Imagens das páginas

When Vice walks forth with her unsoften'd terrors, Cities and generations — fair, when free-
And Mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay; For, Tyranny, there blooms no bud for thee !
And Hope is nothing but a false delay,
The sick man's lightning half an hour ere death,

When Faintness, the last mortal birth of Pain, Glory and Empire ! once upon these towers
And apathy of limb, the dull beginning

With Freedom — godlike Triad ! how ye sate ! Of the cold staggering race which Death is winning, The league of mightiest nations, in those hours Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away ;

When Venice was an envy, might abate, Yet so relieving the o'er-tortured clay,

But did not quench, her spirit - in her fate To him appcars renewal of his breath,

All verc cnwrapp'd : the feasted monarchs knew And freedom the mere numbness of his chain;

And loved their hostess, nor could learn to bate, And then be talks of life, and how again

Although they humbled — with the kingly few He feels his spirits soaring - alheit weak,

The many felt, for from all days and climes And of the fresher air, which he would seek ;

She was the voyager's worship ; - even her crimes And as he whispers knows not that he gasps,

Were of the softer order - born of Love, That his thin finger feels not what it clasps,

She drank no blood, nor fattend on the dead, And so the film comes o'er him—and the dizzy But gladden'd where her harmless conquests spread; Chamber swims round and round — and shadows busy, For these restored the Cross, that from above At which he vainly catches, flit and glcam,

Hallow'd her sheltering banners, which incessant Till the last rattle chokes the strangled scream, Flew between earth and the unholy Crescent, And all is ice and blackness, — and the earth

Which, if it waned and dwindled, Earth may thank That which it was the moment cre our birth. The city it has clothed in chains, which clank

Now, creaking in the ears of those who owe

The name of Freedom to her glorious struggles ; There is no hope for nations !

Search the page

Yet she but shares with them a common woe, Of many thousand years - the daily scene,

And call'd the “ kingdom" of a conquering foe, The flow and ebb of each recurring age,

But knows what all — and, most of all, we know The everlasting to be which hath been,

With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles !
Hath taught us nought or little : still we lean
On things that rot beneath our weight, and wear

Our strength away in wrestling with the air;

The name of Commonwealth is past and gone For 't is our nature strikes us down: the beasts

O'er the three fractions of the groaning globe ; Slaughter'd in hourly hecatombs for feasts

Venice is crush'd, and Holland deigns to own Are of as high an order — they must go (slaughter. A sceptre, and endures the purple robe ; Even where their driver goads them, though to

If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone
Ye men, who pour your blood for kings as water,

His chainless mountains, 't is but for a time,
What have they given your children in return ? For tyranny of late is cunning grown,
A heritage of servitude and woes,

And in its own good season tramples down
A blindfold bondage, where your hire is blows. The sparkles of our ashes. One great clime,
What! do not yet the red-hot ploughshares burn,

Whose vigorous offspring by dividing ocean
O'er which you stumble in a false ordeal,

Are kept apart and nursed in the devotion And deem this proof of loyalty the real;

Of Freedom, which their fathers fought for, and Kissing the hand that guides you to your scars, Bequeath'd - a heritage of heart and hand, And glorying as you tread the glowing bars ?

And proud distinction from each other land, All that your sires have left you, all that Time Whose suns must bow them at a monarch's motion, Bequeaths of free, and History of sublime,

As if his senseless sceptre were a wand Spring from a different theme! -Ye see and read,

Full of the magic of exploded science -
Admire and sigh, and then succumb and bleed ! Still one great clime, in full and free defiance,
Save the few spirits, who, despite of all,

Yet rears her crest, unconquer'd and sublime,
And worse than all, the sudden crimes engender'd Above the far Atlantic ! - She has taught
By the down-thundering of the prison-wall,

Her Esau-brerbren that the haughty flag,
And thirst to swallow the sweet waters tender'd, The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag,
Gushing from Freedom's fountains - when the crowd, May strike to those whose red right hands have bought
Madden'd with centuries of drought, are loud,

Rights cheaply earn'd with blood.—Still, still, for ever And trample on each other to obtain

Better, though each man's life-blood were a river, The cup which brings oblivion of a chain

That it shouid flow, and overflow, than creep
Heavy and sore, - in which long yoked they plough'd | Through thousand lazy channels in our veins,
The sand, - or if there sprung the yellow grain, Damm'd like the dull canal with locks and chains,
'T was not for them, their necks were too much bow'd, And moving, as a sick man in his sleep,
And their dead palates chew'd the cud of pain : - Three paces, and then faltering :- better be
Yes ! the few spirits — who, despite of deeds

