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In his old resting-place, the bed of torture; Affection, kindness, the sweet offices
Bringing a stain on those who gave him life,
On those, alas, now worse than fatherless But now he comes, convicted of a crime To be proclaim'd a ruffian, a night-stabber, Great by the laws of Venice. Night and day, He on whom none before had breathed reproach Brooding on what he had been, what he was, He lived but to disprove it. That hope lost, "T was more than he could bear. His longing fits Death follow'd. From the hour he went, he spoke Thicken'd upon him. His desire for home
not; Became a madness; and, resolved to go,
And in his dungeon, when he laid him down, If but to die, in his despair he writes
He sunk to rise no more. Oh, if there be A letter to Francesco, Duke of Milan,
Justice in Heaven, and we are assured there is, Soliciting his influence with the State,
A day must come of ample Retribution!
Then was thy cup, old Man, full to o'erflowing. And am prepared to suffer as I ought.
But thou wert yet alive; and there was one, But let me, let me, if but for an instant
The soul and spring of all that Enmity, (Ye must consent—for all of you are sons,
Who would not leave thee ; fastening on thy flank, Most of you husbands, fathers), let me first Hungering and thirsting, still unsatisfied ; Indulge the natural feelings of a man,
One of a name illustrious as thine own! And, ere I die, if such my sentence be,
One of the Ten! one of the Invisible Three! (64) Press to my heart ('t is all I ask of you)
"T was Loredano. My wife, my children—and my aged mother
When the whelps were gone, Say, is she yet alive ?"
He would dislodge the Lion from his den ;
And, leading on the pack he long had led,
Be Doge no longer; urging his great age, (What could they less !) is granted.
His incapacity and nothingness ;
In a hall Calling a Father's sorrows in his chamber
Neglect of duty, anger, contumacy.
He was deposed,
His robes stript off, his ring, that ancient symbol, To meet him, and to part with him for ever! Broken before him. But now nothing moved
The meekness of his soul. All things alike! Time and their heavy wrongs had changed them all; Among the six that came with the decree, Him most! Yet when the Wife, the Mother look'd Foscari saw one he knew not, and inquired Again, 't was he himself, 't was Giacomo,
“I am the son of Marco Memmo." Their only hope, and trust, and consolation !
Ah,” he replied, “ thy father was my friend.” And all clung round him, weeping bitterly; Weeping the more, because they wept in vain. And now he goes. “It is the hour and past.
I have no business here.”—“ But wilt thou not Unnerved, unsettled in his mind from long Avoid the gazing crowd? That way is private." And exquisite pain, he sobs aloud and cries “No! as I enter'd, so will I retire." Kissing the old Man's cheek, “Help me, my Father! And, leaning on his staff, he left the Palace, Let me, I pray thee, live once more among you: His residence for four-and-thirty years, Let me go home."-—“My Son,” returns the Doge, By the same staircase he came up in splendor, Mastering awhile his grief, “ if I may still The staircase of the Giants. Turning round, Call thee my Son, if thou art innocent,
When in the court below, he stopt and said As I would fain believe," but, as he speaks, “ My merits brought me hither. I depart, He falls, "submit without a murmur."
Driven by the malice of my Enemies.”
Night, Then through the crowd withdrew, poor as he camo
But by the sighs of them that dared not speak.
This journey was his last. When the bell. rang,
It rang his knell.
Such as a shipwreck'd man might hope to build, But whence the deadly hate Urged by the love of home when I descended That caused all this the hate of Loredano? Two long, long days' silence, suspense on board, It was a legacy his Father left him,
It was to offer at thy fount, Valclusa,
Petrarch had wander'd, in a trance to sit
Or the fantastic root of some old fig-tree,
That drinks the living waters as they stream Studying revenge! listening alone to those Over their emerald-bed; and could I now Who talk'd of vengeance ; grasping by the hand Neglect to visit Arqua, (69) where, at last, Those in their zeal (and none, alas, were wanting) When he had done and settled with the world, Who came to tell him of another Wrong,
When all the illusions of his Youth were fled, Done or imagined. When his father died, Indulged perhaps too long, cherish'd foo fondly, "Twas whisper'd in his ear, “He died by poison !" He came for the conclusion ? Half-way up Ile wrote it on the tomb ('t is there in marble) He built his house, (70) whence as by stealth he caught, And in his ledger-book—(66) among his debtors- Among the hills, a glimpse of busy life, Enter'd the name “FRANCESCO Foscari," That soothed, not stirrd.—But knock, and enter in. And added, “For the murder of my Father.” This was his chamber. 'Tis as when he left it; Leaving a blank—to be fill'd up hereafter.
As if he now were busy in his garden. When Foscari's noble heart at length gave way, And this his closet. Here he sate and read. He took the volume from the shelf again
This was his chair; and in it, unobserved, Calmly, and with his pen fill'd up the blank, Reading, or thinking of his absent friends, Inscribing, “He has paid me."
