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and in the pursuit of knowledge in the most refined cities of Italy. The reputation which he there acquired, caused Leo X., on his accession to the pontifical dignity, to make Bembo his first secretary. In the luxurious court of this epicurean pontiff, Bembo lived in the enjoyment of all the pleasures of taste, wealth, and rank; and even yielded so far to the example of the age as to assume a degree of license in his manners wholly unsuited to his profession and station. In his official character, however, he is without reproach, and his letters are remarkable for their pure and elegant latinity, his style being exactly modelled upon that of Cicero, whom he copied with scrupulous exactness amounting to affectation.

In 1520 Bembo retired from Rome to Padua for the benefit of his health, and his patron, Leo X., dying about that time, he determined not to return to Rome. He continued at Padua, therefore, attracted by the splendid collections of books and monuments of art in that polished city. Whilst here, he entirely reformed his morals; and here he conceived the plan and wrote a great part of his History of Venice. In 1539 he was honoured with the purple by Pope Paul III., when he transferred his residence to Rome. He remained there until he died, in 1547, at the advanced age of seventy-seven years, a patriarch in letters as he was in the church, the friend of all the distinguished literary men of the age, and loaded with public distinctions.

His literary reputation depends chiefly, perhaps, upon his prose writings; but his rank as an Italian poet, nevertheless, is such as to entitle him to this extended notice here. He was one of the earliest to discriminate, by his example and his precepts, purer principles of taste than had generally prevailed among his immediate predecessors. He took Petrarca for his guide, and by the diligent study of his writings acquired a comparatively correct and pure style of composition, though he was unable to divest himself altogether of a certain stiffness of manner, incompatible with the highest poetic excellence. In fact, his poetical reputation was derived rather from the polished elegance of his style, than from any depth of sentiment or thought which he displayed; for though always chaste, he is often cold and insipid; and therefore his character has never stood so high with posterity as it did with his contemporaries.

His poems consist of Rime, from which the following sonnets are selected.


Fair land, once loved of heaven o'er all beside,

Which blue waves gird and lofty mountains screen;
Thou clime of fertile fields and sky serene,
Whose gay expanse the Appennines divide ;

What boots it now, that Rome's old warlike pride
Left thee of humbled earth and sea the queen?
Nations, that served thee then, now fierce convene
To tear thy locks and strew them o'er the tide.
And lives there son of thine so base at core,

Who, luring foreign friends to thine embrace,
Stabs to the heart thy beauteous, bleeding frame?
Are these the noble deeds of ancient fame?

Thus do ye God's almighty name adore?

Oh hardened age! oh false and recreant race!


If, gracious God, in life's green, ardent year

A thousand times thy patient love I tried ;
With reckless heart, with conscience hard and sear,
Thy gifts perverted, and thy power defied:
Oh grant me, now that wintry snows appear

Around my brow, and youth's bright promise hide,—
Grant me with reverential awe to hear

Thy holy voice, and in thy word confide;
Blot from my book of life its early stain ;

Since days misspent will never more return,
My future path do thou in mercy trace;
So cause my soul with pious zeal to burn,

That all the trust, which in thy name I place,
Frail as I am, may not prove wholly vain.


GIOVANNI GUIDICCIONI was born at Lucca in the year 1500. He was educated at the best Italian universities by his uncle, the Cardinal Bartolommeo Guidiccioni, who finally carried him to Rome and placed him in the service of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, afterwards Pope Paul III.; in which situation he had access to the society of the first literary men of the city, and contracted a very close friendship with the poet Annibal Caro. In 1534 his patron was raised to the pontificate, and afterwards constantly employed him in the highest offices of the papal see, both at home and abroad, until his premature death in 1541, which alone prevented his receiving the purple. As a literary man, he is most eminent for his poems. His style is particularly adapted to grave and heroic subjects; and on these, in the opinion of the Italian critics, it is impossible for any style to be more select in diction or to possess greater nobleness and sustained dignity. His chief blemish is an occasional obscurity, arising from his aiming too sedulously at compressed strength. The two following are among the most admired of his sonnets.


Thou noble nurse of many a warlike chief,
Who in more brilliant times the world subdued;
Of old, the shrines of gods in beauty stood
Within thy walls, where now are shame and grief;
I hear thy broken voice demand relief,

And sadly o'er thy faded fame I brood,

Thy pomps no more,-thy temples fallen and rude,— Thine empire shrunk within a petty fief. Slave as thou art, if such thy majesty

Of bearing seems, thy name so holy now,
That even thy scattered fragments I adore ;—
How did they feel, who saw thee throned on high
In pristine splendor, while thy glorious brow
The golden diadem of nations bore?


