« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
TRANSLATION FROM VITTORELLI.
ON A NUN. Sonnet composed in the name of a father whose danghter had
recently died shortly after her marriage : and addressed to
the father of ber who had lately taken the veil. Or two fair virgins, modest, though admired, Heaven made us happy; and now, wretched
sires, Heaven for a nobler doom their worth desires, And gazing upon either, both required.
Mine, while the torch of Hymen newly fired
Becomes extinguish'd, soon—too soon-expires :
Eternal captive, to her God aspires.
Which shuts between your never-meeting eyes,
May'st hear her sweet and pious voice once more: I to the marble, where my daughter lies,
Rush,—the swoln flood of bitterness I pour,
The world is all before me: I but ask
Methought that joy and health alone could be of Nature that with which she will comply
Where I was not-and pain and sorrow here! It is but in her summer's sun to bask,
And is it thus ?-it is as I foretold, To mingle with the quiet of her sky,
And shall be more so; for the mind recoils To see her gentle face without a mask,
Upon itself, and the wreck'd heart lies cold, And never gaze on it with apathy.
While heaviness collects the shatter'd spoils. She was my early friend, and now shall be
It is not in the storm nor in the strife My sister till I look again on thee.
We feel benumb'd, and wish to be no more,
But in the after-silence on the shore, I can reduce all feelings but this one ;
When all is lost, except a little life. And that I would not ;-for at length I see I am too well avenged !-but 'twas my right! Such scenes as those wherein my life begun.
Whate'er my sins might be, thou wert not sent The earliest-even the only paths for me
To be the Nemesis who should requiteHad I but sooner learnt the crowd to shun,
Nor did Heaven choose so near an instrument. I had been better than I now can be ;
Mercy is for the merciful !--if thou The passions which have torn me would have slept; Hast been of such, 'twill be accorded now. I bad not suffer'd, and thou hadst not wept. | Thy nights are banish'd from the realms of sleep!
Yes! they may flatter thee, but thou shalt feel With false Ambition what had I to do?
A hollow agony which will not heal,
And made me all which they can make-a name. The bitter harvest in a woe as real !
I have had many foes, but none like thee; Surely I once beheld a nobler aim.
For 'gainst the rest myself I could defend, But all is over-I am one the more
And be avenged, or turn them into friend; To baffled millions which have gone before. But thou in safe implacability
Hadst nought to dread-in thy own weakness And for the future, this world's future may
shielded, From me demand but little of niy care;
And in my love, which hath but too much yielded, I have outlived myself by many a day,
And spared, for thy sake, some I should not Having survived so many things that were ;
spare ; My years have been no slumber, but the prey And thus upon the world—trust in thy truth, Of ceaseless vigils : for I had the share
And the wild fame of my ungovern'd youthOf life which might have fill'd a century,
On things that were not, and on things that Before its fourth in time had pass'd me by.
Even upon such a basis hast thou built And for the remnant which may be to come
A monument, whose cement hath been guilt! I am content; and for the past I feel
The moral Clytemnestra of thy lord, Not thankless,- for within the crowded sum
And hew'd down with an unsuspected sword, Of struggles, happiness at times would steal :
Fame, peace, and hope-and all the better life And for the present, I would not benumb
Which, but for this cold treason of thy heart, My feelings further.-Nor shall I conceal Might still have risen from out the grave of strife, That with all this I still can look around,
And found a nobler duty than to part. And worship Nature with a thought profound.
But of thy virtues didst thou make a vice,
Trafficking with them in a purpose cold, For thee, my own sweet sister, in thy heart
For present anger, and for future goldI know myself secure, as thou in mine ;
And buying other's grief at any price. We were and are-I am, even as tliou art
And thus once enter'd into crooked ways, Beings who ne'er each other can resign;
The early truth, which was thy proper praise, It is the same, together or apart,
Did not still walk beside thee-but at times, From life's commencement to its slow decline
And with a breast unknowing its own crimes, We are entwined : let death come slow or fast,
Deceit, averments incompatible, The tie which bound the first endures the last !