Where the extinguish'd Spartans still are free,
Which they abhor, confound not with the cause In their proud charnel of Thermopylæ,
Those momentary starts from Nature's laws,

Than stagnate in our marsh, - or o'er the deep
Which, like the pestilence and earthquake, smite Fly, and one current to the ocean add,
But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth

One spirit to the souls our fathers had, With all her seasons to repair the blight

One freeman more, America, to thee ! With a few summers, and again put forth

The Morgante Maggiore


in his continuation, by a judicious mixture of the ADVERTISEMENT.

gaiety of Pulci, has avoided the one ; and Berni, in The Morgante Maggiore, of the first canto of which bis reformation of Boiardo's poem, has corrected the this translation is offered, divides with the Orlando other. Pulci may be considered as the precursor Innamorato the honour of having formed and sug and model of Berni altogether, as he has partly been gested the style and story of Ariosto.

The great to Ariosto, however inferior to both his copyists. He defects of Boiardo were his treating too seriously the is no less the founder of a new style of poetry very narratives of chivalry, and his harsh style. Ariosto, lately sprung up in England. I allude to that of

1 (The following translation was executed at Ravenna, in February, 1820, and first saw the light in the pages of the unfortunate journal called The Liberal." The merit of it, as Lord Byron over and over states in his letters, consists in the wonderful verbum pro verbo closeness of the version. It was, in fact, an exercise of skill in this art, and cannot be fairly estimated, without continuous reference to the original Italian, which the reader will therefore now find placed opposite to the text. Those who want full information, and clear philosophical views, as to the origin of the Romantic Poetry of the Italians, will do well to read at length an article on that subject, from the pen of the late Ugo Foscolo, in the forty-second number of the Quarterly Review. We extract from it the passage in which that learned writer applies himself inore particularly to the Morgante of Pulci. Aller showing that all the poets of this class adopted as the groundwork of their fictions, the old wild materials which had for ages formed the stock in trade of the professed story-tellers: - in those days a class of persons holding the same place in Christendom, and more especially in Italy, which their brothers stul maintain all over the East,- Foscolo thus proceeds:

The customary forms of the narrative all find a place in romantic poetry : such are the sententious retlections suggested by the matters which he has just related, or arising in anticipation of those which he is about to relate, and which the story-teller always opens when he resumes his recitations ; his defence of his own merits against the attacks of rivals in trade; and his form al leave-taking when he parts from his audience, and invites them to meet him again on the morrow. This method of winding up each portion of the poem is a favourite among the romantic poets: who constantly finish their cantos with a distich, of which the worcis may vary, but the sense is uniform.

All' altro canto ve fard sentire,

Se all' altro canto ini vertete a udire.- ARIOSTO.
Or at the end of another canto, according to Harrington's translation,

. I now cut off abruptly here my rhyrne,

And keep my tale unto another time.' « The forms and materials of these popular stories were adopted by writers of a superior class, who considered the vulgar tales of their predecessors as blocks of marble finely tinted and variegated by the hand of na. ture, but which might afford a masterpiece, when tastefully worked and polished. The romantic poets treated the traditionary fictions just as Dante did the legends invented by the monks to maintain their mastery over weak minds. He forned them into a poem, which became the adrni. ration of every age and nation, but Dante Tim Petrarca were prets, who, though universally celebrated, were not universally understood. The learned found employment in writing comments upon their poems; but the nation, without even excepting the higher ranks, knew them only by

At the beginning of the fifteenth century, a few obscure authors began to write romances in prose and in thyme, taking for their subject the wars of Charlemagne and Orlando, or someumes the adventures of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. These works were so pleasing, that they were rapidly multiplied: but the bards of romance cared little about style or versification, they sought for adventures, and enchantments, and miracles. We here obtain at least a partial explanation of the rapid decline of Italian poetry, and the amazing corruption of the Italian language, which took place immediately after the death of Pe"ruch, and which proceeded froin bad to worse unul the era of Lorenzo de Medici.

