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Yet for a moment, ere I must resume

But out of the long file of sonneteers Thy sable web of sorrow, let me take

There shall be some who will not sing in vain, Over the gleams that flash athwart thy gloom And he, their prince, shall rank among my peers, 5

A softer glimpse ; some stars shine through thy And love shall be his torment; but his grief

And many meteors, and above thy tomb (night. Shall make an iminortality of tears, Leans sculptured Beauty, which Death cannot blight; And Italy shall hail him as the Chief And from thine ashes boundless spirits rise

Of Poet-lovers, and his higher song To give thee honour, and the carth delight;

Of Freedom wreathe him with as green a leaf. Thy soil shall still be pregnant with the wise, But in a farther age shall rise along

The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and the brave, The banks of Po two greater still than he ;
Native to thee as summer to thy skics,

The world which smiled on him shall do them wrong Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far wave, 1 Till they are ashes, and repose with me.

Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name; ? The first will make an epoch with his lyre,
For thee alone they have no arm to save,

And fill the earth with feats of chivalry :
And all thy recompense is in their fame,

His fancy like a rainbow, and his fire, A noble one to them, but not to thee

Like that of Heaven, immortal, and his thought Shall they be glorious, and thou still the same ? Borne onward with a wing that cannot tire : Oh ! more than these illustrious far shall be

Pleasure shall, like a butterfly new caught, The being - and even yet he may be born - Flutter her lovely pinions o'er his theme, The mortal saviour who shall set them free,

And Art itself seem into Nature wrought And see thy diadem, so changed, and worn

By the transparency of his bright dream. By fresh barbarians, on thy brow replaced :

The second, of a tenderer, sadder mood, And the sweet sun replenishing thy morn,

Shall pour his soul out o'er Jerusalem ; Thy moral morn, too long with clouds defaced, He, too, shall sing of arms, and Christian blood And noxious vapours from Avernus risen,

Shed where Christ bled for man; and his high harp Such as all they must breathe who are debased Shall, by the willow over Jordan's flood, By servitude, and have the mind in prison.

Revive a song of Sion, and the sharp Yet through this centuried eclipse of woe

Conflict, and final triumph of the brave Some voices shall be heard, and earth shall listen; And pious, and the strife of hell to warp Poets shall follow in the path I show,

Their hearts from their great purpose, until wave And make it broader; the same brilliant sky The red-cross banners where the first red Cross

Which cheers the birds to song shall bid them glow, Was crimson'd froin his veins who died to save, And raise their notes as natural and high ;

Shall be his sacred argument; the loss Tuneful shall be their numbers ; they shall sing Of years, of favour, freedom, even of fame Many of love, and some of liberty,

Contested for a time, while the smooth gloss
But few shall soar upon that eagle's wing,

Of courts would slide o'er his forgotten name,
And look in the sun's face with eagle's gaze, And call captivity a kindness, meant
All free and fearless as the feathicr'd king,

To shield him from insanity or shame,
But fly more near the earth; how many a phrase Such shall be his meet guerdon! who was sent

Sublime shall lavish'd be on some small prince To be Christ's Laureate — they reward him well ! In all the prodigality of praise !

Florence dooms me but death or banishment, And language, eloquently false, evince

Ferrara him a pittance and a cell, The harlotry of genius, which, like beauty,

Harder to bear and less deserved, for I Too oft forgets its own self-reverence,

Had stung the factions which I strove to quell; And looks on prostitution as a duty.

But this mcek man, who with a lover's eye He who once enters in a tyrant's hall 3

Will look on earth and heaven, and who will deign As guest is slave, his thoughts become a booty, To embalm with his celestial flattery And the first day which sees the chain enthral As poor a thing as e'er was spawn'd to reign, A captive, sees his half of manhood gone - 4

What will he do to merit such a doom ? The soul's emasculation saddens all

Perhaps he 'll love, — and is not love in vain His spirit; thus the Bard too near the throne Torture enough without a living tomb ?