He pass'd away as in a quiet slumber.
Ye who sit, Brooding from day to day, from day to day
Peace to this region! Peace to all who dwell here. Chewing the bitter cud, and starting up
They know his value-every coming step, As though the hour was come to whet your fangs,
That gathers round the children from their play, And, like the Pisan,' gnaw the hairy scalp
Would tell them if they knew not.—But could aught, Of him who had offended—if ye must,
Ungenile or ungenerous, spring up Sit and brood on; but oh! forbear to teach
Where he sleeping; where, and in an age
Of savage warfare and blind bigotry,
Leading to better things ?
If ever you should come to Modena,
Tassoni's bucket (in its chain it hangs, (72
And look awhile upon a picture there.
"Tis of a Lady in her earliest youth, And from that hour have kindred spirits flock'd (67) Done by Zampieri (73)—but by whom I care not.
The last of that illustrious family ;
He, who observes it-ere he passes on,
Gazes his fill, and comes and comes again,
That he may call it up, when far away. Its vineyards of such great and old renown, (68) She sits, inclining forward as to speak, Its castles, each with some romantic tale,
Her lips half-open, and her finger up, Vanishing fast—the pilot at the stern,
As though she said “ Beware!” her vest of gold He who had steer'd so long, standing aloft,
Broider'd with flowers, and clasp'd from head to foot, Ilis eyes on the white breakers, and his hands An emerald-stone in every golden clasp; On what at once served him for oar and rudder, And on her brow, fairer than alabaster, A huge misshapen plank—the bark itself
A coronet of pearls. Frail and uncouth, launch'd to return no more,
But then her face,
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
It haunts me still, though many a year has fled, When a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there,
Fasten'd her down for ever!
'Twas night; the noise and bustle of the day With scripture-stories from the Life of Christ; Were o'er. The mountebank no longer wrought A chest that came from Venice, and had held Miraculous cures—he and his stage were gone; The ducal robes of some old Ancestor
And he who, when the crisis of his tale That by the way—it may be true or false Came, and all stood breathless with hope and fear But don't forget the picture ; and you will not, Sent round his cap; and he who thrumm'd his wire When you have heard the tale they told me there. And sang, with pleading look and plaintive strain
Melting the passenger. Thy thousand cries,' She was an only child—her name Ginevra, So well portray'd and by a son of thine, The joy, the pride of an indulgent Father ; Whose voice had swell’d the hubbub in his youth, And in her fifteenth year became a bride,
Were hush'd, Bologna ; silence in the streets, Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,
The squares, when hark, the clattering of fleet hoofs' Her playmate from her birth, and her first love. And soon a courier, posting as from far,
Housing and holster, boot and belted coat Just as she looks there in her bridal dress,
And doublet, staind with many a various soil, She was all gentleness, all gaiety,
Stopt and alighted. "T was where hangs aloft
That ancient sign, the pilgrim, welcoming Her pranks the favorite theme of every tongue.
All who arrive there, all perhaps save those But now the day was come, the day, the hour;
Clad like himself, with staff and scallop-shell, Now, frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time, The nurse, that ancient lady, preach'd decorum;
Those on a pilgrimage: and now approach'd And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave
Wheels, through the lofty porticoes resounding, Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.
Arch beyond arch, a shelter or a shade
As the sky changes. To the gate they came;
And, ere the man had half his story done, Great was the joy ; but at the Nuptial Feast,
Mine host received the Master-one long used When all sate down, the Bride herself was wanting. To sojourn among strangers, everywhere Nor was she to be found! Her Father cried,
(Go where he would, along the wildest track) * T is but to make a trial of our love!"
Flinging a charm that shall not soon be lost, And fillid his glass to all; but his hand shook,
And leaving footsteps to be traced by those And soon from guest to guest the panic spread. Who love the haunts of Genius; one who saw, Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Observed, nor shunn'd the busy scenes of life, Laughing and looking back, and flying still,
But mingled not, and, 'mid the din, the stir, Her ivory-tooth imprinted on his finger.
Lived as a separate Spirit. But now, alas, she was not to be found;
Much had pass'd Nor from that hour could anything be guess'd,
Since last we parted; and those five short years But that she was not!
Much had they told! His clustering locks were turn'd Weary of his life,
Grey; nor did aught recall the Youth that swam Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking,
From Sestos to Abydos. Yet his voice, Flung it away in battle with the Turk.
Still it was sweet; still from his eye the thought Orsini lived_and long might you have seen Flash'd lightning-like, nor linger'd on the way, An old man wandering as in quest of something,
Waiting for words. Far, far into the night Something he could not find-he knew not what.
We sate, conversing—no unwelcome hour, When he was gone, the house remained awhile
The hour we met; and, when Aurora rose, Silent and tenantless—then went to strangers.