" It was then that Pulci composed his Morgante for the amusement of Madonna Lucrezia, the mother of Lorenzo; and he used to recite it at table to Ficino, and Polidan, and Lorenzo, and the other illustrious characlets who then flourished at Florence : yet Pulci adhered strictly to the original plan of the popular story tellers; and if his successors have em. bellished them so that they can scarcely be recognised, it is certain that in no other poem can they be found so genuine and native as in the Mor. gante. Pulci accommodated himself, though sportively, to the genius of his age : classical taste and sound criticism hegan to prevail, and great endeavours were making by the learned to separate historical truth from the chaos of fable and tradition : so that, though Pulci introduced the most extravagant fables, he affected to complain of the errors of his prele. cessors. I grieve,' he said, for my emperor Charlemagne: for I see thas his history has been badly written and worse understood.'

E del mio Carlo imperador m' increbbe ;
E' stata questa istoria, a quel ch'io reggio,

Di Carlo, male intesa e scritta peggio.' "And whilst he quotes the great historian Leonardo Aretino with respect, he professes to believe the authonty of the holy Archbishop Turpin, who is also one of the heroes of the poem. In another passage, where he imitates the apologies of the story-tellers, he makes a neat allusion to the taste of his audience. I know, he says, 'that I must proceel straight. forward, and not tell a single lie in the course of my tale. This is not a

story of mere invention : and if I go one step out of the right road, ne chastises, another criticises, a third scolds they try to drive me madbut in fact they are out of their senses.'

" Pulci's rersitication is remarkably fluent. Yet he is deficient in me lody; his language is pure, and his expresions flow naturally; but his phrases are abrupt and unconnected, and he frequently wricom ungtama. tically. His vigour degenerates into harshness; and his love of brevity prevents the developement of his poetical imagery. He lears all the inarts of rude genius; he was capable of delicate pleasantry, yet his seniles are usually bitter and severe. His humour never arise froin points, but from unexpected situations strongly contrasted. The Emperor Charle. magne sentences King Marsilius of Spain to be hanged for high treason; and Archbishop Turpin kindly otfers his services on the occasion.

. E' disse: lo vo', Marsilio, che tu mugja
Dove tu ordinasti il tradimento.
Disse Turpino: lo voglio fare il boja.
Carlo rispose. Ed io son ben contento
Che sia trattato di questi due cani

L'opera santa con le sante mani.. " Here we have an emperor superintending the execution of a king, who is hanged in the presence of a vast multitude, all of whom are greatly edi. fied at beholding an archbishop officiating in the character of a finisher of the law. Before this adventure took place, Caradoro haul despatched an ambassador to the emperor, complaining of the shameful conduct of a wicked Paladin, who had seduced the princess his daughter. The orator does not present himself with modern diplomnatio courtesy

Macon t'abbatta come traditore.
O disleale e ingiusto imperadore!

A Caradora stato scritto, () Carl
O Carlo! 0 Carlo! (e crollara la testa)
De la tua corte, che non puoi negario,

De la sua figlia cosa disonesta."
** Charles,' he cried, Charles, Charles!' - and as he cried

He sbook his head a sad complaint I bring
Of shameful acts which cannot be denied
King Caradore has ascertained the thing.
Which coines moreover proved and verified
By letters from your own side of the water

Respecting the behaviour of his daughter. "Such scenes may appear somewhat strange; but Caradoro's embassy, and the execution of King Marsilius, are told in strict conformity to the notions of the common people, and as they must still be described if we wished to imitate the popular story-rellers. If Pulcs he occasionally refined and delicate, his snatches of amenity resulted from the national cha. racter of the Florentines, and the revival of letters. But at the same time, we must trace to national character, and to the intluence of his daily com. panions, the buffoonery which, in the opinion of foreigners, frequently disiraces the poem. M. Ginguéné has criucised Pulct in the tixual style of his countrymen. He attributes modern manners to ancient umes, and take it for granted that the individuals of every other nation think and act like modern Frenchmen. On these principles, he concludes that Pulci, both with respect to his rubject and to his mode of treating it, intended only to write burlesque poetry; because, as he says, such buttoanery could not have been introduced into a composition recited to Lorenzo de' Medici and his enlightened guests, if the author had intended to be in eamest. In the fine portrait of Lorenzo given by Machiaveill at the end of his Florentine history, the historian complains that he took inore pleasure in the company of jesters and butfoons than beseemed such a man. It is a little singular that Benedetto Varchi, a contemporary historian, makes the same com. plaint of Machiavelli himself. Indeed, many known anecdotes of Machiavelli, no less than his fugitive pieces, prove that it was only when he was acting the statesman that he wished to be grave; and that he could laugh like other men when he laid aside his dignity. We do not think he was in the wrong. But, whatever opinion may be formed on the subject. we shall yet be forced to conclude that great men may be compelled to blame the manners of their times, without being able to withstand their influence. In other respects, the poem of Pulci is serious, both in subject and in tone. And here we shall repeat & Runeral observation, which we advise our readers to apply to all the romantic poerns of the Italians Thut their comic Aumour arises from the controer bereen the comatunt a. deavours of the priters to adhere to the forme and subjente v the popular storytellers, and the sports made at the same time by the prius aj' theu writers to reuer such materials interesting av sublime.

