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Await the moment to assail and tear;

And when at length the winged wanderers stoop,

Then is the prey-birds' triumph, then they share The spoil, o'erpower'd at length by one fell swoop.

Yet some have been untouch'd, who learn'd to bear,

Some whom no power could ever force to droop, Who could resist themselves even, hardest care!

And task most hopeless ; but some such have been,

And if my name amongst the number were, That destiny austere, and yet serene,

Were prouder than more dazzling fame unblest;

The Alp's snow summit nearer heaven is seen Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest,

Whose splendour from the black abyss is flung,

While the scorch'd mountain, from whose burning breast A temporary torturing flame is

wrung, Shines for a night of terror, then repels

Its fire back to the hell from whence it sprung, The hell which in its entrails ever dwells.

THE

PROPHECY OF DANTE.

CANTO IV.

AIAN Y are poets who have never penn'd

Their inspiration, and perchance the best :

They felt, and loved, and died, but would not lend Their thoughts to meaner beings; they compress'd

The god within them, and rejoin'd the stars

Unlaurell’d upon earth, but far more blest Than those who are degraded by the jars

Of passion, and their frailties link'd to fame,

Conquerors of high renown, but full of scars. Many are poets but without the name,

For what is poesy but to create

From overfeeling good or ill; and aim At an external life beyond our fate,

And be the new Prometheus of new men,

Bestowing fire from heaven, and then, too late,
Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain,

And vultures to the heart of the bestower,
Who having lavish'd his high gift in vain,

VOL. III.

сс

Lies chain'd to his lone rock by the sea-shore ?

So be it: we can bear. But thus all they

Whose intellect is an o'ermastering power Which still recoils from its encumbering clay

Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er

The form which their creations may essay, Are bards; the kindled marble's bust may wear

More poesy upon its speaking brow

Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear ; One noble stroke with a whole life may glow,

Or deify the canvas till it shine

With beauty so surpassing all below, That they who kneel to idols so divine

Break no commandment, for high heaven is there

Transfused, transfigurated : and the line Of poesy, which peoples but the air

With thought and beings of our thought reflected,

Can do no more: then let the artist share The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected

Faints o'er the labour unapprovedAlas !

Despair and Genius are too oft connected. Within the ages which before me pass

Art shall resume and equal even the sway

Which with Apelles and old Phidias She held in Hellas' unforgotten day.

Ye shall be taught by Ruin to revive

The Grecian forms at least from their decay, And Roman souls at last again shall live

In Roman works wrought by Italian hands,

And temples, loftier than the old temples, give New wonders to the world ; and while still stands

The austere Pantheon, into heaven shall soar

A dome, (12) its image, while the base expands Into a fane surpassing all before,

Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in : ne'er

Such sight hath been unfolded by a door As this, to which all nations shall repair,

And lay their sins at this huge gate of heaven.

And the bold Architect unto whose care The daring charge to raise it shall be given,

Whom all arts shall acknowledge as their lord,

Whether into the marble chaos driven
His chisel bid the Hebrew, (13) at whose word

Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone,

Or hues of hell be by his pencil pour'd
Over the damn'd before the Judgement throne, (14)

Such as I saw them, such as all shall see,

Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown, The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from

me, (15)

The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realms

Which form the empire of eternity.
Amidst the clash of swords, and clang of helms,

The age which I anticipate, no less

Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelms Calamity the nations with distress,

The genius of my country shall arise,

A Cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, Lovely in all its branches to all eyes,

Fragrant as fair, and recognised afar,

Wafting its native incense through the skies.
Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport of war,

Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and gaze
On canvas or on stone; and they who mar

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