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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 pain—
To 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 Arno, 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.

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 West; But I will make another tongue arise As lofty and more sweet, in which exprest 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 arise,

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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