This simple elucidation of the causes of the proctical chararter of the Morgante has been overlooked by the critia and they have theretore dis puted with great earnestness during the last two centuries, whether the Morgante is written in jest or earnest; and whether Pulci is not an Atheist, who wrote in rene for the express purpose of soffing at all religion. Mr. Merivale inclines, in his Orlando in Roncesvalley, to the opinion of M. Ginguene, that the Morgante is decidedly to be considered as a hur. lesque poem, and a satire against the Christian religion. Yet Mr. Mert. vale himself acknowledges that it is wound up with a tragical effect, and dignited by religious sentiment; and is therefore forced to leare ibe question amongst the unexplained, and perhaps Ineiplicable, phenotnens of the human mind. If a similar question had not been already decided both in regard to Shakspeare and to Ariosto, it might be sulla subject of dispute whether the former intended to write tragedies, and whether the


the ingenious Whistlecraft. The serious poems on ability in combining his interpretation of the one Roncesvalles in the same language, and more par- language with the not very easy task of reducing it ticularly the excellent one of Mr. Merivale, are to to the same versification in the other. The reader, be traced to the same source. It has never yet been on comparing it with the original, is requested to decided entirely whether Pulci's intention was or remember that the antiquated language of Pulci, was not to deride the religion which is one of his however pure, is not easy to the generality of favourite topics. It appears to me, that such an in- Italians themselves, from its great mixture of Tuscan tention would have been no less hazardous to the proverbs ; and he may therefore be more indulgent poet than to the priest, particularly in that age and to the present attempt.

How far the translator has country; and the permission to publish the poem, succeeded, and whether or no he shall continue the and its reception among the classics of Italy, prove work, are questions which the public will decide. that it neither was nor is so interpreted. That he He was induced to make the experiment partly by intended to ridicule the monastic life, and suffered his love for, and partial intercourse with, the Italian his imagination to play with the simple dulness of language, of which it is so easy to acquire a slight his converted giant, seems evident enough; but knowledge, and with which it is so nearly impossible surely it were as unjust to accuse him of irreligion for a foreigner to become accurately conversant. on this account, as to denounce Fielding for his The Italian language is like a capricious beauty, Parson Adams, Barnabas, Thwackum, Supple, and who accords her smiles to all, her favours to few, the Ordinary in Jonathan Wild, - or Ścott, for the and sometimes least to those who have courted her exquisite use of his Covenanters in the “ Tales of longest. The translator wished also to present in my Landlord.

an English dress a part at least of a poem never yet In the following translation I have used the liberty rendered into a northern language ; at the same of the original with the proper names; as Pulci uses time that it has been the original of some of the Gan, Ganellon, or Ganellone; Carlo, Carlomagno, or most celebrated productions on this side of the Carlomano ; Rondel, or Rondello, &c., as it suits his Alps, as well as of those recent experiments in convenience ; so has the translator. In other respects poetry in England which have been already menthe version is faithful to the best of the translator's tioned.

other did not mean to burlesque his heroes. It is a happy thing that, with regard to those two great writers, the war has ended by the fortunate inter. vention of the general body of readers, who, on such occasions, form their judgment with less erudition and with less prejudice than the critics. But Pulci is little read, and his age is little known. We are told by Mr. Merivale, that the points of abstruse theology are discussed in the Morzante with a degree of sceptical freedom which we should imagine to be altogether remote from the spirit of the fifteenth century.' Mr. Verivale follow M. Ginguene, who follows Voltaire. And the philosopher of Ferney, who was always bearing up in all quarters for allies against Christianity,col. lected all the scriptural passages of Pulci, upon which he commented in his o*n way. But it is only since the Council of Trent, that any doubt which might be raised on a reinous dogma exposed an author to the charge of impiety; whilst, in the fifteenth century, a Catholic might be sincerely dejout, and yet allow himself a certain degree of latitude in theological doubt. At one and the same time the Florentines might well believe in the Gospel and laugh at a doctor of divinity: for it was exactly at this era that they had been spectators of the memorable controversies between the representatives of the eastern and western churches. Greek and Latin bishops from every corner of Christendorn had assembled at Florence for the purpose of trying whether they could possibly understand each other : and when they separated, they hated each other worse than before. At the very time when Pulci was composing his Morgante, the clergy of Florence protested against the excommunications pronounced by Sixtus IV., and with