Rising, we climbed the rugged Apennine. Full fifty years were past, and all forgotten, Well I remember how the golden sun When on an idle day, a day of search
Fillid with its beams the unfathomable gulfs, 'Md the old lumber in the Gallery,
As on we travell’d, and along the ridge, That mouldering chest was noticed; and 't was said 'Mid groves of cork and cistus and wild fig, By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra, His motley household came-Not last nor least, “Why not remove it from its lurking-place?" Battista, who upon the moonlight-sea Twas done as soon as said; but on the way Of Venice, had so ably, zealously It burst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton,
Served, and, at parting, Nung his oar away
Had worn so long that honorable badge,
1 See the Cries of Bologna, as drawn by Annibal Carracci. Engraven with a name, the name of both,
He was of very humble origin ; and, to correct his brother's *Ginevra."
vanity, once sent him a portrait of their father, the tailor, There then had she found a grave!
threading his needle. Within that chest had she conceal'd herself,
2 The principal gondolier, il fante di poppa, was almost al
ways in the confidence of his master, and employed on occa Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy ; sions that required judgment and address.
The gondolier's, in a Patrician House
Of all the fairest cities of the earth
None are so fair as Florence. "T is a gem llowling in grief.
Of purest ray, a treasure for a casket!
And what a glorious lustre did it shed, (74) of old renown, once in the Adrian sea,
When it emerged from darkness! Search within, Ravenna ; where, from Dante's sacred tomb
Without, all is enchantment! "Tis the past
Contending with the present; and in turn
In this chapel wrought (75) Wandering and lost, he had so oft beheld 3
Massaccio; and he slumbers underneath. (What is not visible to a Poet's eye ?)
Wouldst thou behold his monument? Look round! The spectre-knight, the hell-hounds, and their prey, And know that where we stand, stood oft and long The chase, the slaughter, and the festal mirth Ofi till the day was gone, Raphael himself, Suddenly blasted. "T was a theme he loved, He and his haughty Rival-patiently, But others claim'd their turn; and many a tower, Humbly, to learn of those who came before, Shatter'd, uprooted from its native rock,
To steal a spark from their authentic fire, Its strength the pride of some heroic age,
Theirs, who first broke the gloom, Sons of the Morning. Appear'd and vanish d (many a sturdy steer * Yoked and unyoked), while as in happier days He pour'd his spirit forth. The past forgot,
There, on the seat that runs along the wall,
South of the Church, east of the beltry-tower
(Thou canst not miss it), in the sultry time
Would Dante sit conversing (76), and with those And praise and blame fall on his ear alike,
Who little thought that in his hand he held
The balance, and assign'd at his good pleasure
To each his place in the invisible world,
To some an upper, some a lower region;
Reserving in his secrei mind a niche
For thee, Saltrello, who with quirks of law Was generous, noble—noble in its scorn
Hadst plagued him sore, and carefully requiting (77) Of all things low or little; nothing there Sordid or servile. If imagined wrongs
Such as ere-long condemu'd his mortal part
To fire. (78) Sit down awhile—then by the gates Pursued thee, urging thee sometimes to do
Wondrously wrought, so beautiful, so glorious, Things long regretted, oft, as many know,
That they might serve to be the gates of Heaven, None more than I, thy gratitude would build Oa slight foundations : and, if in thy life
Enter the Baptistery. That place he loved,
Caliing it his! And in his visits there No: happy, in thy death thou surely wert,
Well might he take delight! For, when a child, Thy wish accomplish d; dying in the land Where thy young mind had caught ethereal fire,
Playing, with venturus feet, near and yet nearer
One of the foats, fell in, he dew and saved him, (79) Dying in Greece, and in a cause so glorious !
Flew with an energy, a violence,
That broke the marble mishap ascribed They in thy train-ah, little did they think.
To evil moures; his, alas! to lead As round we went, that they so soon should sit
life of trouble, and ere-long to leave Mourning beside thee, while a Nation mourn d,
All things most dear to him, ere-long to know
The going up and down another's stairs.
Nor then forget that Chamber of the Dead, (80) Thy years of joy and sorrow.
Thou art gone ;
Where the gigante forms of light and Day, And he who would assail thee in thv grave,
Turn'd into stone, rest everiasingly, Oh, let kun paise! For wbo among us all.
Yet sall are breathing: andi söed round at noon Tried as thou wert-even frven thine earliest years,
A two-tond in vedeonly to be felt When wandering, yet unspoilt, a highland-box
Aligt, a darkness mingling each with each; Thed as thou wert, and with the soul of tame:
Beth and ret neither. There. from age to age, Pleassure, while vet the down was on thy cheek
Two Gys de setning on their sepulchres.
