of his uttermost despair, - but he shows us the poet sitting in his cell, and singing there - a low, melancholy, wailing Lament, sometimes, indeed, bordering on utter wretchedness, but oftener partaking of a settled griet, occasionally subdued into mournful resignation, cheered by delightful remembrances, and elevated by the contident hope of an immortal fame. His is the gathered grief of many years, over which his soul has brooded, till she has in some measure lost the power of misery; and this soliloquy is one which we can believe he might have uttered to himself any morning, or noon, or night of his solitude, as he seemed to be half communing with his own heart, and half addressing the ear of that human nature from which he was shut out, but of which he felt the continual and abiding presence within his imagination. - PROFESSOR Wilson.)

! (The original MS. of this poem is dated, “ The Apennines, April 20. 1817.". It was written in consequence of Lord Byron having visited Ferrara, for a single day, on his way to Florence. In a letter from Rome, he says — " The • Lament of Tasso,' which I sent from Florence, has, I trust, arrived. I look upon it as a ' These be good rhymes l'as Pope's papa said to him when he was a boy.")

(Tasso's biographer, the Abate Serassi, has left it without doubt, that the first cause of the poet's punishment was his desire to be occasionally, or altogether, free from his servitude at the court of Arlonso. In 1575, Tasso resolved to visit Rome, and enjoy the indulgence of the jubilee ; " and this error," says the Abate, " increasing the suspicion alreadiy entertained, that he was in search of another service, was the origin of his misfortunes. On his return to Ferrara, the Duke refused to admit him to an audience, and he was repulsed from the houses of all the dependants of the court ; and not one of the promises which the Cardinal Albano had obtained for him were carried into ellect. Then it was that Tasso-after having suffered these hardships for some tiine, seeing himseif constantly discountenanced by the Duke and the Princesses, abandoned by his friends, and derided by his enemies - could no longer contain himself within the bounds of moderation, but, giving vent to his choler, publicly broke forth into the most injurious expressions imaginable, both against the Duke and all the house of Este, cursing his past service, and retracting all the praises he had ever given in his verses to those princes, or to any individual connected with them, declaring that they were all a gang ot poltroons, ingrates, and scoundrels (poltroni, ingrati, e ribaldii. For this ottence he was arrested, conducted to the hospital of St. Anna, and confined in a solitary cell as a madman." - SERASSI, Vita uel Tasso.)

3 [In the Hospital of St. Anna, at Ferrara, they show a cell, over the door of which is the following inscription:

Rispettate, 0 posteri, la celebriti di questa stanza, dove Torquato Tasso, infermo più di tristezza che delirio, ditenuto dimorò anni vii. mesi ii., scrisse verse e prose, e fu riniesso in libertà ad instanza della città di Bergamo, nel giorno vi. Luglio, 1586." - The dungeon is below the ground

1

The narrow circus of my dungeon wall,
And freed the Holy Sepulchre from thrall;
And revell d among men and things divine,
And pour'd my spirit over Palestine,
In honour of the sacred war for Him,
The God who was on earth and is in heaven,
For he has strengthen'd me in heart and limb.
That through this sufferance I might be forgiven,
I nave employ'd my penance to record
How Salem's shrine was won and how adored.

II.
But this is o'er - my pleasant task is done :
My long-sustaining friend of many years !
If I do blot thy final page with tears,
Know, that my sorrows hare wrung from me none.
But thou, my young creation ! my soul's child !
Which ever playing round me came and smiled,
And woo'd me from myself with thy sweet sight,
Thou too art gone — and so is my delight:
And therefore do I weep and inly bleed
With this last bruise upon a broken reed.
Thou too art ended - what is left me now?
For I have anguish yet to bear--and how ?
I know not that - but in the innate force
Of my own spirit shall be found resource.
I have not sunk, for I had no remorse,
Nor cause for such : they callid me mad — and why?
Oh Leonora ! wilt not thou reply ? ?
I was indeed delirious in my heart
To lift my love so lofty as thou art ;
But still my frenzy was not of the mind;
I knew my fault, and feel my punishment
Not less because I suffer it unbent.
That thou wert beautiful, and I not blind,
Hath been the sin which shuts me from mankind;
But let them go, or torture as they will,
My heart can multiply thine image still;
Successful love may sate itself away,
The wretched are the faithful ; 't is their fate
To have all feeling save the one decay,
And every passion into one dilate,
As rapid rivers into ocean pour;
But ours is fathomless, and hath no shore.