expressions by which his holiness was anathematised in his tum. During these proceedings, an archbisholl, convicted of being a papal em is. sary, was hanged from one of the windows of the government palace at Florence: this event may have suggested to Pulci the idea of converting another archbishop into a hangman. The romantic poets substituted literary and scientific observations for the trivial digressions of the story. tellers. This was a great improvement; and although it was not well managed by Pulci, yet he presents us with much curious incidental matter. In quoting his philosophical friend and contemporary Matteo Palinieri, he explains the instinct of brutes by a bold hypothesis - he supposes that they are animated by evil spirits. This idea gave no offence to the theologians of the fifteenth century; but it excited much orthodox indignation when Father Bougeant, a French monk, brougtit it forward as a new theory of his own. Mr Merivale, after observing that Pulci died before the discovery of America by Columbus, quotes a passage' which will become a very in. teresting document for the philosophical historian.' We give it in his prose translation: -'The water is level through its whole extent, although, like the earth, it has the form of a globe. Mankind in those ages were much more ignorant than now.

Hercules would blush at this day for having fixed his coluinns. Vessels will soon pass far beyond them. They mav soon reach another hemisphere, because erery thing tends to its centre; in like manner as, by a divine mystery, the earth is suspended in the midst of the stars: here below are cities and empires, which were ancient. The inhabitants of those regions were called Antipodes. They have plants and animals as well as you, and wage wars as well as you.'- Morgante, c. xxv. $t. 229, &c.

" The more we consider the traces of ancient science, which break in transient flashes through the darkness of the middlle ages, and which gradually re-illuminated the horizon, the more shall we be disposed to adopt the hypothesis suggested by Bailly, and supported by him with secinctive eloquence. He maintained that all the acquirements of the Greeks and Romans had been transmitted to them as the wrecks and fragments of the knowledge once possessed by primeral nations, by empires of sages and philosophers, who were afterwards swept from the face of the globe by somne overwhelming catastrophe. His theory may be considered as er. travagant; but if the literary productions of the Romans were not yet eruant, it would seem incredible, that, after the lapse of a few centuries, the civilisation of the Augustan age could have been succeeded in Italy by such barbarity. The Italians were so ignorant, that they forgot their family narnesi and before the eleventh century individuals were known only by their Christian names. They had an indistinct idea, in the middle ages, of the existence or the antipoles, but it was a reminiscence of ancient kno'siege. Dante has indicated the number and position of the stars composing the polar constellation of the Austral hemisphere. At the same tine he tells us, that when Lucifer was huried from the celestial regions, the arch-devil cranstired the globe; half his body remained on our side of

the centre of the earth, and half on the other side. The shock given to
the earth by his fall drove a great portion of the waters of the ocean to the
southern hemisphere, and only one high mountain remained uncovered,
upon which Dante places his purgatory. As the fall of Lucifer happened
before the creation of Adam, it is evident that Danie did not admit that
the southern hemisphere had ever been inhabited; but, about thirty years
afterwards, Petrarch, who was better versed in the ancient writers, ventured
to hint that the sun shone upon inortals who were unknown to us.

Nella stagion che il ciel rapido inchina
Vers' occidente, e che il di nostro vola

A gente che di la forse l' aspetta.'
" In the course of half a century after Petrarch, another step was gained.
The existence of the antipodes was fully demonstrated. Pulci raises a devil
to announce the fact; but it had been taught to him by his fellow-citizen
Paolo Toscanelli, an excellent astronomer and mathematician, who wrote
in his old age to Christopher Columbus, eshorting him to undertake his
expedition. "A few stanzas have been translated by Mr. Merivale, with
some slight variations, which do not wrong the original. They may be
considered as a specimen of Pulci's poetry, when he writes with imagination
and feeling, Orlando bids farewell to his dring horse.

