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Some with a sense of self-rebuke and GINEVRA

shame, WILD, pale, and wonder-stricken, even

Envying the unenviable; and others

Making the joy which should have been Who staggers forth into the air and sun

another's From the dark chamber of a mortal Their own by gentle sympathy; and fever,

some Bewildered, and incapable, and ever

Sighing to think of an unhappy home: Fancying strange comments in her dizzy Some few admiring what can ever lure brain

Maidens to leave the heaven serene and Of usual shapes, till the familiar train

pure Of objects and of persons past like of parents' smiles for life's great cheat; things

a thing Strange as a dreamer's mad imaginings,

Bitter to taste, sweet in imagining.
Ginevra from the nuptial altar went;
The vows to which her lips had sworn

But they are all dispersed-and, lo!

she stands assent Rung in her brain still with a jarring din, Looking in idle grief on her white

hands, Deafening the lost intelligence within.

Alone within the garden now her own; And so she moved under the bridal And through the sunny air, with jangling veil,

tone, Which made the paleness of her cheek The music of the merry marriage bells, more pale,

Killing the azure silence, sinks and And deepened the faint crimson of her

swells ;mouth,

Absorbed like one within a dream who And darkened her dark locks, as moon

dreams light doth,

That he is dreaming, until slumber And of the gold and jewels glittering there

A mockery of itself—when suddenly She scarce felt conscious, but the

Antonio stood before her, pale as she.
With

agony, with sorrow, and with weary glare Lay like a chaos of unwelcome light,

pride, Vexing the sense with gorgeous

unde

He listed his wan eyes upon the bride, light.

And said—“Is this thy faith?” and

then as one A moonbeam in the shadow of a cloud Was less heavenly fair -- her face was

Whose sleeping face is stricken by the bowed, And as she past, the diamonds in her with light like a harsh voice, which bids hair

him rise Were mirrored in the polished marble And look upon his day of life with eyes stair

in vain that they can dream Which led from the cathedral to the

no more, street;

Ginevra saw her lover, and forbore And ever as she went her light fair feet To shriek or faint, and checked the Erased these images.

stilling blood

Rushing upon her heart, and unsubdued The bride- maidens who round her Said—“Friend, if earthly violence or thronging came,

ill,

seems

sun

Which weep

men

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Suspicion, doubt, or the tyrannic will Making her but an image of the thought, of parents, chance, or custom, time or Which, like a prophet or a shadow, change,

brought Or circumstance, or terror, or revenge,

News of the terrors of the coming time. Or wildered looks, or words, or evil Like an accuser branded with the crime speech,

He would have cast on a beloved friend, With all their stings and venom can Whose dying eyes reproach not to the impeach

end Our love, -we love not:-if the grave The pale betrayer-he then with vain which hides

repentance The victim from the tyrant, and divides Would share, he cannot now avert, the The cheek that whitens from the eyes

sentencethat dart

Antonio stood and would have spoken, Imperious inquisition to the heart

when That is another's, could dissever ours, The compound voice of women and of We love not.”-“What! do not the silent hours

Was heard approaching; he retired, Beckon thee to Gherardi's bridal bed ?

while she Is not that ring -a pledge, he would Was led amid the admiring company have said,

Back to the palace,-and her maidens Of broken vows, but she with patient look

Changed her attire for the afternoon, The golden circle from her finger took, And left her at her own request to And said "Accept this token of my keep faith,

An hour of quiet and rest :- like one The pledge of vows to be absolved by asleep death;

With open eyes and folded hands she lay, And I am dead or shall be soon-my Pale in the light of the declining day.

knell Will mix its music with that merry Meanwhile the day sinks fast, the sun

bell, Does it not sound as if they sweetly And in the lighted hall the guests are said

met; * We toll a corpse out of the marriage The beautiful looked lovelier in the light bed ?'

Of love, and admiration, and delight The flowers upon my bridal chamber Reflected from a thousand hearts and strewn

eyes Will serve unfaded for my bier- :---S0 Kindling a momentary Paradise.

This crowd is safer than the silent wood, That even the dying violet will not die Where love's own doubts disturb the Before Ginevra.” The strong fantasy

solitude; Had made her accents weaker and more on frozen hearts the fiery rain of wine weak,

Falls, and the dew of music more divine And quenched the crimson life upon her Tempers the deep emotions of the time cheek,

To spirits cradled in a sunny clime :And glazed her eyes, and spread an How many meet, who never yet have atmosphere

met, Round her, which chilled the burning To part too soon, but never to forget. noon with fear,

How many saw the beauty, power and wit

is set,

soon

-no more

their way

Of looks and words which ne'er en. If it be death, when there is felt around chanted yet ;

A smell of clay, a pale and icy glare, But life's familiar veil was now with. And silence, and a sense that lists the drawn,

hair As the world leaps before an earthquake's From the scalp to the ankles, as it were dawn,

Corruption from the spirit passing forth, And unprophetic of the coming hours, And giving all it shrouded to the earth, The matin winds from the expanded And leaving as swift lightning in its flight flowers,

Ashes, and smoke, and darkness : in Scatter their hoarded incense, and our night awaken

Of thought we know thus much of death, The earth, until the dewy sleep is shaken From every • living heart which it Than the unborn dream of our life possesses,

before Through seas and winds, cities and Their barks are wrecked on its inhospitwildernesses,

able shore. As if the future and the past were all The marriage feast and its solemnity Treasured i’ the instant;—so Gherardi's Was turned to funeral pomp—the comhall

pany Laughed in the mirth of its lord's festival, With heavy hearts and looks, broke up; Till some one asked, "Where is the nor they Bride?And then