III. Above me, bark! the long and maniac cry Of minds and bodies in captivity. And hark! the lash and the increasing howl, And the half-inarticulate blasphemy! There be some here with worse than frenzy foul, Some who do still goad on the o'er-labour'd mind, And dim the little light that's left behind With needless torture, as their tyrant will Is wound up to the lust of doing ill : 3 With these and with their victims am I class'd, 'Mid sounds and sights like these long years have pass'd; Mid sights and sounds like these my life may close: So let it be — for then I shall repose.

IV. I have been patient, let me be so yet; I had forgotten half I would forget, But it revives -Oh! would it were my lot To be forgetful as I am forgot !Feel I not wroth with those who bade me dwell In this vast lazar-house of many woes? Where laughter is not mirth, nor thought the mind, Nor words a language, nor ev'n men mankind; Where cries reply to curses, shrieks to blows, And each is tortured in his separate hell For we are crowded in our solitudes — Many, but each divided by the wall, Which echoes Madness in her babbling moods ;While all can hear, none heed his neighbour's call — None ! save that One, the veriest wretch of all, Who was not made to be the mate of these, Nor bound between Distraction and Disease. Fcel I not wroth with those who placed me here? Who have debased me in the minds of men, Debarring me the usage of my own, Blighting my life in best of its carcer, Branding my thoughts as things to shun and fear? Would I not pay them back these pangs again, And teach them inward Sorrow's stifled groan ? The struggle to be calm, and cold distress, Which undermines our Stoical success? No ! - still too proud to be vindictive-I Have pardon'd princes' insults, and would die.

annoy me.

floor of the hospital, and the light penetrates through its grated window from a small yard, which seems to have been common to other cells. It is nine paces long, between five and six wide, and about seren feet high. The bedstead, so they tell, has been carried off piecemeal, and the door half cut away, by the devotion of those whom " the verse and prose" of the prisoner have brought to Ferrara. The poet was confined in this room from the middle of March 1579 to December 1580, when he was removed to a contiguous apartment much larger, in which, to use his own expressions, he could

philosophise and walk about." The inscription is incorrect as to the immediate cause of his enlargement, which was promised to the city of Bergamo, but was carried into effect at the intercession of Don Vincenzo Gonzaga, Prince of Mantua. - HOBHOUSE.)

i [The opening lines bring the poet before us at once, as if the door of the dungeon was thrown open. From this bitter complaint, how nobly the unconquered bard rises into calm, and serene, and dignitied exultation over the beauty of " that young creation, his soul's child," the Gierusalemme Liberata. The exultation of conscious genius then dies away, and we behold him, " bound between distraction and disease, no longer in an inspired mood, but sunk into the lowest prostration of human misery. There is something terrible in this transition from divine rapture to degraded agony. Wilson.)

? [In a letter written to his friend Scipio Gonzaga, shortly after his confinement, Tasso exclaims - " Ah, wretched me! I had designed to write, besides two epic poems of inost noble argument, four tragedies, of which I had formed the plan. I had schemed, too, many works in prose, on subjects the most losty, and most useful to human lite; I had designed to write

philosophy with eloquence, in such a manner that there might remain of me an eternal memory in the world. Alas! I had expected to close my life with glory and renown; but now, oppressed by the burden of so many calamities, I have lost every prospect of reputation and of honour. The fear of per. petual imprisonment increases my melancholy; the indig. nities which I suffer augment it; and the squalor of my beard, my hair, and habit, the sordidness and filth, exceedingly

Sure am I, that, if she who so little has corre. sponded to my attachment - if she saw me in such a state, and in such fiction - she would have some compassion on me." — Opere, t. X. p. 387.)