• His faithful steed, that long had served him well
In peace and war, now closed his languid eve,
Kneeld at his feet, and seem'd to say Farewell!
I've brought thee to the destined port, and die.'
Orlando felt anew his sorrows swell
When he beheld his Brigliadoro lie
Stretch'd on the field, that crystal fount beside,
Suitfen'd his limbs, and cold his wariike pnde:
And, 'O my much-loved steed, my generous friend,
Companion of my better years!' he said;
And have I lived to see so sad an end
Of all thy toils, and thy brave spirit fled.
O pardon me, if e'er l'did offend
With hasty wrong that mild and faithful head!'-
Just then, his eyes a momentary light

Flash'd quick ; – then closed again in endless night."
" When Orlando is expiring on the field of battle, an angel descends to
him, and promises that Alda his wife shall join him in paradise.

Bright with eternal youth and fadeless bloom,
Thine Aldabella thou shalt behold once more,
Partaker of a bliss beyond the tomb
With her whom Sinai's holy bills adore,
Crown'd with fresh flowers, whose colour and perfume
Surpass what Spring's rich bosom ever bore
Thy mourning widow here she will remain,

And be in Heaven thy joyful spouse again.
" Whilst the soul of Orlando was soaring to heaven, a soft and plaintive
strain was heard, and angelic voices joined in celestial harmony. They
sang the psalm, When Israel went out of Egype;' and the singers were
Inown to be angels from the trembling of their wings.

• Poi si sentì con un suon dolce e tioco
Certa armonia con si soavi accenti
Che ben parea d' angelici stromenti.

In eritu Israel, cantar, de Ægypto,
Sentito fu dagli angeli solenne

Che si conobbe al tremolar le penne.'
" Dante has inserted passages from the Vulgate in hie Divina Commedia :
and Petrarch, the most religious of poets, quotes Scripture even when he
is courting. Yet they were not accused of impiety. Neither did Pulci incur
the danger of a posthu nous excommunication until after the Reformauon,
when Pius V. (a Dominican, who was turned into a saint by a subsequent
pope) promoted the welfare of holy mother church by humning a few wicked
books, and hanging a few troublesoine authors. The notion that Pulci
was in the odour of heresy influenced the opinion of Wilton, who only
speaks of the Morgante as a sportful romance.' Jilton was anxious to
prove that Catholic writers had ridiculed popish divines, and that the Bible

Il Morgante Maggiore.

The Morgante Maggiore.'



In the beginning was the Word next God;

God was the Word, the Word no less was he: This was in the beginning, to my mode

Of thinking, and without him nought could be : Therefore, just Lord ! from out thy high abode,

Benign and pious, bid an angel flee, One only, to be my companion, who Shall help my famous, worthy, old song through.


In principio era il Verbo appresso a Dio;

Ed era Idd il Verbo, e 'l Verbo lui :
Questo era nel principio, al parer mio ;
E nulla si può far sanza costui :
Però, giusto Signor benigno e pio,
Mandami solo un de gli angeli tui,
Che m'accompagni, e rechimi a memoria
Una famosa antica e degna storia.

E tu Vergine, figlia, e madre, e sposa

Di quel Signor, che ti dette le chiave
Del cielo e dell'abisso, e d'ogni cosa,
Quel dì che Gabriel tuo ti disse Ave !
Perchè tu se' de' tuo' servi pictosa,
Con dolce rime, e stil grato e soave,
Ajuta i versi miei benignamente,
E’nfino al fine allumina la mente.

Era nel tempo, quando Filomena

Con la sorella si lamenta e plora,
Che si ricorda di sua antica pena,
E pe' boschetti le ninfe innamora
E Febo il carro temperato mena,
Che 'l suo Fetonte l'ammaestra ancora ;
Ed appariva appunto all'orizzonte,
Tal che Titon si graffiava la fronte.

Quand'io varai la mia barchetta, prima

Per ubbidir chi sempre ubbidir debbe
La mente, e faticarsi in prosa e in rima,
E del mio Carlo Imperador m' increbbe ;
Che so quanti la penna ha posto in cima,
Che tutti la sua gloria prevarrebbe :
E stata quella istoria, a quel ch'i' veggio,
Di Carlo male intesa, e scritta peggio.

Diceva già Lionardo Aretino,

Che s'egli avesse avuto scrittor degno,
Com'egli ebbe un Ormanno il suo Pipino
Ch'avesse diligenzia avuto e ingegno;
Sarebbe Carlo Magno un uom divino;
Però ch'egli ebbe gran vittorie e regno,
E fece per la chiesa e per la fede
Certo assai più, che non si dice o crede.

