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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 The hell which in its entrails ever dwells.
PROPHECY OF DANTE.
MANY are poets who have never penn'd
Their inspiration, and perchance the best:
Of passion, and their frailties link'd to fame,
And be the new Prometheus of new men,
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
Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear;
With beauty so surpassing all below,
That they who kneel to idols so divine
Break no commandment, for high heaven is there
Of poesy, which peoples but the air
With thought and beings of our thought reflected,
The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected
Art shall resume and equal even the sway
Ye shall be taught by Ruin to revive
In Roman works wrought by Italian hands,
A dome, (12) its image, while the base expands
Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in: ne'er
And lay their sins at this huge gate of heaven.
His chisel bid the Hebrew, (13) at whose word
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
Amidst the clash of swords, and clang of helms,
Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelms
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,