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I am not of this people, nor this age,

And yet my harpings will unfold a tale
Which shall preserve these times when not a page

Of their perturbed annals could attract

An eye to gaze upon their civil rage,
Did not my verse embalm full many an act

Worthless as they who wrought it: 'tis the doom

Of spirits of my order to be rack'd
In life, to wear their hearts out, and consume

Their days in endless strife, and die alone ;

Then future thousands crowd around their tomb, And pilgrims come from climes where they have known

The name of him—who now is but a name,

And wasting homage o'er the sullen stone, Spread his—by him unheard, unheeded_fame;

And mine at least hath cost me dear : to die

Is nothing ; but to wither thus—to tame My mind down from its own infinity

To live in narrow ways with little men,

A common sight to every common eye,
A wanderer, while even wolves can find a den,

Ripp'd from all kindred, from all home, all things

That make communion sweet, and soften painTo feel me in the solitude of kings

Without the power that makes them bear a crown

To envy every dove his nest and wings
Which waft him where the Apennine looks down

On Amo, till he perches, it may be,

Within my all inexorable town,
Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she, (5)

Their mother, the cold partner who hath brought

Destruction for a dowry—this to see
And feel, and know without repair, hath taught

A bitter lesson ; but it leaves me free:

I have not vilely found, nor basely sought, They made an Exile—not a slave of me.

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THE

PROPHECY OF DANTE.

CANTO II.

THE Spirit of the fervent days of Old,
When words were things that came to pass, and

thought
Flash'd o'er the future, bidding men behold
Their children's children's doom already brought

Forth from the abyss of time which is to be,

The chaos of events, where lie half-wrought Shapes that must undergo mortality ;

What the great Seers of Israel wore within,

That spirit was on them, and is on me, And if, Cassandra-like, amidst the din

Of conflict none will hear, or hearing heed

This voice from out the Wilderness, the sin Be theirs, and my own feelings be my meed,

The only guerdon I have ever known.

Hast thou not bled ? and hast thou still to bleed, Italia ? Ah! to me such things, foreshown

With dim sepulchral light, bid me forget

In thine irreparable wrongs my own ;
We can have but one country, and even yet

Thou 'rt mine-my bones shall be within thy breast,

My soul within thy language, which once set With our old Roman sway in the wide W'est ;

But I will make another tongue arise

As lofty and more sweet, in which esprest The hero's ardour, or the lover's sighs,

Shall find alike such sounds for every theme

That every word, as brilliant as thy skies, Shall realize a poet's proudest dream,

And make thee Europe's nightingale of song;

So that all present speech to thine shall seem The note of meaner birds, and every tongue

Confess its barbarism when compared with thine.

This shalt thou owe to him thou didst so wrong, Thy Tuscan Bard, the banish'd Ghibelline.

Woe! woe! the veil of coming centuries

Is rent,- a thousand years which yet supine Lie like the ocean waves ere winds árise,

Heaving in dark and sullen undulation,

Float from eternity into these eyes ; The storms yet sleep, the clouds still keep their station,

The unborn earthquake yet is in the womb,

The bloody chaos yet expects creation, But all things are disposing for thy doom ;

The elements await but for the word,

“ Let there be darkness !” and thou grow'st a tomb ! Yes! thou, so beautiful, shalt feel the sword,

Thou, Italy ! so fair that Paradise,

Revived in thee, blooms forth to man restored : Ah! must the sons of Adam lose it twice ?

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