From ignominious sleep, where age on age

Thy torpid faculties have slumbering lain,
Mine Italy, enslaved, ay more, insane,—
Wake, and behold thy wounds with noble rage.
Rouse, and with generous energy engage

Once more thy long-lost freedom to obtain ;
The path of honour yet once more regain,
And leave no blot upon my country's page.
Thy haughty lords, who trample o'er thee now,

Have worn the yoke, which bows to earth thy neck,
And graced thy triumphs in thy days of fame.
Alas! thine own most deadly foe art thou,

Unhappy land; thy spoils the invader deck,
While self-wrought chains thine infamy proclaim!



Here rest the great and good-here they repose
After their generous toil. A sacred band,
They take their sleep together, while the year
Comes with its early flowers to deck their graves,
And gathers them again, as Winter frowns.
Theirs is no vulgar sepulchre-green sods
Are all their monument, and yet it tells
A nobler history, than pillared piles,
Or the eternal pyramids. They need
No statue nor inscription to reveal
Their greatness. It is round them, and the joy

C. C.

With which their children tread the hallowed ground
That holds their venerated bones, the peace
That smiles on all they fought for, and the wealth
That clothes the land they rescued,—these, though mute,
As feeling ever is when deepest,-these
Are monuments more lasting, than the fanes
Reared to the kings and demigods of old.

Touch not the ancient elms, that bend their shade
Over their lowly graves; beneath their boughs
There is a solemn darkness, even at noon,
Suited to such as visit at the shrine
Of serious liberty. No factious voice
Called them unto the field of generous fame,
But the pure consecrated love of home.
No deeper feeling sways us, when it wakes
In all its greatness. It has told itself
To the astonished gaze of awe-struck kings,
At Marathon, at Bannockburn, and here,
Where first our patriots sent the invader back
Broken and cowed. Let these green elms be all
To tell us where they fought, and where they lie.
Their feelings were all nature, and they need
No art to make them known. They live in us,
While we are like them, simple, hardy, bold,
Worshipping nothing but our own pure hearts,
And the one universal Lord. They need
No column pointing to the heaven they sought,
To tell us of their home. The heart itself,
Left to its own free purpose, hastens there,
And there alone reposes. Let these elms
Bend their protecting shadow o'er their graves,
And build with their green roof the only fane,
Where we may gather on the hallowed day,
That rose to them in blood, and set in glory.
Here let us meet, and while our motionless lips
Give not a sound, and all around is mute

In the deep sabbath of a heart too full

For words or tears-here let us strew the sod
With the first flowers of spring, and make to them
An offering of the plenty, Nature gives,
And they have rendered ours--perpetually.



I stood upon the hills, when heaven's wide arch
Was glorious with the sun's returning march,
And woods were brightened, and soft gales
Went forth to kiss the sun-clad vales.

The clouds were far beneath me :-bathed in light
They gathered mid-way round the wooded height,

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And in their fading glory shone
Like hosts in battle overthrown,

As many a pinnacle, with shifting glance,

Through the grey mist thrust up its shattered lance, And rocking on the cliff was left

The dark pine blasted, bare, and cleft. The veil of cloud was lifted, and below Glowed the rich valley, and the river's flow Was darkened by the forest's shade, Or glistened in the white cascade, Where upward in the mellow blush of day The noisy bittern wheeled his spiral way.

I heard the distant waters dash-
I saw the current whirl and flash-
And richly by the blue lake's silver beach
The woods were bending with a silent reach.
Then o'er the vale with gentle swell
The music of the village bell

Came sweetly to the echo-giving hills,

And the wild horn, whose voice the woodland fills,

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Was ringing to the merry shout That faint and far the glen sent out, Where, answering to the sudden shot, thin smoke Through thick-leaved branches from the dingle broke.

If thou art worn and hard beset

With sorrows that thou wouldst forget,-
If thou wouldst read a lesson that will keep
Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,
Go to the woods and hills!-no tears
Dim the sweet look that nature wears.

H. W. L.


The Spirit of Beauty unfurls her light,
And wheels her course in a joyous flight:
I know her track through the balmy air,
By the blossoms that cluster and whiten there;
She leaves the tops of the mountains green,
And gems the valley with crystal sheen.

At morn,
I know where she rested at night,
For the roses are gushing with dewy delight;
Then she mounts again, and around her flings
A shower of light from her purple wings,
Till the spirit is drunk with the music on high,
That silently fills it with ecstacy!

At noon, she hies to a cool retreat,
Where bowering elms over waters meet;

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