Quails from his inspiration, bound to please, — Yet it will be so— he and his compeer,
How servile is the task to please alone!

The Bard of Chivalry, will both consume
To smooth the verse to suit his sovereign's ease In penury and pain too many a year,
And royal leisure, nor too much prolong

And, dying in despondency, bequeath
Aught save bis eulogy, and find, and seize,

To the kind world, which scarce will yield a tear, Or force, or forge fit argument of song! [bles, A heritage enriching all who breathe

Thus trammell'd, thus condemn’d to Flattery's tre- With the wealth of a genuine poet's soul,

He toils through all, still trembling to be wrong: And to the country a redoubled wreath For fear some noble thoughts, like heavenly rebels, Unmatch'd by time; not Hellas can unroll Should rise up in high treason to his brain,

Through her olympiads two such names, though one He sings, as the Athenian spoke, with pebbles Of hers be mighty ; - and is this the whole In 's mouth, lest truth should stammer thro' his strain. Of such men's destiny beneath the sun ? 6

1 Alexander of Parma, Spinola, Pescara, Eugene of Savoy, The verse and sentiment are taken from Homer. Montecucco.

5 Petrarch. : Columbus, Americus Vespasius, Sebastian Cabot.

6 [" Why is it necessary to adopt the invidious and too com3 A verse from the Greek tragedians, with which Pompey mon practice of weighing the transcendent talents of Ariosto took leave of Cornelia on entering the boat in which he was slain and Tasso in opposite, and as it were contending, scales ? Must all the finer thoughts, the thrilling sense, From overfeeling good or ill; and aim

The electric blood with which their arteries run, At an external life beyond our fate, Their body's self-tuned soul with the intense

And be the new Prometheus of new men, Feeling of that which is, and fancy of

Bestowing fire from heaven, and then, too late, That which should be, to such a recompense Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain, Conduct ? shall their bright plumage on the rough And vultures to the heart of the bestower,

Storm he still scatter'd ? Yes, and it must be ; Who, having lavish'd bis high gift in vain,
For, form'd of far too penetrable stuff,

Lies chain'd to his lone rock by the sca-shore ?
These birds of Paradise but long to flee

So be it: we can bear. But thus all they Back to their native mansion, soon they find

Whose intellect is an o'ermastering power Earth's mist with their pure pinions not agree, Which still recoils from its encumbering clay And die or are degraded ; for the mind

Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er Succumbs to long infection, and despair,

The form which their creations may essay, And vulture passions flying close behind,

Are bards; the kindled marble's bust may wear Await the moment to assail and tear;

More poesy upon its speaking brow And when at length the winged wanderers stoop, Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear;

Then is the prey-birds' triumph, then they share One noble stroke with a whole life may glow, The spoil, o'erpower'd at length by one fell swoop. Or deify the canvass till it shine

Yet some have been untouch'd who learn'd to bear, With beauty so surpassing all below,

Some whom no power could ever force to droop, That they who kneel to idols so divine Who could resist themselves even, hardest care!

Break no commandment, for high heaven is there And task most hopeless; but some such have been, Transfused, transfigurated : and the line

And if my name amongst the number were, Of poesy, which peoples but the air That destiny austere, and yet serene,

With thought and beings of our thought reflected, Were prouder than more dazzling fame unbless'd; Can do no more: then let the artist share

The Alp's snow summit nearer heaven is seen The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected
Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest,

Faints o'er the labour unapproved — Alas !
Whose splendour from the black abyss is Alung, Despair and Genius are too oft connected.
While the scorch'd mountain, from whose burning within the ages which before me pass

Art shall resume and equal even the sway
A temporary torturing fame is wrung,

Which with Apelles and old Phidias
Shines for a night of terror, then repels

She held in Hellas' unforgotten day.
Its fire back to the hell from whence it sprung, Ye shall be taught by Ruin to resive
The hell which in its entrails ever dwells.