Equivocations, and the thoughts which dwell
In Janus-spirits-the significant eye
Of prudence, with advantages annex'd-
The acquiescence in all things which tend,
No matter how, to the desired end
All found a place in thy philosophy.
And thou wert sick, and yet I was not near ; I would not do by thee as thou hast done!
The Age of Bronze ;
OR, CARMEN SECULARE ET ANXUS HAUD MIRABILIS.
"Imper Congressus Achilli."
Yes! where is he, the champion and the child THE “good old times”—all times when old are of all that's great or little, wise or wild;
Whose game was empires, and whose stakes were Are gone; the present might be if they would;
thrones; Great things have been, and are, and greater still
Whose table earth-whose dice were human bones? Want little of mere mortals but their will:
Behold the grand result in yon lone isle, A wider space, a greener field, is given
And, as thy nature urges, weep or smile. To those who play their “tricks before high heaven."
high heaven » Sigh to behold the eagle's lofty rage I know not if the angels weep, but men
Reduced to nibble at his narrow cage;
Smile to survey the queller of the nations
Weep to perceive him mourning, as he dines, All is exploded-be it good or bad.
O’er curtail'd dishes and o'er stinted wines;
O’er petty quarrels upon petty things. Reader! remember when thou wert a lad,
Is this the man who scourged or seasted kings? Then Pitt was all ; or, if not all, so much,
Behold the scales in which his fortune bangs, His very rival almost deem'd him such. We, we have seen the intellectual race
A surgeon's statement, and an earl's barangues !
A bust delayed, a book refused, can shake
The sleep of him who kept the world awake.
Is this indeed the tamer of the great, Of eloquence between, which flow'd all free,
Now slave of all could tease or irritate-
The paltry gaoler and the prying spy,
The staring stranger with his note-book nigh?
Plunged in a dungeon he had still been great ; Of sullen earth divide each winding sheet.
How low, how little was this middle state, How peaceful and how powerful is the grave,
Between a prison and a palace, where Wbich hushes all ! a calm, unstormy wave,
How few could feel for what he had to bear! W bich oversweeps the world. The theme is old
Vain his complaint,--my lord presents his bill, Of “ dust to dust ;” but half its tale untold :
His food and wine were doled out duly still ; Time tempers not its terrors-still the worm
Vain was his sickness, never was a clime Winds its cold folds, the tomb preserves its form,
So free from homieide—to doubt's a crime; Varied above, but still alike below;
And the stiff surgeon, who maintain'd his cause, The urn may shine, the ashes will not glow,
Hath lost his place, and gain'd the world's applause. Though Cleopatra's mummy cross the sea
But smile—though all the pangs of brain and heart O'er which from empire she lured Anthony;
Disdain, defy, the tardy aid of art; Though Alexander's urn a show be grown
Though, save the few fond friends and imaged face On shores he wept to conquer, though unknownHow vain, how worse than vain, at length appear
Of that fair boy lis sire shall ne’er embrace, The madman's wish, the Macedonian's tear!"
None stand by bis low bed—though even the mind
Be wavering, which long awed and awes mankind : He wept for worlds to conquer-half the earth
Smile-for the fetter'd eagle breaks his chain, Knows not his name, or but his death, and birth,
| And higher worlds than this are his again.
A conscious twiliglit of his blazing reign,
How must be smile, on looking down, to see Which holds his urn, and never knew his throne.
The little that he was and sought to be!
What though his name a wider empire found III.
Than his ambition, though with scarce a bound; But where is he, the modern, nightier far,
Though first in glory, deepest in reverse, Who, born no king, made monarchis draw his car- He tasted empire's blessings and its curse; The new Sesostris, whose unharness'd kings, Though kings, rejoicing in their late escape Freed from the bit, believe themselves with wings, From chains, would gladly be their tyrant's ape; And spurn the dust o'er which they crawld of late, How must he smile, and turn to yon lone grave, Chain'd to the chariot of the chieftain's state: The proudest sea-mark that o'ertops the wave!
