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XVI. When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse, And fetter'd thousands bore the yoke of war, Redemption rose in the Attic Muse, 11 Her voice their only ransom from afar: See! as the chant the tragic hymn, the car Of the o’ermaster'd victor stops, the reins Fall from his hands - his idle scimitar Starts from its belt — he rends his captive's chains, And bids him thank the bard for freedom and his
XVII. ; i Thus, Venice, if no stronger claim were thine, Were all thy proud historic deeds forgot, Thy choral memory of the Bard divine, Thy love of Tasso, should have cut the knot Which ties thee to thy tyrants; and thy lot Is shameful to the nations, - most of all, Albion! to thee: the Ocean queen should not Abandon Ocean's children; in the fall Of Venice think of thine, despite thy watery wall.
XVIII. I loved her from my boyhood - she to me Was as a fairy ciy of the heart, Rising like water- columns from the sea, Of joy the sojourn, and of wealth the mart; And Otway, Radclife, Schiller, Shakespear's art, 12 Had stamp'd her image in me, and even so, Although I found her thus, we did not part, Perchance even dearer in her day of woe, Than when she was a boast, a marvel, and a show.
XIX. I can repeople with the past — and of The present there is still for eye and thought, And meditation chasten'd down, enough; And more, it may be, than I hoped or sought; And of the happiest moments which were wrought Within the web of my existence, some From thee, fair Venice! have their colours caught:
There are some feelings Time can not benumb, Nor Torture shake, or mine would now be cold and
XX. But from their nature will the tannen grow 13 Loftiest on loftiest and least shelter'd rocks, Rooted in barrenners, where nought below Of soil supports them 'gainst the Alpin shocks Of eddying storms; yet springs the trunk, 'and
mocks The howling tempest, till its height and frame Are worthy of the mountains from whose blocks Of bleak, gray, granite, into life it came, And grew a giant tree;— the mind may grow the same.
XXII. All suffering doth destroy, or is destroy'd, . Even by the sufferer; and in each event Ends: Some, with hope replenish'd and rebuoy'd, Return to whence they came with like intent, And weave their web again; some bow'd and bent, Wax gray and ghastly, withering ere their time, And perish with the reed on which they leant; Some seek devotion, toil, war, good or crime, According as their souls were form’d to sink or climb:
XXIII. But ever and anon of griefs subdued There comes a token like a scorpion's sting, Scarce seen, but with fresh bitterness imbued; And slight withal may be the things which bring Back on the heart the weight which it would fling Aside for ever: it may be a sound A tone of music, - summer's eve -- or spring, A flower -- the wind - the ocean - which shall
wound, :: Striking the electric chain wherewith we are darkly
XXIV. And how and why we know not, nor can trace Home to its cloud this lightning of the mind, But feel the shock renew'd, nor can efface The blight and blackening which it leaves behind, Which out of things familiar, undesign'd, When least we deem of such, calls up to view The spectres whom no exorcism can bind, The cold — the changed -- perchance the dead
anew, The mourn’d, the loved, the lostma too many!-- yet
XXV. But my soul wanders; I demand it back To meditate amongst decay, and stand A ruin amidst ruins; there to track Fall'n states and buried greatness, o'er a land Which was the mightiest in its old command, And is the loveliest, and must ever be . The master - mould of Nature's heavenly liand, Wherein were cast the heroic and the free, The beautiful, the brave - the lords of earth and sea,