(For nearly the first year of his confinement Tasso en. dured all the horrors of a solitary cell, and was under the care of a gaoler whose chief virtue, although he was a poet and a man of letters, was a cruel obedience to the commands of his prince. His name was Agostino Mosti. Tasso says of him, in a letter to his sister, “ed usa meco ogni sorte di rigore ed inumaniti." - HOBHOUSE.]

• (This fearful picture is finely contrasted with that which Tasso draws of himself in youth, when nature and meditation were forming his wild, romantic, and impassioned genius. Indeed, the great excellence of the "Lament" consists in the ebbing and flowing of the noble prisoner's soul ; - his feelings often come suddenly from afar off, - sometimes gentle airs are breathing, and then all at once arise the storms and tem. pest, - che gloom, though black as night while it endures, gives way to frequent bursts of radiance, -- and when the wild strain is closed, our pity and commiseration are blended with a sustaining and elevating sense of the grandeur and majesty of his character. - Wilsox.]

ܪ

Yes, Sister of my Sovereign ! for thy sake
I weed all bitterness from out my breast,
It hath no business where thou art a guest ;
Thy brother hates - but I can not detest;
Thou pitiest not -- but I can not forsake.

V.
Look on a love wbich knows not to despair, ?
But all unquench'd is still my better part,
Dwelling deep in my shut and silent heart,
As dwells the gather'd lightning in its cloud,
Encompass'd with its dark and rolling shroud,
Till struck,- forth flies the all-etherial dart !
And thus at the collision of thy name
The vivid thought still flashes through my frame,
And for a moment all things as they were
Flit by me ; — they are gone - I am the same.
And yet my love without ambition grew;
I knew thy state, my station, and I knew
A Princess was no love-mate for a bard ;
I told it not, I breathed it not, it was
Sufficient to itself, its own reward ;
And if my eyes reveal'd it, they, alas !
Were punish'd by the silentness of thine,
And yet I did not venture to repine.
Thou wert to me a crystal-girded shrine,
Worshipp'd at holy distance, and around
Hallow'd and meekly kiss'd the saintly ground;
Not for thou wert a princess, but that Love
Had robed thee with a glory, and array'd
Thy lineaments in beauty that dismay'd-
Oh! not dismay'd — but awed, like One above !
And in that sweet severity there was
A something which all softness did surpass-
I know not how thy genius master'd mine -
My star stood still before thee : — if it were
Presumptuous thus to love without design,
That sad fatality hath cost me dear;
But thou art dearest still, and I should be
Fit for this cell, which wrongs me— but for thee.
The very love which lock'd me to my chain
Hath lighten'd half its weight; and for the rest,
Though heavy, lent me vigour to sustain,
And look to thee with undivided breast,
And foil the ingenuity of Pain. 3

VL. It is no marvel - from my very birth My soul was drunk with love, — which did pervade And mingle with whate'er I saw on earth ; Of objects all inanimate I made Idols, and out of wild and lonely flowers, And rocks, whereby they grow, a paradise,

Where I did lay me down within the shade
Of waving trees, and dream'd uncounted hours,
Though I was chid for wandering; and the Wise
Shook their white aged heads o'er me, and said
Of such materials wretched men were made,
And such a truant boy would end in woe,
And that the only lesson was a blow ;-
And then they smote me, and I did not weep,
But cursed them in my heart, and to my haunt
Return'd and wept alone, and dream'd again
The visions which arise without a sleep.
And with my years my soul began to pant
With feelings of strange tumult and soft pain ;
And the whole heart exhaled into One Want,
But undefined and wandering, till the day
I found the thing I sought and that was thee ;
And then I lost my being all to be
Absorb'd in thine — the world was past away -
Thou didst annihilate the earth to me!

VII.
I loved all Solitude but little thought
To spend I know not what of life, remote
From all communion with existence, save
The maniac and his tyrant ; - had I been
Their fellow, many years ere this had seen
My mind like theirs corrupted to its grave, *
But who hath seen me writhe, or heard me rave ?
Perchance in such a cell we suffer more
Than the wreck'd sailor on his desert shore ;
The world is all before him - mine is here,
Scarce twice the space they must accord my bier.
What though he perish, he may lift his eye
And with a dying glance upbraid the sky-
I will not raise my own in such reproof,
Although 't is clouded by my dungeon roof.

