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VIII

And thou in painting didst transcribe all taught

By loftiest meditations ; marble knew
The sculptor's fearless soul, and as he wrought,

The grace of his own power and freedom grew.
And more than all, heroic, just, sublime,
Thou wert among the false was this thy crime?

IX

Yes; and on Pisa's marble walls the twine

Of direst weeds hangs garlanded; the snake
Inhabits its wrecked palaces ; — in thine

A beast of subtler venom now doth make
Its lair, and sits amid their glories overthrown,
And thus thy victim's fate is as thine own.

X

The sweetest flowers are ever frail and rare,

And love and freedom blossom but to wither; And good and ill like vines entangled are, So that their grapes may oft be plucked to

gether. Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then make Thy heart rejoice for dead Marenghi's sake.

XI
No record of his crime remains in story,

But if the morning bright as evening shone,
It was some high and holy deed, by glory

Pursued into forgetfulness, which won
From the blind crowd he made secure and free
The patriot's meed, toil, death, and infamy.

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XII

For when by sound of trumpet was declared

A price upon his life, and there was set A penalty of blood on all who shared

So much of water with him as might wet His lips, which speech divided not, he went Alone, as you may guess, to banishment.

XIII

Amid the mountains, like a hunted beast,

He hid himself, and hunger, toil, and cold, 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.

XIV

And in the roofless huts of vast morasses,

Deserted by the fever-stricken serf, All overgrown with reeds and long rank grasses,

And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven turf, And where the huge and speckled aloe made, Rooted in stones, a broad and pointed shade,

XV

He housed himself. There is a point of strand

Near Vado's tower and town; and on one side The treacherous marsh divides it from the land,

Shadowed by pine and ilex forests wide,
And on the other creeps eternally,
Through muddy weeds, the shallow sullen sea.

XVI

Here the earth's breath is pestilence, and few

But things whose nature is at war with life Snakes and ill worms endure its mortal dew.

The trophies of the clime's victorious strife White bones, and locks of dun and yellow hair, And ringèd horns which buffaloes did wear

XVII
And at the utmost point stood there

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

derer Had lived seven days there; the pursuit was hot When he was cold. The birds that his

grave Fell dead

upon

their feast in Vado's wave.

were

XVIJI

There must have lived within Marenghi's heart That fire, more warm and bright than life or

hope,
(Which to the martyr makes his dungeon

More joyous than the heaven's majestic cope
To his oppressor), warring with decay,
Or he could ne'er have lived years, day by day.

XIX

Nor was his state so lone as you might think.

He had tamed every newt and snake and toad, And every seagull which sailed down to drink

Those ere the death-mist went abroad.

And each one, with peculiar talk and play,
Wiled, not untaught, his silent time away.

XX

And the marsh-meteors, like tame beasts, at night

Came licking with blue tongues his veinèd feet; And he would watch them, as, like spirits bright,

In many entangled figures quaint and sweet To some enchanted music they would dance Until they vanished at the first moon-glance.

XXI

He mocked the stars by grouping on each weed

The summer dewdrops in the golden dawn ;
And, ere the hoarfrost vanished, he could read

Its pictured footprints, as on spots of lawn
Its delicate brief touch in silence weaves
The likeness of the wood's remembered leaves.

XXII

And many a fresh Spring morn would he awaken,

While yet the unrisen sun made glow, like iron Quivering in crimson fire, the peaks unshaken

Of mountains and blue isles which did environ With air-clad crags that plain of land and sea, — And feel

liberty.

XXIII

.

And in the moonless nights, when the dim ocean

Heaved underneath the heaven, Starting from dreams . .

Communed with the immeasurable world ; And felt his life beyond his limbs dilated, Till his mind grew like that it contemplated.

XXIV
His food was the wild fig and strawberry ;

The milky pine-nuts which the autumnal blast Shakes into the tall grass; and such small fry

As from the sea by winter-storms are cast; And the coarse bulbs of iris flowers he found Knotted in clumps under the spongy ground.

XXV

And so were kindled powers and thoughts which

made His solitude less dark. When memory came (For years gone by leave each a deepening shade),

His spirit basked in its internal flame, As, when the black storm hurries round at night The fisher basks beside his red firelight.

XXVI

Yet human hopes and cares and faiths and errors,

Like billows unawakened by the wind, Slept in Marenghi still; but that all terrors,

Weakness, and doubt, had withered in his mind. His couch

XXVII

And, when he saw beneath the sunset's planet

A black ship walk over the crimson ocean, Its pennons streaming on the blasts that fan it,

Its sails and ropes all tense and without motion, Like the dark ghost of the unburied even Striding across the orange-colored heaven,

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