And thou, oh Virgin ! daughter, mother, bride

Of the same Lord, who gave to you cach key Of heaven, and hell, and every thing beside,

The day thy Gabriel said “ All hail!” to thee,
Since to thy servants pity 's ne'er denied,

With flowing rhymes, a pleasant style and free,
Be to my verses then benignly kind,
And to the end illuminate my mind.

'Twas in the season when sad Philomel

Weeps with her sister, who remembers and Deplores the ancient woes which both befel,

And makes the nymphs enamour'd, to the hand Of Phaeton by Phæbus loved so well

His car (but temper'd by his sire's command)
Was given, and on the horizon's verge just now
Appear'd, so that Tithonus scratch'd his brow:

When I prepared my bark first to obey,

As it should still obey, the helm, my mind,
And carry prose or rhyme, and this my lay

Of Charles the Emperor, whom you will find
By several pens already praised; but they

Who to diffuse bis glory were inclined,
For all that I can see in prose or verse,
Have understood Charles badly, and wrote worse.

Leonardo Aretino said already,

That if, like Pepin, Charles had had a writer Of genius quick, and diligently steady,

No hero would in history look brighter; He in the cabinet being always ready,

And in the field a most victorious fighter, Who for the church and Christian faith had wrought, Certes, far more than yet is said or thought.

had been subjected to private judgment, notwithstanding the popes had prohibited the reading of it. His ardour did not allow him to stop and ex. amine whether this prohibition might not be posterior to the death of Pulci. Milton had studied Pulci to advantage. The knowledge which he ascribes to his devils, their despairing repentance, the lofty sentiments which he bestows upon some of them, and, above all, the principle that, notwith. standing their crime and its punishment, they retun the grandeur and per. fection of angelic nature, are all to be found in the Morgante as well as in Paradise Lost. Ariosto and Tacco hare imitatest other passages. When great poets borrow from their inferinin genius, they tum their acquisi. Lions to such advantage that it is difcuit to detect their thefts, and still more difficult to blame then.

The poem is filled with king, knights, giants, and devils. There are many hattles and many duels. Wars rise out of wars, and empires are conquered in a day. Puld treats us with plenty of magic and enchantment. His love adventures are not peculiariy interesting; and, with the exception of four or five leading personages, his characters are of no moment. The fab'e turns wholly upon the hatred which Ganellon, the felon knight of Maganza, lears towarris Orlando and the rest of the Christan Paladins. Charlemagne is easily practised upon lis lianellon, his prime con aidant and man of buon So he treats Orlando and his friends in the mount scurry manner imaginable, and sends thern out to bird service in the wars against France. Ganel on is despuched to Spun to treat with King Marsilius, being also instructed to obtain the cension of a kingdom for Orlando: but he concerts a treacherous device with the Spaniards, and Orlando is killed

at the battle of Roncesvalles. The intrigues of Ganellon, his spite, his patience, his obstinacs, his dissunulation, his affected humility, and his inexhaustible powers of intrique, are admirahly depicted, and his character constitutes the chief and finest feature in the poem. Charlemagne is a worthy monarch, but easily filled. Oriundo is a real hero, chaste and disinterested, and who tights in good earnest for the propagation of the faith. He baptizes the giant Morgante, who afterwards serres hima like a faithful squire. There is another piant, whose name is Varrutte. Vorgante falls in with largutte: and they become sworn brothers. Mar. gutte is a very infidel giant, ready to confess his failings, and full of drolety. He sets ail a-laughing, readers, giants, devils, and heroes; and he finishes his career by laughing till be bursts.")

1 (" About the Morgante Maggiore, I won't have a line omitted. It may circulate or it may not, but all the criticism on earth sha'n't touch a line, unless it be because it is badly translated. Now you say, and I say, and others say, that the translation is a good one, and so it shall go to press as it is. Pulci must answer for his own irreligion : 1 answer for the translation only." - Lord Byron to Jr. Murray, 1829. " Why don't you publish my Pulci, - the best thing I ever wrote."- 16. 1821.)

Guardisi ancora a san Liberatore

Quella badía là presso a Manoppello,
Giù ne gli Abbruzzi fatta per suo onore,
Dove fu la battaglia e 'l gran flaggello
D'un re pagan, che Carlo imperadore
Uccise, e tanto del suo popol fello :
E vedesi tante ossa, e tanto il sanno,
Che tutte in Giusaffà poi si vedranno.

