Obrázky na stránke





At evening close from killing the tall | The world is full of Woodmen who expel treen,

Love's gentle Dryads from the haunts The soul of whom by nature's gentle law of life, Was each a wood-nymph, and kept ever

And vex the nightingales in every dell. green The pavement and the roof of the wild

MARENGHI 1 copse, Chequering the sunlight of the blue

LET those who pine in pride or in

revenge, With jagged leaves, -- and from the

Or think that ill for ill should be forest tops

repaid, Singing the winds to sleep-or weeping Or barter wrong for wrong, until the

oft Fast showers of aërial water drops


Ruins the merchants of such thriftless Into their mother's bosom, sweet and

trade, soft,

Visit the tower of Vado, and unlearn Nature's pure tears which have no bitter. Such bitter faith beside Marenghi’s urn.

ness; Around the cradles of the birds aloft

A massy tower yet overhangs the town, They spread themselves into the loveli

A scattered group of ruined dwellings

now. Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid

flowers Ilang like moist clouds :-or, where

Another scene ere wise Etruria knew high branches kiss,

Its second ruin through internal strife, Make a green space among the silent And tyrants through the breach of disbowers,

cord threw Like a vast fane in a metropolis,

The chain which binds and kills. As Surrounded by the columns and the

death to life, towers

As winter to fair fowers (though some All overwrought with branch - like be poison) traceries

So Monarchy succeeds to Freedom's In which there is religion--and the mute

foison. Persuasion of unkindled melodies, Odours and gleams and murmurs, which In Pisa's church a cup of sculptured gold the lute

Was brimming with the blood of feuds

forsworn Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,

At sacrament : more holy ne'er of old

Etrurians mingled with the shades Wakening the leaves and waves, ere it forlorn

Of moon-illumined forests.
To such brief unison as on the brain
One tone, which never can recur, has

1 This fragment refers to an event told in cast,

Sismondi's Histoire des Républiques Italiennes, One accent never to return again.

which occurred during the war when Florence finally subdued Pisa, and reduced it to a province (Mrs. Shelley).



has past


And reconciling factions wet their lips
With that dread wine, and swear to

keep each spirit
Undarkened by their country's last


Inhabits its wrecked palaces ;—in thine
A beast of subtler venom now doth

Its lair, and sits amid their glories over-

thrown, And thus thy victim's fate is as thine






The sweetest flowers are ever frail and

rare, Was Florence the liberticide? that band And love and freedom blossom but Of free and glorious brothers who had to wither ; planted,

And good and ill like vines entangled Like a green isle 'mid Æthiopian sand,

are, A nation amid slaveries, disenchanted So that their grapes may oft be plucked Of many impious faiths—wise, just-do together ;they,

Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then Does Florence, gorge the sated tyrants' make prey ?

Thy heart rejoice for dead Marenghi's

sake. O foster-nurse of man's abandoned glory, Since Athens, its great mother, sunk No record of his crime remains in story, in splendour ;

But if the morning bright as evening Thou shadowest forth that mighty shape shone, in story,

It was some high and holy deed, by As ocean its wrecked fanes, severe yet tender :

Pursued into forgetfulness, which won The light-invested angel Poesy

From the blind crowd he made secure Was drawn from the dim world to wel.

and free come thee.

The patriot's meed, toil, death, and infamy.

XII And thou in painting didst transcribe For when by sound of trumpet was all taught

declared By loftiest meditations ; marble knew A price upon his life, and there was The sculptor's fearless soul-and as he

set wrought,

A penalty of blood on all who shared The grace of his own power and So much of water with him as might

wet And more than all, heroic, just, sublime, His lips, which speech divided not-he Thou wert among the false—was this

went thy crime?

Alone, as you may guess, to banishment.



freedom grew.


XIII Yes; and on Pisa's marble walls the Amid the mountains, like a hunted twine

beast, Of direst weeds hangs garlanded—the He hid himself, and hunger, toil, and snake


Month after month endured ; it was a

feast Whene'er he found those globes of

deep-red gold Which in the woods the strawberry-tree

doth bear, Suspended in their emerald atmosphere.

The relics of a weed-inwoven cot,
Thatched with broad flags. An out-

lawed murderer
Had lived seven days there : the

pursuit was hot
When he was cold. The birds that

were his grave
Fell dead upon their feast in Vado's





[ocr errors]

And in the roofless huts of vast morasses,

Deserted by the fever-stricken serf,
All overgrown with reeds and long rank | There must have lived within Marenghi's

And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven

That fire, more warm and bright than turf,

life or hope, And where the huge and speckled aloe (Which to the martyr makes his dunmade,

geon . . Rooted in stones, a broad and pointed

More joyous than the heaven's majestic

To his oppressor), warring with decay,–

Or he could ne'er have lived years, day
He housed himself. There is a point

by day. of strand Near Vado's tower and town; and on one side

Nor was his state so lone as you might The treacherous marsh divides it from

think. the land,

He had tamed every newt and snake Shadowed by pine and ilex forests and toad, wide,

And every seagull which sailed down to And on the other creeps eternally,

drink Through muddy weeds, the shallow Those... ere the death - mist sullen sea.

went abroad.

