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Kingdoms are shrunk to provinces, and chains Clank over sceptred cities; nations melt From power's high pinnacle, when they have The sunshine for a while, and downward go Like lauwine loosen'd from the mountain's belt; Oh for one hour of blind old Dandolo! (7) Th’ octogenarian chief, Byzantium's conquering
XIII. Before St. Mark still glow his steeds of brass, Their gilded collars glittering in the sun; But is not Doria's menace come to pass ? (8) Are they not bridled 2—Venice, lost and won, Her thirteen hundred years of freedom done, Sinks, like a sea-weed, into whence she rose ! Better be whelm'd beneath the waves, and shun,
Even in destruction's depth, her foreign foes, From whom submission wrings an infamous repose.
XIV. In youth she was all glory,-a new Tyre,Her very by-word sprung from victory, The “Planter of the Lion,” (9) which through
And blood she bore o'er subject earth and sea ; Though making many slaves, herself still free, And Europe's bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite ; Witness Troy's rival, Candia! Vouch it, ye
Immortal waves that saw Lepanto's fight! For ye are names no time nor tyranny can blight.
XV. Statues of glass-all shiver'd—the long file Of her dead Doges are declined to dust; But where they dwelt the vast and sumptuous
Bespeaks the pageant of their splendid trust; Their sceptre broken, and their sword in rust, Have yielded to the stranger : empty halls, Thin streets, and foreign aspects, such as must
Too oft remind her who and what enthrals, (10) Have flung a desolate cloud o'er Venice' lovely
XVI. When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse, And fetter'd thousands bore the yoke of war, Redemption rose up in the Attic Muse, (11) Her voice their only ransom from afar : See! as they 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. 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.
And Otway, Radcliffe, Schiller, Shakespeare's
Perchance even dearer in her day of wo,
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
But from their nature will the tannen grow (13)
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
In bare and desolated bosoms : mute
Endure and shrink not, we of nobler clay
XXII. All suffering doth destroy, or is destroy'd Even by the sufferer; and, in each event Ends:-Some, with hope replenish'd and re
buoy'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
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
Aing Aside for ever ; it may be a soundA tone of music,-summer's eve-or spring, A flower-the wind-the ocean-which shall
wound, Striking the electric chain wherewith we are
anew, The mourn'd, the loved, the lost-too many !--yet
how few !
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 hand, Wherein were cast the heroic and the free, The beautiful, the brave-the lords of earth and
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 de.