The Grecian forms at least from their decay,
And Roman souls at last again shall live

In Roman works wrought by Italian hands,

And temples, loftier than the old temples, give CANTO THE FOURTH.

New wonders to the world ; and while still stands

The austere Pantbeon, into heaven shall soar Many are poets who have never penn'd

A dome, its image, while the base expands Their inspiration, and percbance the best :

Into a fane surpassing all before, They felt, and loved, and died, but would not lend

Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in : ne'er Their thoughts to meaner beings; they compress'd Such sight hath been unfolded by a door

The god within then, and rejoin'd the stars As this, to which all nations shall repair,
Unlaurell'd upon earth, but far more bless'd

And lay their sins at this huge gate of heaven. Than those who are degraded by the jars

And the bold Architect unto whose care Of passion, and their frailties link'd to fame, The daring charge to raise it shall be given, Conquerors of high renown, but full of scars.

Whom all arts shall acknowledge as their lord, ? Many are poets, but without the name,

Whether into the marble chaos driven For what is poesy but to create

His chisel bid the Hebrews, at whose word Reader ! if you have already had the delight of perusing the feel myself to that attempt, were I now to begin the world last production of Lord Byron's muse, how must you have again. I would tread in the steps of that great master. To admired those exquisitely beautiful and affecting portraitures kiss the hem of his garment, to catch the slightest of his per. of the two matchless poets which conclude the third canto of

fections, would be glory and distinction enough for an am. the Prophecy of Dante ! We there see them contrasted

bitious man." — Sir JOSHUA REYNOLDS's Discourses, vol. ii. without such invidious comparison, or depreciation of the one p. 216.) to exalt the other; and characterised in numbers, style, and

3 The statue of Moses on the monument of Julius II. sentiment, so wonderfully Dantesque, that – mastering our uncongenial language, and habitual modes of thought as well

SONETTO as expression - they seem to have been inspired by the very

Di Giovanni Battista Zappi. genius of the inarrivabile Dante himself." - GLENBERVIE, Ricciardetto, p. 106.)

Chi è costui, che in dura pietra scolto,

Siede gizante ; e le più illustri, e conte I The cupola of St. Peter's.

Opre dell'arte avvanza, e ha rire, e pronte ? ("11," says Sir Joshua Reynolds," the high admiration and

Le labbra sl, che le parole ascolto ? estcem in which Michael Angelo has been held by all nations, Quest' è Mosè ; ben me 'l diceva il folto and in all ages, should be put to the account or prejudice, it

Onor del mento, e 'l doppio raggio in fronte, must still he granted that those prejudices could not have

Quest'è Mosè, quando scendea del monte, bern entertained without a cause: the ground of our prejudice

E gran parte del Nuine avea nel rolto then becomes the source of our admiration. But from what

Tal era allor, che le sonanti, e vaste ever it proceeds, or whatever it is called, it will not, I hope,

Acque ei sospese a se d' intorno, e tale be thought presumptuous in me to appear in the train, I can.

Quando il mar chiuse, e ne fi coinba altrui. not say of his imitators, but of his admirers. I have taken

E voi sue turbe un rio vitello alzaste ? another course, one inore suited to my abilities, and to the

Alzata aveste imago a questa eguale ! taste of the times in which I live. Yet, however unequal I

Ch'era men fallo l'adorar costui,

Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone,

Or hues of Hell be by his pencil pour'd
Over the damn'd before the Judgment-throne, 1

Such as I saw them, such as all shall see,

Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown, The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me, ?

