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Undazzled now by fashion's meteor-blaze,
The quiet joys of life I'll learn to praise ;
With Waller dwell 'mid myrtle shades, or find,
With Wordsworth, mighty spirits in the wind.
Oh! 'tis a glorious privilege to be
The child of nature, and her charms to see:
Yon isle-engirting ocean, and the sky
O'er the green waves a cloudless canopy:
The stars by night, the fiery-wheeled throne
By day, its after-splendours, when 'tis gone;
The jutting cliffs, the winding shores, the caves
Hollow'd within the rocks by frequent waves,
Vast in themselves, yet magnified by thought;
(Compared with which man's noblest works are nought;)
The rock-embosom'd underwood that creeps,
Rich with autumnal colours, up the steeps.
And many have been wanderers here, who now
Live with their God! from yonder mountain's brow
They gazed upon the rising sun, that cheer'd
Nature and them; they now have disappear'd,
But, near the fountain's self of heavenly light
Gaze on more splendid scenes with more intense delight.
There all those hopes they cherish'd while on earth
Are realized, how pure man's second birth!
They, by the living waters evermore,
Seeing and knowing all things, God adore.
We tread the same dull round from year to year;
Though the scene shifts, the actors re-appear,
Dull in each other's eyes, press on, and die,
With "Vive la bagatelle !" the expiring cry.
Here, shelter'd from life's troublous storms, we roam,
And store up many an anecdote for home;
Here feel that, unembarrass'd by the crowd,
We may, inglorious idlers, think aloud!
Questa è la gloriosa e gran Madonna,
Che senza pari al mondo, è del suo sesso
L'honor sovran Vittoria Colonna ;
Che'l nome fuo sopra le stelle ha messo ;
Vittoria che celeste ò mortal donna
Dubita il mondo di nomarla spesso;
Vittoria che piangendo il suo marito
Non men ella di lui si mostra à dito.
DIVINE Colonna ! boast of Leo's days!
Rival of Petrarch in thy gentle lays!
Pride of a princely house, unmatch'd for fame!
Pescara's noble wife! most glorious dame!
These were thy titles, fair Vittoria, thine
A heart Devotion deem'd its purest shrine :
Thou sang'st (instead of culling fancy's wreath)
Thy husband's virtues, and thy Saviour's death.
When fair Ausonia's sons were bathed in slaughter,
And Christian blood o'erflow'd the land like water;
When poets, mindless of their glorious trust,
Deck'd with gay flowers the hoary head of Lust,
Thy pious Muse look'd heaven-ward, or with zeal Urged warring states their mutual wounds to heal.
Vittoria, like a heaven-descended spright,
Wander'd on Arno's banks at hush of night
With Him, the master-spirit of an age
Fertile in great ones,-Poet, Sculptor, Sage!
And pointing upwards to the deep blue sky,
(How beautiful thy star-light, Italy!)
"There is stability alone," she said;
"There, Buonarotti, when thy glories fade,
When e'en thy works shall perish, thou shalt live;
The bent to genius let Religion give.
What thy vast mind has imaged, that thy hand Has bodied forth in sculpture truly grand.
"O wondrous Man! adore th' eternal Source
Of genius with thy soul's intensest force!
Should such a mind from its Creator turn,
Devils might well rejoice, and angels mourn.
Let truths tremendous on thy canvas dwell,
Or joys celestial, or the woes of hell;
Thus may'st thou fortify the good, and make
The wicked at thy painted terrors quake.
Masterly done! thy giant forms o'erawe
The soul!-the Jewish Leader's look is law:
Trembling I gazed upon that look; I felt
Such inward veneration that I knelt;
The Persian feels such awe-commixt delight,
When sunbursts 'mid the storms break out so bright.
Many will strive to copy (vain their will!)
This great exemplar of creative skill.
God's mightiest prophet lives in marble! View
Thy work, grand Architect, and own it true."