VIII. Yet do I feel at times my mind decline, 5 But with a sense of its decay: – I see Unwonted lights along my prison shine, And a strange demon, who is vexing me With pilfering pranks and petty pains, below 'The feeling of the healthful and the free ; But much to One, who long hath suffer'd so, Sickness of heart, and narrowness of place, And all that may be borne, or can debase. I thought mine enemies had been but Man, But Spirits may be leagued with them - all Earth Abandons — Heaven forgets me; - in the dearth Of such defence the Powers of Evil can, It may be, tempt me further, — and prevail Against the outworn creature they assail.

1 (Not long after his imprisonment, Tasso appealed to the mercy of Alfonso, in a canzone of great beauty, couched in terms so respectful and pathetic, as must have moved, it might be thought, the severest bosom to relent. The heart of Alfonso was, however, impregnable to the appeal ; and Tasso, in another ode to the princesses, whose pity he invoked in the name of their own mother, who had herself known, if not the like horrors, the like solitude of imprisonment, and bitterness of soul, mule a similar peal. “ Considered merely as poems," says Black, " these canzoni are extremely beautihul; but, if we contemplate them as the productions of a mind diseased, they form important documents in the history of man." - Life of Tasso, vol. ii.

P. 408.) 2 (As to the indifference which the Princess is said to have exhibited for the misfortunes of Tasso, and the little eifort she made to obtain his liberty, this is one of the negative arguments founded on an hypothesis that may be easily destroyed by a thousand others equally plausible. Was not the Princess anxious to avoid her own ruin? In taking too warm an interest for the poet, did she not risk destroying herself, without saving him? - Foscolo.)

3 [Tasso's profound and unconquerable lore for Leonora, sustaining itself without hope throughout years of darkness and solitude, breathes a moral dignity over all his sentiments, and we feel the strength and power of his noble spirit in the un-upbraiding devotedness of his passion. - Wilson.)

* (“My mind like theirs adapted to its grave.” – MS.]

$("Nor do I lament," wrote Tasso, shortly after his confinement, " that my heart is deluged with almost constant misery, that my head is always heavy and often paintul, that my sight and hearing are much impaired, and that all my frame is become spare and meagre ; but, passing all this with a short sigh, what I would bewail is the intirmity of my mind. My mind sleeps, not thinks ; my fancy is chill, and forms no pictures; my negligent senses will no longer furnish the images of things ; my hand is sluggish in writing, and my pen seems as if it shrunk from the otice. I feel as if I were chained in all my operations, and as if I were overcome by an unwonted numbness and oppressive stupor."

- Opere, t. viii. p. 258.)

Why in this furnace is my spirit proved
Like stcel in tempering fire ? because I loved ?
Because I loved wbat not to love, and see,
Was more or less than mortal, and than me.

IX. I once was quick in feeling that is o'er;My scars ar callous, or I should have dash'd My brain against these bars, as the sun fash'u In mockery througb them; If I bear and bore The much I have recounted, and the more Which hath no words, - 't is that I would not die And sanction with self-slaughter the dull lie Wbich snarcd me here, and with the brand of shame Stamp Madness deep into my memory, And woo Compassion to a blighted name, Sealing the sentence which my foes proclaim. Xo- it shall be immortal!- and I make A future temple of my present cell, Which nations yet shall visit for my sake." While thou,

! when no longer dwell The ducal chiefs within thee, shalt fall down, And crumbling piecemeal view thy heartbless halls,

A poet's wreath shall be thine only crown,
A poet's dungeon thy most far renown,
While strangers wonder o'er thy unpeopled wall's !!
And thou, Leonora ! - thou— who wert ashamed
That such as I could love - who blush'd to hear
To less than monarchs that thou couldst be dear,
Go! tell thy brother, that my heart, untamed
By grief, years, weariness — and it may be
A taint of that he would impute to me
From long infection of a den like this,
Where the mind rots congenial with the abyss,
Adores thee still; - and add — that when the towers
And battlements which guard his joyous hours
Of banquet, dance, and revel, are forgot,
Or left unterded in a dull repose,
This — this -- shall be a consecrated spot!
But thou - when all that Birth and Beauty throws
Of magic round thee is extinct- shalt have
One half the laurel which o'ershades my grave. 3
No power in death can tear our names apart,
As none in life could rend thee from my heart.
Yes, Leonora ! it shall be our fate
To be entwined for ever- but too late !