The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realıns

Which form the empire of eternity.
Amidst the clash of swords, and clang of helms,

The age which I anticipate, no less

Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelms Calamity the nations with distress,

The genius of my country shall arise,

A Cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, Lovely in all its branches to all eyes,

Fragrant as fair, and recognised afar,

Wafting its native incense through the skics. Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport of war,

Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and gaze

On canvass or on stone; and they who mar All beauty upon earth, compelld to praise,

Shall feel the power of that which they destroy ;

And Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise To tyrants who but take her for a toy

Emblems and monuments, and prostitute

Her charms to pontiffs proud 3, who but employ The man of genius as the meanest brute

To bear a burthen, and to serve a need,

To sell his labours, and his soul to boot. Who toils for nations may be poor indeed,

But free; who sweats for monarchs is no more

Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed and fee'd, Stands sleck and slavish, bowing at his door.

Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest! how
Is it that they on earth, whose earthly power

Is likest thine in heaven in outward show,

Least like to thee in attributes divine,

Tread on the universal necks that bow,
And then assure us that their rights are thine ?

And how is it that they, the sons of fame,

Whose inspiration seems to them to shine From high, they whom the nations oftest name,

Must pass their days in penury or pain,

Or step to grandeur through the paths of shame, And wear a deeper brand and gaudier chain ?

Or if their destiny be born aloof

From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain, In their own souls sustain a harder proof,

The inner war of passions deep and fierce ?

Florence ! when thy harsh sentence razed my roof, I loved thee; but the vengeance of my verse,

The hate of injuries which every year

Makes greater, and accumulates my curse, Shall live, outliving all thou holdest dear,

Thy pride, thy wealth, thy freedom, and even that,

The most infernal of all evils here, The sway of petty tyrants in a state ;

For such sway is not limited to kings,

And demagogues yield to them but in date, As swept off sooner; in all deadly things

Which make men hate themselves, and one another,

In discord, cowardice, cruelty, all that springs From Death the Sin-born's incest with his mother,

In rank oppression in its rudest shape,

The faction Chief is but the Sultan's brother, And the worst despot's far less human ape :

Florence! when this lone spirit, which so long

Yearn'd as the captive toiling at escape, To fly back to thee in despite of wrong,

An exile, saddest of all prisoners, 4

[" And who is he that, shaped in sculptured stone,

Sits giant-like ? stern monument of art

Unparallel'd while language seems to start
From his prompt lips, and we his precepts own ?
- 'Tis Moses ; by his beard's thick honours known,

And the twin beams that from his temples dart ;
'Tis Moses ; seated on the mount apart,
Whilst yet the Godhead o'er his features shone
Such once he look'd, when ocean's sounding wave

Suspended hung, and such amidst the storm,

When o'er his foes the refluent waters roar'd.
An idol calf his followers did engrave;

But had they raised this awe-commanding form,
Then had they with less guilt their work adored."

Rogers.] · The last Judgment, in the Sistine Chapel. – ["It is obvious, throughout Michael Angelo's works, that the poetical mind of Dante influenced his feelings. The demons in the Last Judgment, with all their mixed and various passions, may find a prototype in. La Divina Commedia.' The figures rising from the grave mark his study of 'L'Inferno e il Purgatorio ;' and the subject of the Brazen Serpent, in the Sistine Chapel, must remind every reader of canto XXV. dell'Inferno, where the flying serpents, the writhings and contortions of the human body from envenomed wounds, are described with pathos and horror; and the execution of Haman, in the opposite angle of the same ceiling, is doubtless designed from these lines,

Poi piovve dentro all' alta fantasia

Un crocifisso dispettoso e fiero

Nella sua vista, e cotal si moria.
Intorno ed esso era 'l grande Assuero
Ester sua sposa, e 'l giusto Mardocheo,

Che fu al dire ed al far cosi ’ntero.'” - DUPPA.] ? I hare read somewhere (if I do not err, for I cannot recollect where,) that Dante was so great a favourite of Michael Angelo's, that he had designed the whole of the Divina Com. media ; but that the volume containing these studies was lost by sea. - [“ Michael Angelo's copy of Dante," says Duppa, "was a large folio, with Landino's commentary ; and upon the broad margin of the leaves he designed, with a pen and ink, all the interesting subjects. This book was possessed by Antonio Montauti, a sculptor and architect of Florence, who, being appointed architect to St. Peter's, removed to Rome,

and shipped his effects at Leghorn for Civita Vecchia, among which was this edition of Dante : in the voyage the vessel foundered at sea, and it was unfortunately lost in the wreck.'']