What though his gaoler, duteous to the last, Poland ! o'er which the avenging angel pass'd, Scarce deem'd the coffin's lead could keep hiin fast, But left thee as he found thee, still a waste, Refusing one poor line along the lid,
Forgetting all thy still enduring claim, To date the birth and death of all it bid ;
Thy lotted people and extinguish'd name. That name shall hallow the ignoble shore,
Thy sigh for freedom, thy long-flowing tear,
That sound that crashes in the tyrant's ear-
Gleam in the sun, but 'tis a sun that sets !
Moscow ! thou limit of his long career, Shall crown the Atlantic like the hero's bust, For which rude Charles bad wept his frozen tear And mighty nature o'er his obsequies
To see in vain—he saw thee-how with spire Do more than niggard envy still denies.
and palace fuel to one common fire. But what are these to him? Can glory's lust To this the soldier lent his kindling match, Touch the freed spirit or the fetter'd dust?
To this the peasant gave his cottage thatch, Small care hath he of what his tomb consists; To this the merchant flung bis hoarded store, Nought if he sleeps-nor more if he exists : The prince his hall--and Moscow was no more! Alike the better-seeing shade will smile
Sublimest of volcanoes ! Etna's flame On the rude cavern of the rocky isle,
Pales before thine, and quenchless Hecla's tame; As if his ashes found their latest home
Vesuvius shows his blaze, a usual sight
To come, in which all empires shall expire.
Thou other element ! as strong and stern,
To teach a lesson conquerors will not learn ! To form, like Guesclin's' dust, her talisman. Whose icy wing flapped o'er the faltering foe, But be it as it is the time may come
Till fell a hero with each flake of snow;
Pierce, till hosts perish'd with a single pang!
For the gay thousands of his dashing ranks !
Or stagnant in their human ice remains That saw'st the unfledged eaglet chip his shell ! In frozen mummies on the Polar plains. Ye Alps, which view'd him in his dawning flights In vain will Italy's broad sun awaken Hover, the victor of a hundred fights!
Her offspring chilld; its beams are now forsaken. Thou Rome, who saw'st thy Cæsar's deeds out. Of all the trophies gather'd from the war, done!
What shall return the conqueror's broken car! Alas! why pass'd he too the Rubicon
The conqueror's yet unbroken heart! Again The Rubicon of man's awaken'd rights,
The horn of Roland sounds, and not in vain. To herd with vulgar kings and parasites ?
Lutzen, where fell the Swede of victory, Egypt! from whose all dateless tombs arose Beholds him conquer, but, alas ! not die: Forgotten Pharaohs from their long repose,
Dresden surveys three despots fly once more And shook within their pyramids to hear
Before their sovereign,-sovereign as before ; A new Cambyses thandering in their ear :
But there exhausted Fortune quits the field, While the dark shades of forty ages stood,
And Leipsic's treason bids the unvanquish'd yield. Like startled giants by Nile's famous flood;
The Saxon jackal leaves the lion's side Or from the pyramid's tall pinnacle
To turn the bear's, and woll's, and fox's guide; Belield the desert peopled, as from hell,
And backward to the den of his despair With clashing hosts, who strew'd the barren sand, The forest monarch shrinks, but finds no lair ! To re-manure the uncultivated land ! Spain! which, a moment mindless of the Cid, Oh ye ! and each and all! Oh France ! who Beheld his banner flouting thy Madrid !
found Austria! which saw thy twice-ta'en capital Thy long fair fields plouglı’d up as hostile ground, Twice spared to be the traitress of his fall!
Disputed foot by foot, till treason, still Ye race of Frederic!-Frederics but in name His only victor, from Montmartre's hill And falsehood-heirs to all except his fame : Look'd down o'er trampled Paris ! and thou Isle, Who, crush'd at Jena, crouched at Berlin, fell Which seest Etruria from thy ramparts smile, First, and but rose to follow! Ye who dwell Thou momentary shelter of his pride, Where Kosciusko dwelt, remembering yet
Till woo'd by danger, his yet weeping bride! The unpaid amount of Catherine's bloody debt! Oh, France ! retaken by a single march,
Whose path was through one long triumphal arch!