Ode on Wenire,

I.
Or Venice ! Venice! when thy marble walls

Are level with the waters, there shall be
A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,

A loud lament along the sweeping sea ! If I, a northern wanderer, weep for thee, What should thy sons do ? — any thing but weep: And yet they only murmur in their sleep. In contrast with their fathers - as the slime, The dull green ooze of the receding deep, Is with the dashing of the spring-tide foam, That drives the sailor shipless to his home, Are they to those that were ; and thus they creep, Crouching and crab-like, through their sapping strcets. Oh! agony — that centuries should reap No mellower harvest! Thirteen hundred years Of wealth and glory turn'd to dust and tears;

And every monument the stranger meets,
Church, palace, pillar, as a mourner greets;
And even the Lion all subdued appears,
And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum,
With dull and daily dissonance, repeats
The echo of thy tyrant's voice along
The soft waves, once all musical to song,
That heaved beneath the moonlight with the throng
Of gondolas — and to the busy hum
Of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
Were but the overbeating of the heart,
And flow of too much happiness, which needs
The aid of age to turn its course apart
From the luxuriant and voluptuous flood
Of sweet sensations, battling with the blood.
But these are better than the gloomy errors,
The weeds of nations in their last decay,

1

("Which {nation danst } shall visit for my sake." – MS.] ? (Those who indulge in the dreams of earthly retribution will observe, that the cruelty of Alfonso was not left without its recompense, even in his own person. He survived the af. fection of his subjects and of his dependants, who deserted him at his death and suffered his body to be interred without princely or decent honours. His last wishes were neg. lected; his testament cancelled. His kinsman, Don Cæsar, shrank from the excommunication of the Vatican, and, after a short struggle, or rather suspense, Ferrara passed away for erer from the dominion of the house of Este.- HUBHOUSE.)

3 [In July, 1586, after a confinement of more than seren years, Tasso was released from his dungeon. In the hope of receiving his mother's dowry, and of again beholding his sis. ter Comelia, he shortly after visited Naples, where his presence was welcomed with every demonstration of esteem and admiration. Being on a visit at Mola di Gaeta, he received the following remarkable tribute of respect, Marco di Sciarra, the notorious captain of a numerous troop of banditi, hearing where the great poet was, sent to compliment him, and orsered him not only a free passge, but protection by the way, and assured him that he and his followers would be proud to execute his orders. Sec Janso, Pita del Tasso, p. 219.)

· [The pleasures of imagination” have been explained

and justified by Addison in prose, and by Akenside in rerse: but there are moments of real life when its iniseries and its vecessities seem to overpower and destroy them. The history of inankind, however, furnishes proofs that no bodily suffering, no adverse circumstances, operaiing on our material nature, will extinguish the spirit of imagination. Perhaps there is no instance of this so very affecting and so very sublime as the case of Tasso. They who have seen the dark, horror-striking dungeon-hole at Ferrara, in which he was confined seven years under the imputation of madness, will have had this truth impressed upon their hearts in a manner never to be erased. In this vault, of which the sight maker the hardest heart shudder, the poet employed himself in die nishing and correcting his immortal epic poem. Lord Byron a “ Lament" on this subject is as sublime and profound a lesson in morality, and in the pictures of the recesses of the human soul, as it is a production most eloquent, most pathetic, most vigorous, and most elevating among the gifts of the Muse. The bosom which is not touched with it the fancy which is not warmed, – the understanding which is not en. lightened and exaited by it, is not fit for human intercourse. If Lord Byron had written nothing but this, to deny him the praise of a grand poet would have been flagrant injustice or gross stupidity. - BRYDCES.)

$ (This Ode was transmitted from Venice, in 1819, along with “Mazeppa."]

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