3 See the treatment of Michael Angelo by Julius II., and his neglect by Leo X. — (Julius II. was no sooner seated on the papal throne than he was surrounded by men of genius, and Michael Angelo was among the first invited to his court. The pope had a personal attachment to him, and conversed with him upon every subject, as well as sculpture, with familiarity and friendship ; and, that he might visit him frequently, and with perfect convenience, caused a covered bridge to be made from the Vatican palace to his study, to enable him to pass at all times without being observed. On paying his visit one morning, Michael Angelo was rudely interrupted by the person in waiting, who said, "I have an order not to let you enter." Michael felt with indignation this unmerited disgrace, and, in the warmth of resentment, desired him to tell the Pope," from that time forward, if his Holiness should want him, he should have to seek him in another place. On he return home, he ordered his servants to sell the furniture in his house to the Jews, and to follow him to Florence. Himself, the same evening, took post, and arrived at Poggibonzi castle,in Tuscany, before he rested. The Pope dispatched five couriers, with orders to conduct him back: but he was not overtaken until he was in a foreign state. A reconciliation was, however, a few months after, effected at Bologna, through the mediation of the gonfaloniere. As Michael Angelo entered the presence ohamber, the Pope gave him an askavce look of displeasure, and after a short pause saluted him, “In the stead of your coming to us, you seem to have expected that we should wait upon you." Michael Angelo replied with submission, that his error arose from too hastily feeling a disgrace that he was unconscious of meriting, and hoped his Holiness would pardon what was past. The Pope thereupon gave him his benediction, and restored him to his friendship. The whole reign of Leo X, was a blank in the life of Michael Angelo. - DUPPA.]

+ [In his “ Convito,” Dante speaks of his banishment, and the poverty and distress which attended it, in very affecting terms. “Alas !" said he," had it pleased the Dispenser of the Universe, that the occasion of this excuse had never existed ; that neither others had committed wrong against me, ner I suffered unjustly; suffered, I say, the punishment of exile and of poverty ; since it was the pleasure of the citizens

Who has the whole world for a dungcon strong, Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge for bars,

Which shut him from the sole small spot of earth

Where-- whatsoe'er his fate — he still were hers, His country's, and might die where he had birth

Florence ! when this lone spirit shall return

To kindred spirits, thou wilt feel my worth, And seck to honour with an empty urn

The ashes thou shalt ne'er obtain i- Alas!

“ What have I done to thee, my people ?"? Stern Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass

The limits of man's common malice, for

All that a citizen could be I was ;
Raised by thy will, all thine in peace or war,

And for this thou hast warr'd with me. - 'Tis done:

I may not overleap the eternal bar Built up between us, and will die alone,

Beholding with the dark eye of a seer

The evil days to gifted souls foreshown,
Forerolling them to those who will not bcar.

As in the old time, till the hour be come
When Truth shall strike their eyes through many

a tear,
And make them own the Prophet in his tomb, 3

of that faircst and most renowned daughter of Rome, Flo. rence, to cast me forth out of her sweet bosom, in which I had my birth and nourishment even to the ripeness of my age, and in which, with her good-will, I desire, with all my heart, to rest this wearied spirit of mine, and to terminate the time allotted to me on earth. Wandering orer almost every part, to which this our language extends, I have gone about like a mendicant, sliowing against my will the wound with which fortune has smitten me, and which is often imputed to his ill-deserving on whom it is inflicted. I have, indeed, been a vessel without sail and without steerage, carried about to divers ports, and roads, and shores, by the dry wind that springs out of sad poverty, and have appeared before the eyes of many who, perhaps, from some report that had reached them, had imagined me of a different form; in whose sight not only my person was disparaged, but every action of mine became or less value, as well already, performed, as those which yet remained for me to attempt.'')

