« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The young Ginevra was his all in life,
Her pranks the favourite theme of every tongue.
Great was the joy, but at the bridal feast,
And fill'd his glass to all; but his hand shook,
Full fifty years were past, and all forgot,
That mouldering chest was noticed; and 'twas said
Why not remove it from its lurking-place?” 'Twas done as soon as said; but on the way It burst - it fell; and lo! a skeleton;
And here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone,
1 Venice, in the north of the Adri-
Clings to the marble of her palaces.
Lead to her gates. The path lies
All else had perish'd save a nuptial ring,
At the period to which the following poem refers, A. D. 998, the house of Saxony ruled over the kingdom of Italy. "At the age of fifteen, the young Otho III., entered Italy with a German army, to receive the united crowns of the empire and of Lombardy. With the help of the same army, he brought about the elevation of his relative, Bruno of Saxony (who took the name of Gregory V.), to the papal chair. The Italians perceived with amazement that the Germans, by whom they had never been conquered, treated them as a conquered nation; that they no longer paid any regard to their rights and privileges; that they forcibly appropriated to themselves the tiara of Rome, the imperial crown, and the royalty of Lombardy, to each of which, election alone could confer a right." Crescentius, a man whose heart burned with the remembrance of the ancient glory of Rome, took the title of consul, and placed himself at the head of the cause of Roman liberty, of Italian independence. From the condition of a subject and an exile, he twice rose to the command of the city, oppressed, expelled, and created the popes, and formed a conspiracy for restoring the authority of the Greek emperors. In the fortress of Angelo, or Mole of Hadrian, which commands the principal bridge and entrance of Rome, he maintained an obstinate siege, but was at last reduced to capitulate to the youthful Otho III., on a promise of safety. The latter, however, contrary to the capitulation to which he had sworn, put to death the champion of Italy. His body was suspended on a gibbet, and his head was exposed on the battlements of the castle.
Otho III. died on the 19th January, 1002. His death was caused by poison, which was given him by Stefania, the widow of the consul Cre
Sismondi's" Fall of the Roman Empire."
I look'd upon his brow-no sign
He stood as proud by that death-shrine
He had a power: in his eye
A spirit that could dare
The deadliest form that death could take,
He stood, the fetters on his hand,
And had that grasp been on the brand,
With freer pride than it waved now; Around he look'd with changeless brow On many a torture nigh:
The rack, the chain, the axe, the wheel,
I saw him once before; he rode
And tens of thousands throng'd the road,
His helm, his breast-plate, were of gold, And grav'd with many dint, that told Of many a soldier's deed;
The sun shone on his sparkling mail,
But now he stood chain'd and alone,
The plume, the helm, the charger gone;
He bent beneath the headsman's stroke
A wild shout from the numbers broke
There is a land, of every land the pride,
Around her knees domestic duties meet,
And fire-side pleasures gambol at her feet.
Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found?
Round Andes' heights, where Winter, from his throne,
1 China is celebrated for its highly cultivated lands - agriculture forming the principal occupation of the people. Every acre of ground capable of cultivation is turned up by the spade or the plough, and converted into a rice or a corn-field. Numerous rivers and canals intersect the country, and navigation is so common, that almost as many people live on the water as on the land.
2 California is on the western side of N. America, and is divided into Old or Lower, and New or Upper California. In the latter part there are very large forests.
3 Andes, a chain of mountains, running through S. America, from the Isthmus of Panama to Terra del Fuego. 4 Bermudas, four islands in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of America. They belong to Britain, and are used principally as a place for convicts.
5 Madeira, an island in the Atlantic Ocean, noted for its wines, and the salubrity of its climate. Invalids resort to it for the sake of their health.
6 Java, an island of the East Indies, to the S. of Borneo. It is low, and in some places marshy, which renders the air unhealthy. Rice is largely cultivated.
7 Babel or Babylon, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Chaldea or Babylonia, and one of the most famous cities in the world. It was situated on the river Euphrates. Her destruction and condition are thus foretold :-" Therefore the wild beasts of the desert, with the wild beasts of the island, shall dwell there: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever."— Jer. 1. 39.
8 Carmel, a famous mountain of Palestine, forming the southern boundary of the Bay of Acre.
9 Here her ancient and present condition are contrasted. Thus, too, Byron speaks of her present state: "Shrine of the mighty! can it be, That this is all remains of thee? Approach thou craven crouching slave,
Say, is not this Thermopyla?"