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Vowing to pay their toil in such a sort
They shall not think the recompense is poor.
The Sheik in promise grants them, while his heart
Teems with such venom, were the means but sure,
Death would he send him, nor the blow delay;
Instead of pilots, death that very day,

Such was the malice, sudden in its growth,
Conceived against the strangers when he knew
That they were followers of the blessed truth
As taught by Christ, the one preceptor true.
O secrets of eternity !— in sooth
Too high for human judgment to pursue,
There never fails, intent on treacherous ends,
Some lurking foe to those whom Heaven befriends.


(Translated by Richard Garnett.)

THE beauty of this free aerial height,

With ancient chestnuts shadowy and green;

The gentle course their tranquil banks between
Of brooks acquainted solely with delight;
Sea's distant beat; land novel to my sight;

The Sun's descent where mountains shut the scene ;

The foldward faring of the flock serene; The clouds' encounter in their harmless fight; All that boon Nature, aiming to befriend,

Gives of her infinite variety,

The cheated spirit serves but to offend,
Beggared of all delight in missing thee;

The joy that thy companionship would lend
Yields now the measure of her misery.

Tagus, whose streams on Lusitania's plain

Fertility and charm at once bestow,

Errant in fairest fields with softest flow, Joy to flower, herb, flock, cattle, nymph, and swain; Alas! beloved flood, in vain, in vain,

My term of dateless exile would I know;

And mournful thus and desolate I go, As deeming never to return again.

My envious fortune, ever wise to tell

How best my joy to sorrow may be changed,

Willeth implacably that we should part. Thee I bewail, her I upbraid. Farewell!

Soon shall these sighs be spent on winds estranged, And alien waters soothe this swelling heart.

Tagus, with countenance how different

We saw and see, and are and have been seen!

Troubled thy waters now, forlorn my mien;
Thee clear have I beheld, thou me content.
Thy change is work of tempests, whose descent

Robs thy bright current of its silvery sheen;

Mine of the brow that, clouded or serene,
Apportions me my bliss or discontent.
As we are thus participant in woe,

Would that we were so in all things, and as pain

So simultaneous joy might feel! but no!
Flower-fostering Spring shall look and see no stain

In thy clear mirror, but I cannot know
If what I was I e'er shall be again.

O for a solitude so absolute,

Rapt from the spite of Fate so far away,

That foot of man hath never entered, nay,
Untrodden by the foot of every brute:
Some wood of aspect lowering and mute,

Or lonely glen not anywhere made gay

With plot of pleasant green, or water's play; Such haunt, in fine, as doth my anguish suit! Thus in the entrail of the mountain locked,

I, sepulchred in life, alive in death,

Freely might breathe my plaint; perceiving there The grief whose magnitude naught measureth

Less by the brilliance of the bright day mocked, Soothed by the dark day more than otherwhere.

Country, Life's raft whereby her sea bestows

Redemption from her shipwreck and her shoal;

Luster shed forth on high when tempest's roll
Subsideth, nest of love, nook of repose;
To thee I fly; and if indeed for woes

Flight cure be found, and change may Fate control,

Victory I'll sing, and in the shade extol Honor triumphant o'er Ambition's throes.

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Here Spring no flower, no fruit doth Autumn scant;

Here crystal waters use with beauty pair;

Here the day finds me, here it leaves me blest: Broken but by the nightingale's descant

Is slumber, seal of peace, and burdening Care,
That buried Joy, himself is laid to rest.

The goodly apple of this goodly tree

Nature with blood and milk willed to adorn,

That contrast of fair tints together worn Might image virgin shame and purity. Never, when boughs before the tempest see,

Be thou by whirlwind's violence uptorn!

Never thy fruit, of colored charm forlorn,
Wither in blighting air's inclemency!
And since for my delight thou yieldest bower

Pleasant and meet, and dost for me bestrew

Fragrance on air, as on a conqueror's way:
Though my weak lyre defraud thee of thy due,

Yet am I storing up in sunny hour
Sweet thought of thee against the cloudy day.

