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Wherefore thus soared that structure ? sculptured
stoneInscription-allegory-here are none To guide you. Rise; adventurous traveller; climb That rugged pathway; scale the Bridge sublime; Hang o'er the vale on the long level height, Where wild-birds rest, and mock thee in their flight; There shalt thou mark with an explorer's pride The long dry channel, nor profound nor wide, Which arm may fathom-which a child bestride. Might not conjecture pause ere one should say 'Twas here a living streamlet found a way? Yet to that channel was such rill consigned : And art, and fine constructive powers of mind, Were taxed the costly miracle to frame; Supply for human wants its single aim.
Rome, who inherited the World, lies dead :
Nismes, November 2, 1843.
SUGGESTED BY A SEA-VIEW ON THE COAST
OF THE MEDITERRANEAN.
From this tall cliff We look with bird's-eye view on clearest sea, Of depth we vaguely guess at; and the waves, Lucid as amethyst, appear to furrow The sunken rocks, sea-weeds, and golden sands Far down, with fleeting bands of shade, with light, Soft light, between !
Thus not alone do things Opake and rigid, but transparent things, Endowed with perfect laxity of atoms, Fling shadows from them. 'Tis the same with things Of half-material mould, and subtlest textureFumes, exhalations, and scarce visible clouds ; Hairs, fibres, gossamer, and thistle-down : Nay, in broad sunshine, minute holes and pores Arrest the flow of light, and from them breaks A surf and foam of light, developed in Capricious forms and hues, hard to define;
And so we cannot choose but call them shadows.
Oneglia, November, 1843.
EXTRACT FROM MANUSCRIPT JOURNAL.
E were quite prepared beforehand to be pleased
with Genoa, and were not disappointed. The impressions as to general effect which that city conveys are of a singularly novel and forcible character. Genoa has in profusion its marble palaces, whose walls are arrayed in all their ancient solid and costly magnificence; but I would chiefly dwell upon the perpetual intervention of variously coloured architectural views, painted in close juxtaposition with, and even upon, these same marble walls: so that you may really pause in the streets, and imagine you are gazing at the scenery of a theatre: yet from the effects of proportion, aided by the rich tone of the climate, there results truth and harmony from that which, elsewhere, would only suggest the idea of a ludicrous attempt at deception. The streets are narrow and sombre, but they are not gloomy; and you may see overhead a strip of blue sky broken by the palace cornices; whilst
in the side lanes the sunshine streams from above, as through an absolute slit. But when the sky is overcast, the want of illumination destroys all the singularity and beauty of these effects. The prevailing idea is still that of the scenery of a theatre; but of a theatre as seen by an insufficient light.
Again, the dimensions of the great hall of the ducal palace are truly noble; but for the most part the ornaments which it contains are the veriest trash imaginable. The statues in the niches (if they deserve the name of statues) are merely counterfeits, made up of plaster, rags, and paper; but it is quite surprising how fine is the effect thus demonstrated to be attainable by the force of proportion and colouring alone.
Genoa, November, 1843.