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their neighbours, that man must be wilfully blind, or ignorantly heedless, who is not struck with the extraordinary capacity of this people, or, if such a word be admissible, their capabilities, the facility of their acquisitions, the rapidity of their conceptions, the fire of their genius, their sense of beauty, and amidst all the disadvantages of repeated revolutions, the desolation of battles and the despair of ages, their still unquenched "longing after immortality," the immortality of independence. And when we ourselves, in riding round the walls of Rome, heard the simple lament of the labourers' chorus, "Roma! Roma! Roma! Roma non è più come era prima," it was difficult not to contrast this melancholy dirge with the bacchanal roar of the songs of exultation still yelled from the London taverns, over the carnage of Mont St. Jean, and the betrayal of Genoa, of Italy, of France, and of the world, by men whose conduct you yourself have exposed in a work worthy of the better days of our history. For me,
"Non movero mai corda
"Ove la turba di sue ciance assorda,"
What Italy has gained by the late transfer of nations, it were useless for Englismen to inquire,
till it becomes ascertained that England has acquired something more than a permanent army and a suspended Habeas Corpus; it is enough - for them to look at home. For what they have done abroad, and especially in the South. "Ve·rily they will have their reward," and at no very distand period.
Wishing you, my dear Hobhouse, a safe and agreeable return to that country whose real welfare can be dearer to none than to yourself, I dedicate to you this poem in its completed state; and repeat once more how truly I am ever
And affectionate friend.
STOOD in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred
She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean, Rising with her tiara of proud towers At airy distance, with majestic motion, A ruler of the waters and their powers: And such she was;- her daughters had their dowers From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East Pour'd in her lap all gems in sparkling showers. In purple was she robed, and of her feast Monarchs partook, and deem'd their dignity increased.
In Venice Tasso's echoes are no more,
but Beauty still is here.
but Nature doth not die,
Those days are gone
The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy!
But unto us she hath a spell beyond
Her name in story, and her long array
The beings of the mind are not of clay;
And multiply in us a brighter ray
And more beloved existence: that which Fate Prohibits to dull life, in this our state Of mortal bondage, by these spirits supplied First exiles, then replaces what we hate; Watering the heart whose early flowers have died, And with a fresher growth replenishing the void.