Oh, bloody and most bootless Waterloo ! (1) Guesclin died during the siege of a city ; it surrendered, which proves how fools may have their
une and the keys were brought and laid upon his bier, so that the place might appear rendered to his ashes,
Won half by blander, half by treachery :
| But driven from thence awhile, yet not for aye, Oh, dull Saint Helen! with thy gaoler niglı Break o'er th' Ægean, mindful of the day Hear! bear Prometheus from his rock appeall
Of Salamis !—there, there the waves arise, To earth, air, ocean, all that felt or feel
| Not to be lull'd by tyrant victories. His power and glory, all who get shall hear
Lone, lost, abandon'd in their utmost need A name eternal as the rolling year;
By Christians, unto whom they gave their creed, He teaches them the lesson taught so long,
The desolated lands, the ravaged isle, So oft, so vainly-learn to do no wrong!
The foster'd feud encouraged to beguile,
The aid evaded, and the cold delay,
These, these shall tell the tale, and Greece can His name a doubt to all the winds of heaven;
show The reed of Fortune, and of thrones the rod, The false friend worse than the infuriate foe. Of fame the Moloch or the demigod ;
But this is well: Greeks only should free Greece, His country's Cæsar, Europe's Hannibal, ·
Not the barbarian, with his mask of peace. Without their decent dignity of fall.
How should the autocrat of bondage be Yet Vanity herself had better taught
The king of serfs, and set the nations free? A surer path even to the fame he sought,
Better still serve the haughty Mussulman, By pointing out on history's fruitless page
Than swell the Cossaque's prowling caravan ;
Better still toil for masters, than await,
A live estate, existing but for thrall,
While their immediate owner never tastes While even the Spaniard's thirst of gold and war His sleep, sans dreaming of Siberia's wastes : Forgets Pizarro to shout Bolivar!
Better succumb even to their own despair, Alas! why must the same Atlantic wave
And drive the camel than purvey the bear.
But not alone within the hoariest clime
And not alone where, plunged in night, a crowd
The dawn revives : renown'd, romantic Spain
Not now the Roman tribe nor Punic horde The same high spirit which beat back the Moor
Demand her fields as lists to prove the sword; Through eight long ages of alternate gore
Not now the Vandal or the Visigoth Revives--and where ? in that avenging clime
Pollute the plains, alike abhorring both; Where Spain was once synonymous with crime
Nor old Pelayo on his mountain rears Where Cortes and Pizarro's banner flew,
The warlike fathers of a thousand years. The infant world redeems her name of “ New." That seed is sown and reap'd, as oft the Moor 'Tis the old aspiration breathed afresh,
Sighs to remember on his dusky shore. To kindle souls within degraded flesh,
Long in the peasant's song or poet's page Such as repulsed the Persian from the shore Has dwelt the memory of Abencerrage ; Where Greece was-No! she still is Greece once The Zegri, and the captive victors, flung more.
Back to the barbarous realm from whence they One common cause makes myriads of one breast,
sprung. Slaves of the East, or helots of the West :
But these are gone—their faith, their swords, their On Andes' and on Athos' peaks unfurld,
sway, The self-same standard streams o'er either world : Yet left more anti-christian foes than they ; The Athenian wears again Harmodius' sword;
| The bigot monarch, and the butcher priest, The Chili chief abjures his foreign lord;
The Inquisition, with her burning feast, The Spartan knows himself once more a Greek, The faith's red “auto,” fed with human fuel, Young Freedom plumes the crest of each cacique ; While sate the catholic Moloch, calmly cruel, Debating despots, hemm'd on either shore,
Enjoying, with inexorable eye,
Hidalgo, and the peasant less disgraced,
The once proud navy which forgot the helm; (1) I refer the reader to the first address of Promethens in Æschylus, when he was left alone by his attendants, and before
The once impervious phalanx disarray'd ; the arrival of the chorus of sea-nymphs.
| The idle forge that form’d Toledo's blade;