! (About the year 1316, the friends of Dante succeeded in obtaining his restoration to his country and his possessions, on condition that he should pay a certain sum of money, and, cntering a church, there arow himself guilty, and ask pardon of the republic. The following was his answer, on this occa. sion, to one of his kinsmen:-“ From your letter, which I received with due respect and affection, I observe how much you have at hcart my restoration to my country. I am bound to you the more gratefully, that an exile rarely finds a friend. But, after mature consideration, I must, by my answer, disappoint the wishes of some little minds; and I'confide in the judgment to which your impartiality and prudence will lead you. Your nephew and mine has written to me, what indeed had been mentioned by many other friends, that by a decree concerning the exiles, I am allowed to return to Florence, provided I pay a certain sum of money, and submit to the humiliation of asking and receiving absolution: wherein, my Father, I see two propositions that are ridiculous and impera tinent. I speak of the impertinence of those who mention such conditions to me: for in your letter, dictated by judgment and discretion, there is no such thing is such an invitation to return to his country glorious for Dante, after suffering in exile almost fifteen years? Is it thus, then, they would recompense innocence which all the world knows, and the labour and fatigue of unremitting study? Far from the man who is familiar with philosophy be the senseless baseness of a heart of earth, that could do like a little sciolist, and imitate the infamy of some others, by offering himself up as it were in chains. Far from the man who cries aloud for justice this compromise, by his money, with his persecutors! No, my Father, this is not the way that shall lead me back to my country. But I shall return with hasty steps, if you or any other can open to me a way that shall not derogate from the same and honour of Dante ; but if by no such way Florence can be entered, then Florence I shall never enter. What ! shall I not every where enjoy the sight of the sun and stars ? and may I not seek and contemplate, in every corner of the earth under the canopy of heaven, consoling and delightful truth, without first rendering myself inglorious, nay infamous, to the people and republic of Florence ? Bread, I hope, will not fail me.” Yet he continued to experience

" How salt the savour is of others' bread,

How hard the passage to descend and climb

By others' stairs !' His countrymen persecuted even his memory: he was excommunicated after death by the Pope.)

?“ E scrisse più volte non solamente a particolari cittaulini del reggiinento, ma ancora al popolo, e intra l'altre una Epistola assai lunga che comincia: - Popule mi. quid feci tibi?'"- Vita di Dante, scritta da Lionardo dretino.

3 (Dante died at Ravenna in 1321, in the palace of his pa. tron, Guido Novello da Polenta, who testified his sorrow and respect by the sumptuousness of his obsequies, and by giving orders to erect a monument, which he dici not live to complete. His countrymen showed, too late, that they knew the value of what they had lost. At the beginning of the next century, they cntreated that the mortal remains of their illustrious citizen might be restored to them, and deposited among the tombs of their fathers. But the people of Man renna were unwilling to part with the sad and honourable memorial of their own hospitality. No better success at. tended the subsequent negotiations of the Florentines for the same purpose, though renewed under the auspices of Leo X., and conducted through the powerful mcdiation of Michael Angelo.

Never did any poem rise so suddenly into notice, after the death of its author, as the Divina Commedia. About the year 1350, Giovanni Visconti, Archbishop of Milan, selected six of the most learned men in Italy, - two divines, two philosophers, and two Florentines, and gave them in charge to contribute their joint endeavours towards the compilation of an ample comment, a copy of which is preserved in the Laurentian library. At Florence, a public lecture was founded for the purpose of explaining a poem, which was at the same time the boast and the disgrace of the city. The decree for this institution was passed in 1373; and in that year Boccaccio was appointed, with a salary of a hundred forins, to deliver lectures in one of the churches on the first of their poets. The example of Florence was speedily followed by Bologna, Pisa, Piacenza, and Venice. It is only within a few years that the merits of this great and original poet were attended to and made known in this country.