And each one, with peculiar talk and Here the earth's breath is pestilence, play, and few

Wiled, not untaught, his silent time But things whose nature is at war away:

with lifeSnakes and ill worms--endure its mortal dew.

And the marsh-meteors, like tame beasts, The trophies of the clime's victorious

at night strife

Came licking with blue tongues his

veinèd feet; White bones, and locks of dun and

And he would watch them, as, like yellow hair,

spirits bright, And ringed horns which buffaloes did

In many entangled figures quaint and

[merged small][ocr errors]



[ocr errors][ocr errors]




To some enchanted music they would

danceAnd at the utmost point ... stood Until they vanished at the first moon. there


[blocks in formation]


He mocked the stars by grouping on And were kindled powers and each weed

thoughts which made The summer dewdrops in the golden His solitude less dark. When memdawn;

ory came And, ere the hoar-frost vanished, he (For years gone by leave each a deepencould read

ing shade), Its pictured footprints, as on spots of His spirit basked in its internal lawn

flame,Its delicate brief touch in silence weaves As, when the black storm hurries round The likeness of the wood's remembered

at night, leaves,

The fisher basks beside his red fire. XXII

light. And many a fresh Spring-morn would

XXVI he awakenWhile yet the unrisen sun made glow, Yet human hopes and cares and faiths

like iron Quivering in crimson fire, the peaks

Like billows unawakened by the unshaken

wind, Of mountains and blue isles which Slept in Marenghi still; but that all did environ

terrors, With air-clad crags that plain of land

Weakness, and doubt, had withered

in his mind. And feel


Ilis couch ...

and errors,

and sea,



And in the moonless nights, when the
dim ocean

Heaved underneath the heaven,
Starting from dreams ..

And, when he saw beneath the sunset's Communed with the immeasurable

planet world ;

A black ship walk over the crimson And felt his life beyond his limbs dilated,

ocean, Till his mind grew like that it contem- Its pennons streaming on the blasts that plated

fan it, Its sails and ropes all tense and with.

out motion, His food was the wild fig and straw. Like the dark ghost of the unburied even berry ;

Striding across the orange-coloured The milky pine- nuts which the

heaven,autumnal blast Shakes into the tall grass ; and such

XXVIII small fry

The thought of his own kind who made As from the sea by winter-storms are

the soul cast ;

Which sped that winged shape And the coarse bulbs of iris-flowers he

through night and day,– found Knotted in clumps under the spongy

The thought of his own country ... ground.

of it;



To track along the lapses of the air Lift not the painted veil which those This wandering melody until it rests


lone mountains in some who live Call Life : though unreal shapes be pictured there,

FRAGMENT: THE STREAM'S And it but mimic all we would believe

With colours idly spread, -behind, lurk

The fierce beasts of the woods and

wildernesses And Hope, twin destinies; who ever

Track not the steps of him who drinks weave Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.

For the light breezes, which for ever fleet I knew one who had lifted it—he sought, Around its margin, heap the sand thereFor his lost heart was tender, things to

love, But found them not, alas ! nor was there FRAGMENT: A LOST LEADER

aught The world contains, the which he could My head is wild with weeping for a grief

Which is the shadow of a gentle mind. approve. Through the unheeding many he did I walk into the air (but no relief move,


-or haply, if I sought, to find; A splendour among shadows, a bright blot It came unsought);—to wonder that a Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that


Among men's spirits should be cold For truth, and like the Preacher found

and blind. it not.


RUINS () MIGHTY mind, in whose deep stream

FLOURISHING vine, whose kindling

clusters glow Shakes like a reed in the unheeding Beneath the autumnal sun, none taste storm,

of thee; Why dost thou curb not thine own

For thou dlost shroud a ruin, and below sacred rage ?

The rotting bones of dead antiquity.


this age




SILENCE! O well are Death and Sleep
and Thou

We often hear of persons disappointed by Three brethren named, the guardians

a first visit to Italy. This was not Shelley's

The aspect of its nature, its sunny gloomy-winged

sky, its majestic storms, of the luxuriant Of one abyss, where life, and truth, and vegetation of the country, and the noble joy

marble-built cities, enchanted him. The Are swallowed up-yet spare me, Spirit, sight of the works of art was full enjoyment pity me,

and wonder. He had not studied pictures Until the sounds I hear become my soul, or statues before ; he now did so with the And it has left these faint and weary limbs, eye of taste, that referred not to the rules

[ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »