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While gallant Sir Christopher, all so gay, Through forest and field, and hunted Being forewarned, through the postern him down, gate
And brought him prisoner into the town. Of his castle wall had tripped away, Avd was keeping a little holiday
| Alas! it was a rueful sight, In the forests, that bounded his estate.
To see this melancholy knight
In such a dismal and hapless case; Then as a trusty squire and true
His hat deformed by stain and dent, The marsbal searched the castle through, His plumage broken, bis doublet rent. Not crediting what the lady said ;
His beard and flowing locks forlorn, Searched from cellar to garret in vain,
Matted, dishevelled, and unshorn, And, finding no knight, came out again His boots with dust and mire besprent; And arrested the golden damsel instead, But dignified in his disgrace, And bore her in triumph into the town,
And wearing an unblushing face. While from her eyes the tears rolled down And thus before the magistrate On the sweet alyssum and columbine,
He stood to hear the doom of fate.
To modify and extenuate
For gone was now his power to please : The snares of Satan and of sin,
And bis pompous words had no more And read her a little homily
With suavity equal to his own
The governor lent a patient ear To the other two wives in the old countree. To the speech evasive and high-flown, To search her further, since he had failed
ad faileá In which he endeavoured to make clear To come at the heart of the mystery.
That colonial laws were too severe
When applied to a gallant cavalier, Meanwhile Sir Christopher wandered
A gentleman born, and so well known,
And accustomed to move in a higher away Through pathless woods for a month and
sphere. a day, Shooting pigeons, and sleeping at night all this the Puritan governor heard, With the noble savage, who took delight And deigned in answer never a word; In his feathered hat and his velvet vest, But in summary manner shipped away, His gun and his rapier and the rest. In a vessel that sailed from Salem Bay, But as soon as the noble savage heard
This splendid and famous cavalier, That a bounty was offered for this gay With his Rupert hat and his Popery bird,
To Merry England over the sea, He wanted to slay him out of hand,
As being unmeet to inhabit here. And bring in his beautiful scalp for a
show, Like the glossy head of a kite or crow, Thus endeth the Rhyme of Sir Christo Until he was made to understand
pher, They wanted the bird alive, not dead; Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, Then he followed him whithersoever be The first who furnished this barren land
With apples of Sodom and ropes of sand
CADENABBIA. No sound of wheels or hoof-beat breaks
The silence of the summer day, As by the loveliest of all lakes
I while the idle hours away. I pace the leafy colonnade,
Where level branches of the plane Above me weave a roof of shade
Impervious to the sun and rain. At times a sudden rush of air
Flutters the lazy leaves o'erhead, And gleams of sunlight toss and flare
Like torches down the path I tread. By Somariva's garden gate
I make the marble stairs my seat; And hear the water, as I wait,
Lapping the steps beneath my feet. The undulation sinks and swells
Along the stony parapets; And far away the floating bells
Tinkle upon the fisher's nets. Silent and slow, by tower and town,
The freighted barges come and go; Their pendent shadows gliding down,
By town and tower submerged below. The hills sweep upward from the shore,
With villas scatter'd one by one Upon their wooded spurs, and lower
Bellaggio blazing in the sun. And dimly seen, a tangled mass
Of walls and woods, of light and shade, Stands beck’ning up the Stelvio pass
Varenna with its wide cascade.
Will it all vanish into air?
And perfect beauty anywhere?
Linger until my heart shall take Into itself the summer day
And all the beauty of the lake.
Linger until upon my brain
Is stamp'd an image of the scene;
And be as if thou hadst not been.
THE OLD BRIDGE AT FLORENCE.
Five centuries old. I plant my foot of stone
Was planted on the dragon. Fold by fold
Its glistening scales. Twice hath it overthrown
It moveth not, but is by me controll’d.
The final wars of Ghibelline and Guelf.
And when I think that Michael Angelo
And flowers upon his hearse;
The tribute of this verse.
The conflict and the pain;
The honour without stain.
Into his manly breast
A path for the oppress'd ;
Upon a nation's heart,
So should the brave depart.
And stays our hurrying feet;
Our lives are incomplete.
But in the dark unknown,
Perfect their circles seem,
Is rounded in the stream.
When life in death survives,
Inspires a thousand lives.
For ages would its light,
Shine on our mortal sight.
For years beyond our ken,
March 30, 1874.
Unheard the Garigliano glides along,
The river taciturn of classic song!
Where mediæval towns are white on all
Is an Etrurian or a Roman wall!
Was dragg'd with contumely from his throne; Sciarra Colonna, was that day's disgrace
The Pontiff's only, or in part thine own? There is Ceprano, where a renegade
Was each Apulian as great Dante saith, When Manfred, by his men-at-arms betray'd,
Spurr'd on to Benevento and to death. There is Aquinum, the old Volscian town,
Where Juvenal was born, whose lurid light Still hovers o'er his birthplace, like the crown
Of splendour over cities seen at night.
The angelic Doctor as a schoolboy play'd,
In ponderous folios for scholastics made.
And there, uplifted like a passing cloud,
That pauses on a mountain summit high, Monte Cassino's convent rears its proud
And venerable walls against the sky. Well I remember how on foot I climb'd
The stony pathway leading to its gate: Above, the convent bells for vespers chimed;
Below, the dark’ning town grew desolate. Well I remember the low arch and dark,
The court-yard with its well, the terrace wide, From which, far down, diminish'd to a park,
The valley veil'd in mist was dim descried. The day was dying, and with feeble hands
Caress'd the mountain tops; the vales between Darken'd; the river in the meadow-lands
Sheath'd itself as a sword and was not seen. The silence of the place was like a sleep,
So full of rest it seem'd; each passing tread Was a reverberation from the deep
Recesses of the ages that are dead. For more than thirteen centuries ago
Benedict, fleeing from the gates of Rome, A youth disgusted with its vice and woe,
Sought in these mountain solitudes a home, He founded here his Convent and his Rule
Of prayer and work, and counted work as prayer. His pen became a clarion, and his school
Flamed like a beacon in the midnight air. What though Boccaccio, in his reckless way
Mocking the lazy brotherhood, deplores The illuminated manuscripts that lay
Torn and neglected on the dusty floors ?
Of fancy and of fiction at the best ;
Incredulous as at some idle jest.
I sat conversing late into the night,
Had burnt its heart out like an anchorite.
Myself yet not myself in dreams I lay: And, as a monk who hears the matin bell,
Started from sleep; already it was day.