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VERSES ADDRESSED TO THE NOBLE
AND UNFORTUNATE LADY
NOW IMPRISONED IN THE CONVENT OF
L'anima amante si slaucia fuori del creato, e si crea nel infinito un Mondo tutto per essa, diverso assai da questo oscuro e pauroso
Her own words.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY JOHN ASCIIAM, 71, CHANCERY
LANE, HOLBORN, AND SOLD BY JIL BOUKSELLERS.
The Writer of the following Lines died at Florence, as he was preparing for a voyage to one of the wildest of the Sporades, which he had bought, and where he had fitted up the ruins of an old building, and where it was his hope to have realised a scheme of life, suited perhaps to that happier and better world of which he is now an inhabitant, but hardly practicable in this. His life was singular; less on account of the romantic vicissitudes which diversified it, than the ideal tiuge which it received from his own character and feelings. The present Poem, like the Vita Nuova of Dante, is sufficiently intelligible to a certain class of readers without a matter-of-fact history of the circumstances to which it relates; and to a certain other class it must ever remain incomprehensible, from a defect of a common organ of perception for the ideas of which it treats. Not but that, gran vergogna sarebbe a colui, che rimasse cosa sotto veste di figura, o di colore rettorico : e domandato non sapesse denudare le sue parole da cotal veste, in guisa che avessero verace intendimento.
The present poem appears to have been intended by the Writer as the dedication to some longer one. The stanza on the opposite page is almost a literal translation from Dante's fa. mous Canzone
Voi ch' intendendo, il lerzo ciel movete, fc. The presumptuous application of the concluding lines to his own composition will raise a sinile at the expense of my unfortunate friend: be it a smile not of contempt, but pity.
My Song, I fear that thou wilt find but few Who fitly shall conceive thy reasoning, Of such hard matter dost thou entertain; Whence, if by misadventure, chance should bring Thee to base company, (as chance may do) Quite unware of what thou dost contain, I prithee, comfort thy sweet self again, My last delight! tell them that they are dull, And bid them own that thou art beautiful.
Swbet Spirit ! Sister of that orphan one,
Poor captive bird ! who, from thy narrow cage,
High, spirit-winged Heart! who dost for ever Beat thine unfeeling bars with vain endeavour, 'Till those bright plumes of thought, in which arrayed It over-soared this low and worldly slade, Lic shattered ; and thy panting wounded breast Stains with dear blood its uninaternal nest! I weep vain tears: blood would less bitter be, Yet poured forth gladlier, could it profit thee.
Seraph of Heaven ! too gentle to be human,