That is the Duke Loren Mark him well. (81) l'pathing, pressing, and to hps bảe thine
He mediates his head upea his band.
W si suwis beneath his broad and beim-like bonnet!
"Tis bad in shade: vec. Lte the basilisk,
His mina is mole. s rajestical! 4 They wait for chu za veider's carriage at the foot of every ballThea must su when we sani chuur is beant,
At morn or eve—nor fail thou to attend
The bloody sheet. “Look there! Look there” ho On that thrice-hallow'd day, (82) when all are there ; When all, propitiating with solemn songs,
“ Blood calls for blood—and from a father's hand! With light, and frankincense, and holy water, -Unless thyself wilt save him that sad office. Visit the Dead. Then wilt thou feel his power! What!” he exclaim'd, when, shuddering at the sight,
The boy breathed out, “I stood but on my guard." But let not Sculpture, Painting, Poesy,
Darest thou then blacken one who never wrong'd Or they, the masters of these mighty spells,
thee, Detain us. Our first homage is to Virtue.
Who would not set his foot upon a worm ? Where, in what dungeon of the Citadel
Yes, thou must die, lest others fall by thee, (It must be known-the writing on the wall (83)
And thou shouldst be the slayer of us all.” Cannot be gone't was cut in with his dagger,
Then from Garzia's side he took the dagger, Ere, on his knees to God, he slew himself),
That fatal one which spilt his brother’s blood; Where, in what dungeon, did Filippo Strozzi,
And, kneeling on the ground, “Great God!" he cried, The last, the greatest of the Men of Florence, Breathe out his soul-lest in his agony,
“Grant me the strength to do an act of Justice.
Thou knowest what it costs me; but, alas. When on the rack and call'd upon to answer,
How can I spare myself, sparing none else He might accuse the guiltless.
That debt paid,
Grant me the strength, the will—and oh forgive
The sinful soul of a most wretched son. But with a sigh, a tear for human frailty,
"Tis a most wretched father who implores it." We may return, and once more give a looso
Long on Garzia's neck he hung, and wept
Tenderly, long press'd him to his bosom ;
And then, but while he held him by the arm, Venus herself, who, when she left the skies,
Thrusting him backward, turn'd away his face, Came hither.
And stabb'd him to the heart.
Well might De Thou,
When in his youth he came to Cosmo's court,
Think on the past; and, as he wander'd through Among the awful forms that stand assembled The Ancient Palace (87)—through those ample spaces In the great square of Florence, may be seen Silent, deserted—stop awhile to dwell That Cosino, (84) not the Father of his Country, Upon two portraits there, drawn on the wall (88) Not he so styled, but he who play'd the tyrant. Together, as of two in bonds of love, Clad in rich armor like a paladin,
One in a Cardinal's habit, one in black, But with his helmet oft—in kingly state,
Those of the unhappy brothers, and infer Aloft he sits upon his horse of brass ;
From the deep silence that his questions drew, (89) And they, who read the legend underneath, The terrible truth. Go and pronounce him happy. Yet there is
Well might he heave a sigh A Chamber at Grosseto, that, if walls
For poor humanity, when he beheld Could speak, and tell of what is done within, That very Cosmo shaking o'er his fire, Would turn your admiration into pity.
Drowsy and deaf and inarticulate, Half of what pass'd died with him; but the rest, Wrapt in his night-gown, o'er a sick man's mess, All he discover'd when the fit was on,
In the last stage-death-struck and deadly pale ; All that, by those who listen'd, could be glean'd His wife, another, not his Eleonora, From broken sentences and starts in sleep,
At once his nurse and his interpreter. Is told, and by an honest Chronicler. (85)
XXII. Two of his sons, Giovanni and Garzia (The eldest had not seen his sixteenth summer),
THE CAMPAGNA OF FLORENCE.
Where Cimabue (90) found a shepherd-boy!
The phases of the moon, look round below
On Arno's vale, where the dove-color'd oxen When all slept sound, save the disconsolate Mo- Are plowing up and down among the vines, ther,(86)
While many a careless note is sung aloud, Who little thought of what was yet to come, Filling the air with sweetness and on thee, And lived but to be told-he bade Garzia
Beautiful Florence, (91) all within thy walls, Arise and follow him. Holding in one hand Thy groves and gardens, pinnacles and towers, A winking lamp, and in the other a key
Drawn to our feet. Massive and dungeon-like, thither he led ;
From that small spire, just caught And, having enter'd in and lock'd the door, By the bright ray, that church among the rest (92) The father fix'd his cyes upon the son,
By One of Old distinguish'd as The Bride, And closely questioned him. No change betray'd Let us pursue in thought (what can we better ?) Or guilt or fear. Then Cosmo lifted up
Those who assembled there at matin-prayers;' (93)
1 The Tribune.
2 Eleonora di Toledo.
2 See the Decameron. First Day.