You still may see at Saint Liberatore

The abbey, no great way from Manopell,
Erected in the Abruzzi to his glory,

Because of the great battle in which fell A pagan king, according to the story,

And felon people whom Charles sent to hell : And there are bones so many, and so many, Near them Giusaffa's would seem few, if any.

Ma il mondo cieco e ignorante non prezza

Le sue virtù, com’io vorrei vedere :
E tu, Fiorenza, de la sua grandezza
Possiedi, e sempre potrai possedere
Ogni costume ed ogni gentilezza
Che si potesse aquistare o avere
Col senno col tesoro o con la lancia
Dal nobil sangue e venuto di Francia.

But the world, blind and ignorant, don't prize

His virtues as I wish to see them : thou,
Florence, by his great bounty don't arise,

And hast, and may have, if thou wilt allow, All proper customs and true courtesies :

Whate'er thou hast acquired from them till now
With knightly courage, treasure, or the lance,
Is sprung from out the noble blood of France.

Twelve paladins had Charles in court, of whom

The wisest and most famous was Orlando;
Him traitor Gan conducted to the tomb

In Roncesvalles, as the villain plann'd too, While the horn rang so loud, and knell'd the doom

Of their sad rout, though he did all knight can do; And Dante in his comedy has given To him a happy seat with Charles in heaven.,

VIII. Dodici paladini aveva in corte

Carlo; e'l più savio a famoso era Orlando : Gan traditor lo condusse a la morte In Roncisvalle un trattato ordinando ; Là dove il corno sono tanto forte Dopo la dolorosa rotta, quando Ne la sua commedia Dante qui dice, E mettelo con Carlo in ciel felice.

Era per Pasqua quella di natale :

Carlo la corte avea tutta in Parigi :
Orlando, com'io dico, il principale
Evvi, il Danese, Astolfo, e Ansuigi:
Fannosi feste e cose trionfale,
E molto celebravan San Dionigi;
Angiolin di Bajona, ed Ulivieri
V'era venuto, e 'l gentil Berlinghieri.

IX. ’T was Christmas-day; in Paris all his court

Charles held ; the chief, say, Orlando was, The Dane; Astolfo there too did resort,

Also Ansuigi, the gay time to pass In festival and in triumphal sport,

The much-renown'd St. Dennis being the cause ; Angiolin of Bayonne, and Oliver, And gentle Belinghieri too came there :

Eravi Avolio ed Avino ed Ottone,

Di Normandía, Riccardo Paladino,
E'l savio Namo, e 'l vecchio Salamone,
Gualtier da Monlione, e Baldovino
Ch'era figliuol del tristo Ganellone.
Troppo lieto era il figliuol di Pipino ;
Tanto che spesso d'allegrezza geme
Veggendo tutti i paladini insieme.

Ma la Fortuna attenta sta nascosa,

Per guastar sempre ciascun nostro effetto:
Mentre che Carlo così si riposa,
Orlando governava in fatto e in detto
La corte e Carlo Magno ed ogni cosa :
Gan per invidia scoppia il maladetto,
E cominciava un dì con Carlo a dire :
Abbiam noi sempre Orlando ad ubbidire ?

X. Avolio, and Arino, and Othone

Of Normandy, and Richard Paladin, Wise Hamo, and the ancient Salamone,

Walter of Lion's Mount and Baldovin, Who was the son of the sad Ganellone,

Were there, exciting too much gladness in
The son of Pepin : - when his knights came hither,
He groan'd with joy to see them altogether.

But watchful Fortune, lurking, takes good heed

Ever some bar 'gainst our intents to bring :
While Charles reposed him thus, in word and deed,

Orlando ruled court, Charles, and every thing ; Curst Gan, with envy bursting, had such need

To vent his spite, that thus with Charles the king One day he openly began to say, “ Orlando must we always then obey ?

XII. “A thousand times I've been about to say,

Orlando too presumptuously goes on; Here are we, counts, kings, dukes, to own thy sway,

Hamo, and Otho, Ogier, Solomon, Each have to honour thee and to obey ;

But he has too much credit near the throne, Which we won't suffer, but are quite decided By such a boy to be no longer guided.

Io ho creduto mille volte dirti :

Oriando ha in se troppa presunzione:
Noi siam qui conti, re, duchi a servirti,
E Namo, Ottone, Uggieri e Salamone,
Per onorarti ognun, per ubbidirti ;
Che costui abbi ogni reputazione
Nol sofferrem; ma siam deliberati
Da un fanciullo non esser governati.

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