Imágenes de páginas

Yet haply Arno shall be spared all cause

To blush for me.

Thou, loiter not nor halt

In thy appointed way, and bear in mind

How fleeting and how frail is human life!


Pub. 1837.

O FLOWER of all that springs from gentle blood,
And all that generous nurture breeds to make
Youth amiable; O friend so true of soul
To fair Aglaia; by what envy moved,
Lelius has death cut short thy brilliant day
In its sweet opening? and what dire mishap
Has from Savona torn her best delight?
For thee she mourns, nor e'er will cease to mourn;
And, should the out-pourings of her eyes suffice not
For her heart's grief, she will entreat Sebeto
Not to withhold his bounteous aid, Sebeto
Who saw thee, on his margin, yield to death,
In the chaste arms of thy beloved Love!
What profit riches? what does youth avail?
Dust are our hopes;-I, weeping bitterly,
Penned these sad lines, nor can forbear to pray
That every gentle Spirit hither led

May read them, not without some bitter tears.


Pub. 1815.

NOT without heavy grief of heart did He
On whom the duty fell (for at that time
The Father sojourned in a distant land)
Deposit in the hollow of this tomb

A brother's Child, most tenderly beloved!
FRANCESCO was the name the Youth had borne,

POZZOBONNELLI his illustrious house;

And, when beneath this stone the Corse was laid,
The eyes of all Savona streamed with tears.
Alas! the twentieth April of his life

Had scarcely flowered and at this early time,
By genuine virtue he inspired a hope

That greatly cheered his country to his kin.
He promised comfort; and the flattering thoughts
His friends had in their fondness entertained *
He suffered not to languish or decay.

Now is there not good reason to break forth
Into a passionate lament ?-O Soul!
Short while a Pilgrim in our nether world,
Do thou enjoy the calm empyreal air;
And round this earthly tomb let roses rise
An everlasting spring! in memory
Of that delightful fragrance which was once
From thy mild manners quietly exhaled.


Pub. 1815.

PAUSE, courteous Spirit-Balbi supplicates
That Thou, with no reluctant voice, for him
Here laid in mortal darkness, wouldst prefer
A prayer to the Redeemer of the world.
This to the dead by sacred right belongs;
All else is nothing.—Did occasion suit
To tell his worth, the marble of this tomb
Would ill suffice for Plato's lore sublime,
And all the wisdom of the Stagyrite,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Enriched and beautified his studious mind:
With Archimedes also he conversed

As with a chosen friend; nor did he leave
Those laureat wreaths ungathered which the Nymphs
Twine near their loved Permessus.1-Finally,
Himself above each lower thought uplifting,
His ears he closed to listen to the songs 2
Which Sion's Kings did consecrate of old;
And his Permessus found on Lebanon.3
A blessèd Man! who of protracted days
Made not, as thousands do, a vulgar sleep;
But truly did He live his life. Urbino,

Take pride in him!-O Passenger, farewell!

I have been unable to obtain any definite information in reference to the persons commemorated in these epitaphs by Chiabrera: Titus, Ambrosio Salinero, Roberto Dati, Francesco Pozzobonnelli, and Balbi. Mr W. M. Rossetti writes that he " supposes all the men named by Chiabrera to be such as enjoyed a certain local and temporary reputation, which has hardly passed down to any sort of posterity, and certainly not to the ordinary English reader."


Chiabrera was born at Savona on the 8th of June 1552, and educated at Rome. He entered the service of Cardinal Cornaro, married in his 50th year, lived to the age of 85, and died October 14, 1637. His poetical faculty showed itself late. Having commenced to read the Greek writers at home, he conceived a great admiration for Pindar, and strove successfully to imitate him. He was not less happy in catching the naïve and pleasant spirit of Anacreon; his canzonetti being distinguished for their ease and elegance, while his Lettere Famigliari was the first attempt to introduce the poetical epistle into Italian Literature. He wrote also several epics, bucolics, and dramatic poems. His Opere appeared at Venice, in 6 vols., in 1768."

Wordsworth says of him, in his Essay on Epitaphs (see The Friend, February 22, 1810-where translations of some of those epitaphs of

[blocks in formation]

Chiabrera first appeared-and notes to The Excursion)—“ His life was long, and every part of it bore appropriate fruits. Urbino, his birthplace, might be proud of him, and the passenger who was entreated to pray for his soul has a wish breathed for his welfare. . . . The Epitaphs of Chiabrera are twenty-nine in number, and all of them, save two, upon men probably little known at this day in their own country, and scarcely at all beyond the limits of it; and the reader is generally made acquainted with the moral and intellectual excellence which distinguished them by a brief history of the course of their lives, or a selection of events and circumstances, and thus they are individualized; but in the two other instances, namely, in those of Tasso and Raphael, he enters into no particulars, but contents himself with four lines expressing one sentiment, upon the principle laid down in the former part of this discourse, when the subject of the epitaph is a man of prime note.

[ocr errors]

Compare the poem Musings near Aquapendente. In reference to the places referred to in these Epitaphs of Chiabrera, it may be mentioned that Savona (Epitaphs v., VII., VIII.) is a town in the Genovese Territory. Permessus (Epitaph v.) is a river of Boeotia, rising in Mount Helicon and flowing round it, hence sacred to the muses; the fountain of Hippocrene-also referred to in this epitaph-was not far distant. Sebeto (Epitaph Iv.), now cape Faro, is a Sicilian-promontory.-Ed.

[blocks in formation]

[This was in part an overflow from the Solitary's description of his own and his wife's feelings upon the decease of their children. (See "Excursion," book 3d.)]

DEPARTED Child! I could forget thee once

Though at my bosom nursed; this woeful gain
Thy dissolution brings, that in my soul

Is present and perpetually abides

A shadow, never, never to be displaced
By the returning substance, seen or touched,
Seen by mine eyes, or clasped in my embrace.
Absence and death how differ they! and how
Shall I admit that nothing can restore

What one short sigh so easily removed?-
Death, life, and sleep, reality and thought,
Assist me, God, their boundaries to know,
O teach me calm submission to thy Will!

The Child she mourned had overstepped the pale Of Infancy, but still did breathe the air That sanctifies its confines, and partook Reflected beams of that celestial light

To all the Little-ones on sinful earth

Not unvouchsafed-a light that warmed and cheered
Those several qualities of heart and mind

Which, in her own blest nature, rooted deep,
Daily before the Mother's watchful eye,
And not hers only, their peculiar charms
Unfolded, beauty, for its present self,
And for its promises to future years,
With not unfrequent rapture fondly hailed.

Have you espied upon a dewy lawn
A pair of Leverets each provoking each
To a continuance of their fearless sport,
Two separate Creatures in their several gifts
Abounding, but so fashioned that, in all

That Nature prompts them to display, their looks,
Their starts of motion and their fits of rest,
An undistinguishable style appears

And character of gladness, as if Spring
Lodged in their innocent bosoms, and the spirit
Of the rejoicing morning were their own?

Such union, in the lovely Girl maintained And her twin Brother, had the parent seen

« AnteriorContinuar »