BABYLON AND SION (GOA AND LISBON). Here, where fecundity of Babel frames

Stuff for all ills wherewith the world doth teem;

Where loyal Love is slurred with disesteem,
For Venus all controls, and all defames;
Where vices vaunts are counted, virtues shames;

Where Tyranny o'er Honor lords supreme;

Where blind and erring sovereignty doth deem That God for deeds will be content wi names: Here in this world where whatso is is wrong,

Where Birth and Worth and Wisdom begging go

To doors of Avarice and Villainy,
Trammeled in the foul chaos I prolong

My days, because I must. Woe to me! woe!
Sion, had I not memory of thee!


Few years and evil to my life were lent,

All with hard toil and misery replete:

Light did so swiftly from my eyes retreat, That ere five lusters quite were gone, I went.

Ocean I roamed and isle and continent,

Seeking some remedy for life unsweet;

But he whom Fortune will not frankly meet,
Vainly by venture wooes her to his bent.
First saw I light in Lusitanian land,

Where Alemquer the blooming nurtured me;

But, feeble foul contagion to withstand,
I feed the fish's maw where thou, rude sea,

Lashest the churlish Abyssinian strand,
Far from my Portugal's felicity.


Brooding in sadness o'er my evil case,

As past me Day and Night alternate steal,

I to my darksome cell my woe unseal, Summing the number of the wasted days. They pass

like shadows on the silent ways, Nor fruit of them doth their slow march reveal,

Save this — they are no more: while Fortune's wheel Turns on, and dizzily my spirit sways. Stupid and dazed with dull confinement's clog,

My erring sense avails not to decide

If I am proffering speech to stander-by,
Or seeming converse be but monologue:

Nor can I certainly declare if I
Am in myself, or am myself beside.

How far accumulating years extend

The travel of my weary pilgrimage!

How swiftly my allotted span of age
Shortens apace, and hastens to its end !
Anguish augment; life less and less doth lend;

The remedy I had I lost; and, sage

By schooling, with mistrustful heart presage
Falsehood when Fortune feigneth to befriend.
I chase a bliss I may not overtake,

Lost to my sight ere half the race be run;

Thousand times thrown, I faint upon the slope:
In lieu of slackening feet I hurry on

My eyes, and by their witness knowledge take
That the wide prospect holds nor Bliss nor Hope.



[From "Aminta.''] (TORQUATO Tasso, an Italian poet, was born at Sorrento, March 11, 1544, the son of Bernardo Tasso, a poet of considerable distinction. He received his early education in Naples, Rome, Pesaro, and Venice, and in compliance with his father's wish studied law at Padua, but soon abandoned it after the successful reception of his poem “Rinaldo.” He then repaired to Bologna, where he studied philosophy, made the acquaintance of distinguished literary men, and worked upon his great epic “Gerusalemme Liberata” (Jerusalem Delivered). In 1565 he entered the service of Cardinal Luigi d'Este and later that of Alfonso II., reigning duke of Ferrara. During the latter part of his life he suffered from attacks of insanity, and finally became so violent in accusing the duke of a design to poison him that he was placed in a lunatic asylum. Having been released at the intercession of Prince Gonzaga of Mantua, he wandered from city to city, broken in health and spirits. In 1595 he was summoned to Rome by Pope Clement VIII. to receive the honor of a public coronation, but fell ill on his arrival, and died April 22, 1595. His chief production, “ Jerusalem Delivered,” is a heroic record of the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders under the command of Godfrey de Bouillon. Other works are: “ Aminta,” a pastoral drama; “ Torrismondo," a tragedy; and several lyric poems.)

O LOVELY age of gold !

Not that the rivers rolled
With milk, or that the woods wept honey-dew;

Not that the ready ground

Produced without a wound,
Or the mild serpent had no tooth that slew :

Not that a cloudless blue

Forever was in sight,
Or that the heaven, which burns

And now is cold by turns,
Looked out in glad and everlasting light;

No, nor that even the insolent ships from far
Brought war to no new lands, nor riches worse than war.

But solely that that vain

And breath-invented pain,
That idol of mistake, that worshiped cheat,

That Honor — since so called

By vulgar minds appalled,
Played not the tyrant with our nature yet.

It had not come to fret

The sweet and happy fold
Of gentle human kind;
Nor did its hard law bind

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