And this seems to be owing to a translation of the very pathetic story of Count Ugolino; to the judicious and spirited summary giren of this poem in the 31st section of the History of English Poetry : and to Mr. Hayley's translations of the three cantos of the Inferno.“ Dante believed," says Ugo Foscolo. " that, by his sufferings on earth, he atoned for the errors of humanity

• Ma la bontà divina ha si gran braccia,
Che prende ciò che si rivolge a lel.'

• So wide arms
Hath goodness infinite, that it receives

All who turn to it.' And he scems to address Heaven in the attitude of a wor. shipper, rather than a suppliant. Being convinced that Man is then truly happy when he frecly exercises all his energies.' he walked through the world with an assured step, keeping his vigils'

. So that nor night nor slumber with close stoalth
Convey'd from hin a single step in all

The goings on of time.' Ile collected the opinions, the follies, the vicissitudes, the miseries, and the passions that agitate mankind; and lett behind hin a monument, which, while it humbles us by tlie representation of our own wretchednos, should make us glory that we partake of the same nature with such a man, and encourage us to make the best use of our feeling existence."]

Francesca of Bimini.'





Siede la terra dove nata fui

Su la marina, dove il Po discende,

Per aver pacc coi seguaci sui.
Amor, che al cor gentil ratto s' apprende,

Prese costui della bella persona

Che mi fu tolta ; e il modo ancor m'offende. Amor, che a nullo amato amar perdona,

Mi prese del costui piacer si forte,

Che, come vedi, ancor non m'abbandona; Amor condusse noi ad una morte :

Cainà 5 attende chi in vita ci spense :

“ The land where I was born 3 sits by the scas,

Upon that shore to which the Po descends,

With all his followers, in search of pence. Love, which the gentle heart soon apprehends,

Seized him for the fair person which was ta'en *

Froin ine, and me even yet the inode offends. Love, who to none beloved to love again

Remits, seized me with wish to please, so strong,

That, as thou seest, yet, yet it doth remain. Love to one death conducted us along,

But Caina waits for him our life who ended :"


? [This translation, of what is generally considered the most exquisitely pathetic episode in the Divina Comuneuia, was executed in March, 1820, at Ravenna, where, just tive centuries before, and in the very house in which the unfortunate lady was born, Dante's poem had been composed.

In mitigation of the crime of Francesca, Boccaccio relates, that “ Guido engaged to give his daughter in marriage to Lanciotto, the eldest son of his enemy, the master of Rimini. Lanciotto, who was hideously deformed in countenance and ligure, foresaw that, if he presented himself in person, he should be rejected by the lady. He therefore resolved to marry her by proxy, and sent as his representative his younger brother, Paolo, the handsomest and most accomplished man in all Italy. Francesca saw Paolo arrive, and imagined she beheld her future husband. That mistake was the commeucement of her passion. The friends of Guido addressed him in strong remonstrances, and mournful predictions of the dangers to which he exposed a daughter, whose high spirit would never brook to be sacrificed with impunity. But Guido was no longer in a condition to make war; and the necessities of the politician overcame the feelings of the father."

In transmitting his version to Mr. Murray, Lord Byron says —" Enclosed you will find, line for line, in third rhyme (terza rima), of which your British blackguard reader as yet understands nothing, Fanny of Rimini. You know that she was born here, and married, and slain, from Cary, Boyd, and such people. I have done it into cramp English, line for line, and rhyme for rhyme, to try the possibility. If it is published, publish it with the original"

