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TASSO AND HIS SISTER.
“ Devant vous est Sorrente ; là démeuroit la seur de Tasse, quand il vint en pélérin demander à cette obscure amie, un asile contre l'injustice des princes. Ses longues douleurs avoient presque égaré sa raison; il ne lui restoit plus que du génie.”
She sat, where on each wind that sigh’d
The citron's breath went by ;
Burn'd in the Italian sky.
Full oft sweet laughter found,
To the high vineyards round.
But still and thoughtful, at her knee,
Her children stood that hour,
Their bursts of song, and dancing glee,
Hush'd as by words of power.
Up to their mother's face ;
They stood in silent grace.
While she-yet something o'er her look
Of mournfulness was spread-
The glorious numbers read ;
Its light on evil years;
The triumph and the tears.
She read of fair Erminia's flight,
Which Venice once might hear,
By many a gondolier;
* It is scarcely necessary to recall the well known Italian saying, that Tasso with his sword and pen was superior to all men.
Of him she read, who broke the charm
That wrapt the myrtle grove;
That slew his Paynim love.
Young cheeks around that bright page glow'd,
Young holy hearts were stirr’d;
Fast o'er each burning word.
Came sweet each pause between ;
Burst on the gentle scene.
The mother turn'd—a way-worn man,
In pilgrim garb stood nigh,
Of proud, yet restless eye.
From that dark eye gush'd free,
Forgotten ! e'en by thee !
“ Am I so chang’d?—and yet we two
Oft hand in hand have play'dThis brow hath been all bath'd in dew,
From wreaths which thou hast made.
And sang one vesper strain-
Tell me those words again!
“ Life hath been heavy on my head;
I come, a stricken deer,
To bleed in stillness here."
Shook all her thrilling frameShe fell upon his neck, and wept,
And breath'd her brother's name.
Her brother's name !-and who was he,
The weary one, th' unknown, That came, the bitter world to flee,
A stranger to his own ?