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XXVI. The commonwealth of kings, the men of Rome! And even since, and now, fair Italy! Thou art the garden of the world, the home Of all Art yields, and Nature can decree; Even in thy desert, what is like to thee?
Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste . More rich than other climes' fertility!
Thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced With an immaculate charm which can not be defaced.
XXVII. The Moon is up, and yet it is not 'night Sunset divides the sky with her — a sea Of glory streams along the Alpine height Of blue Friuli's mountains; Heaven is free From clouds, but of all colours seems to be Melted to one vast Iris of the West, Where the Day joins the past Eternity; While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest Floats through the azure air-an island of the blest!
XXVIII. A single star is at her side, and reigns With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still 14 Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains Roll'd o'er the peak of the far Rhaetian hill, As Day and Night contending were, 'until Nature reclaim'd her order: – gently flows The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil The odorous purple of a new-born rose, Which streams upon her stream, and glass'd within
XXIX. Fill'd with the face of heaven, which , from afar, Comes down upon the waters; all its hues, From the rich sunset to the rising star, Their magical variety diffuse: And now they change; a paler shadow strews Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues With a new colour as it gasps away, The last still loveliest, till —'tisgone -- and all is gray, XXX. There is a tomb in Arqua; - reard in air,.. · Pillar'd in their sarcophagus, repose
The bones of Lapra's lover: here repair Many familiar with his well-sung woes, The pilgrims of his genius. He arose To raise a language, and his land reclaim From the dull yoke of her barbaric foes : Watering the tree which bears his lady's name 15 With his melodious tears, he gave himself to fame.
XXXI. They keep his dust in Arqua, where he died; 15 The mountain- village where his latter days Went down the vale of years; and 'tis their pride An honest pride- and let it be, their praise, To offer to the passing stranger's gaze His mansion and his sepulchre; both plain And venerably simple, such as raise A feeling more accordant with his strain Than is a pyramid form'd his monumental fane,
XXXII. And the soft quiet liamlet where he dwelt Is one of that complexion which seems made For those who their mortality have felt, And sought a refuge from their hopes decay'd In the deep umbrage of a green hill's shade, Which shows a distant prospect far away Of busy cities, now in vain display'd, For they can lure no further; and the ray Of a bright sun can make sufficient holiday,
XXXIII. Developing the mountains; leaves, and flowers, And shining in the brawling brook, where - by, Clear as its current, glide the sauntering hours With a calm languor, which, though to the eye Idlesse it seem, hath its morality. If from society we learn to live, 'Tis solitude should teach us how to die;
It hath no flatterers; vanity can give No hollow aid; alone-man with his God must strive: XXXIV. Or it may be, with demons, who impair 17 The strength of better thoughts, and seek their prey In melancholy bosoms, such as were Of moody texture from their earliest day, And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay, Deeming themselves predestin'd to a doom Which is not of the pangs that pass away; Making the sun like blood, the earth a tomb, The tomb a hell, and hell itself a murkier gloom.
XXXV. Ferrara in thy wide and grass - grown streets, Whose symmetry was not for solitude, There seems as 'twere a curse upon the seats Of former sovereigns, and the antique brood Of Este, which for many an age made good Its strength within thy walls, and was of yore Patron or tyrant, as the changing mood Of petty power impell’d, of those who wore The wreath which Dante's brow alone had worn