Jo one of the poet's MS. Diaries we find the following passage: -" January 29. 1821, past midnight - one of the clock. I have been reading Frederick Schlegel ( Lectures on the History of Literature, Ancient and Modern,') till now, and I can make out nothing. He evidently shows a great power of words, but there is nothing to be taken hold of. He is like Tlazlitt in English, who talks pimples ; a red and white cor. ruption rising up (in little imitation of mountains upon maps), but containing nothing, and discharging nothing, except their own humours. I like him the worse (that is, Schlegel), because he always seems upon the verge of meaning; and, lo ! he goes down like sunset, or inelts like a rainbow, leaving a rather rich confusion. or Dante, he says, that at no time has the greatest and most national of all Italian poets ever been much the favourite of his countrymen !' 'Tis false. There have been more editors and commentators (and imitators ultimately) of Dante than of all their poets put together. Not a favourite! Why, they talk Dante - write Dante - and think and dream Dante, at this moment (1821), to an excess which would be ridiculous, but that he deserves it. also that Dante's chief defect is a want, in a word, of gentle feelings.' Of gentle feelings ! -- and Francesca of Rimini and the father's feelings in Ugolino – and Beatrice - and · La Pia !' Why, there is a gentleness in Dante beyond all gentleness, when he is tender. It is true that, treating of the Christian Hades, or Hell, there is not much scope or site for gentleness: but who bul Dante could have introduced any gentleness'at all into Hell? Is there any in Milton's ? No

and Dante's Heaven is all love, and glory, and majesty." This translation was first published in 1830.1

? (Francesca, daughter of Guido da Polenta, Lord of Ravenna and of Cervia, was given by her father in marriage to Lanciotto, son of Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, a man of extraortlinary courage, but deformed in his person. His brother,

Paolo, who unhappily possessed those graces which the hus. band of Francesca wanted, engaged her affections ; and being taken in adultery, they were both put to death by the enraged Lanciotto. The interest of this pathetic narrative is much increased, when it is recollected that the father of this unfor. tunate lady was the beloved friend and generous protector of Dante during his latter days. See ante', p. 504., and also Canto xxvii. of the Inferno, where Dante, speaking of Ravenna, says

L'aquila da Polenta là si cova,
Si che Cirvia ricopre co' suoi vanni.

There Polenta's eagle broods,
And in his broad circumference of plume
O'ershadows Cervia.

CARY, Guido was the son of Ostasio da Polenta, and made himself master of Ravenna in 1263. In 1322, he was deprived of his sovereignty, and died at Bologna in the year following. He is enumerated, by Tiraboschi, among thc pocts of his time.)

3 Ravenpa.

• (Among Lord Byron's unpublished letters we find the following: “ Varied readings of the translation from Dante.

Seized him for the fair person, which in its
Bloom was ta'en from me, yet tho mode oflends.

Seized him for the fair form, of which in its

Bloom I was reft, and yet the mode offends.
Love, which to none beloved to love remits,

S with mutual wish to please
Seized me with wish of pleasing him so strong,

{ with the desire to please That, as thou see'st, not yet that passion quits, &c. You will find these readings vary from the MS. I sent you. They are closer, but rougher : take which is like best ; or, if you like, print them as variations. They are all close to the text." - Dyron Letters.)

5 [From Cain, the first fratricide. By Caind we are to understand that part of the Interno to which murderers are condemned.]

6 (The whole history of woman's love is as highly and completely wrought, we think, in these few lines, as that of Juliet in the whole tragedy of Shakspeare. Francesca imputes the passion her brother-in-law conceived for her, not io depravity, but nobleness of heart in him, and to her own loveliness. With a mingled feeling of keen sorrow and complacent naiveté, she says she was fair, and that an ignominious death robbed him of her beauty. She confesses that she loved, because she was beloved, - that charm had deluded her; and she declares, with transport, that joy had not abandoned her even in hell

piacer s) forte, Che, come vedi, ancor non m'abbandona." It is thus that Dante unites perspicuity with conciseness, and the most naked simplicity with the profoundest observation of the heart. Her guilty passion survives its punishment by Hearen – but without a shade of impiety. How striking is the contrast of her extreme happiness in the midst of torments that can never cease ; when, resuming her narrative, she looks at her lover, and repeats with enthusiasm

" Questi, che mai da me non fia diriso"

He says

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