Who loved the dead went weeping on A bride's-maid went,-and ere she came again

Alone, but sorrow mixed with sad surA silence fell upon the guests—a pause

prise Of expectation, as when beauty awes Loosened the springs of pity in all eyes, All hearts with its approach, though On which that form, whose fate they unbeheld;

weep in vain, Then wonder, and then fear that wonder will never, thought they, kindle smiles quelled ;

again. For whispers past from mouth to ear The lamps which half extinguished in which drew

their haste The colour from the hearer's cheeks, Gleamed few and faint o'er the abanand new

doned feast, Louder and swifter round the company; Showed as it were within the vaulted And then Gherardi entered with an eye Of ostentatious trouble, and a crowd A cloud of sorrow hanging, as if gloom Surrounded him, and some were weep- Had past out of men's minds into the ing loud.

air.

Some few yet stood around Gherardi They found Ginevra dead! ifit be death, there, To lie without motion, or pulse, or Friends and relations of the dead, breath,

and he, With waxen cheeks, and limbs cold, A loveless man, accepted torpidly stiff, and white,

The consolation that he wanted not, And open eyes, whose fixed and glassy Awe in the place of grief within him light

wrought. Mocked at the speculation they had Their whispers made the solemn silence

room

owned.

seem

came

I

More still-some wept, ...

The dark arrow fled Some melted into tears without a soh,

In the noon. And some with hearts that might be Ere the sun through heaven once more heard to throb

has rolled, Leant on the table, and at intervals Shuddered to hear through the deserted Will have made their nest,

The rats in her heart halls And corridors the thrilling shrieks which And the worms be alive in her golden hair,

While the spirit that guides the sun, Upon the breeze of night, that shook Sits throned in his flaming chair,

She shall sleep.
the flame
Of every torch and taper as it swept
From out the chamber where the women

EVENING : PONTE A MARE, kept;

PISA Their tears fell on the dear companion

cold of pleasures now departed; then was The sun is set; the swallows are asleep; knolled

The bats are flitting fast in the gray air; The bell of death, and soon the priests The slow soft toads out of damp corners arrived,

creep, And finding death their penitent had And evening's breath, wandering here shrived,

and there Returned like ravens from a corpse Over the quivering surface of the stream, whereon

Wakes not one ripple from its summer A vulture has just feasted to the bone.

dream. And then the mourning women came.

There is no dew on the dry grass to

night, Nor damp within the shadow of the

trees; Old winter was gone

The wind is intermitting, dry, and light; In his weakness back to the mountains

And in the inconstant motion of the hoar,

breeze And the spring came down

The dust and straws are driven up and From the planet that hovers upon the

down, shore

And whirled about the pavement of the Where the sea of sunlight encroaches

town.
On the limits of wintry night;
If the land, and the air, and the sea,
Rejoice not when spring approaches,

Within the surface of the fleeting river

The wrinkled image of the city lay, We did not rejoice in thee, Ginevra!

Inmovably unquiet, and for ever

It trembles, but it never fades away; She is still, she is cold

Go to the ...
On the bridal couch,

You, being changed, will find it then One step to the white deathbed,

And one to the bier, And one to the charnel—and one, oh The chasm in which the sun has sunk where?

is shut

IL

THE DIRGE

III

as now.

IV

the mast,

By darkest barriers of cinereous cloud, Like a flock of rooks at a farmer's gun Like mountain over mountain huddled — Night's dreams and terrors, every one, but

Fled from the brains which are their (rowing and moving upwards in a

prey crowd,

From the lamp's death to the morning And over it a space of watery blue,

ray. Which the keen evening star is shining All rose to do the task He set to each, through.

Who shaped us to his ends and not

our own; THE BOAT ON THE SERCHIO

The million rose to learn, and one to

teach Our boat is asleep on Serchio's stream, Its sails are folded like thoughts in a

What none yet ever knew or can be dream,

known. The helm sways idly, hither and thither;

And many rose

Whose woe was such that fear became Dominic, the boatman, has brought

desire ; And the oars and the sails; but 'tis Melchior and Lionel were not among

those ; sleeping fast, Like a beast, unconscious of its tether.

They from the throng of men had stepped

aside, The stars burnt out in the pale blue air, And made their home under the green And the thin white moon lay withering hillside. there,

It was that hill, whose intervening brow To tower, and cavern, and rist and tree, Screens Lucca from the Pisan's The owl and the bat fled drowsily.

envious eye, Day had kindled the dewy woods, Which the circumfluous plain waving And the rocks above and the stream

below, below,

Like a wide lake of green fertility, And the vapours in their multitudes, With streams and fields and marshes bare, And the Apennine's shroud of sum- Divides from the far Apennines — mer snow,

which lie And clothed with light of aëry gold Islanded in the immeasurable air. The mists in their eastern caves uprolled.

“What think you, as she lies in her Day had awakened all things that be,

green cove, The lark and the thrush and the swallow Our little sleeping boat is dreaming of ?" free,

If morning dreams are true, why I And the milkmaid's song and the

should guess mower's scythe, And the matin-bell and the mountain bee: And of the miles of watery way

That she was dreaming of our idleness, Fire-flies were quenched on the dewy We should have led her by this time of corn,

day." Glow-worms went out on the river's brim,

“Never mind,” said Lionel, Like lamps which a student forgets “Give care to the winds, they can to trim :

bear it well The beetle forgot to wind his horn, About yon poplar tops; and see The crickets were still in the meadow The white clouds

driving and hill :

merrily,

are

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