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and retired life, devoted to the cultivation of literature, and especially of poetry, until the time of the famous siege of Vienna by the Turks. This event, and the subsequent raising of the siege by John Sobieski, acting at the same moment upon his piety and his poctical enthusiasm, drew from him several Canzoni, which, breathing a spirit of holy confidence in the protection of the true God, and of triumphant gratulation in the success of the Christians, instantly gave him a reputation completely European. Complimentary letters were addressed to him by the Emperor Leopold, the King of Poland, and the Duke of Lorraine. In addition to this, Christina, queen of Sweden, wrote him a complimentary letter to which Filicaja replied with a canzone ; and the strictesi friendship thenceforth subsisted between the poet and Christina until her death, which forms the subject of several of his poems. Filicaja's fame as a poet introduced him also to the notice or the Grand Duke, who invested him with the rank of senator, and entrusted him from time to time with several conspicuous magistracies, of which he acquitted himself with great ability and integrity. He was also made a member of the Academies of La Crusca and the Arcadi ; and having become one of the most eminent poets of the day, he died in 1707, universally honoured and regretted. He was married at the age of 31, and had two sons, one of whom survived him, and first collected his poems.

Filicaja wrote poems in the Latin, as well as in the Italian language. Iligh as the encomium may seem, it is not saying too much of him to affirm, that in comparison with the Italian poets of his age, perhaps with the Italian poets of any age, he is distinguished for the vivacity, vigour, and dignity of his style, and for sentiments which often rise to the height of sublimity, and always are strongly conceived, grave, and impressive. The occasion which first inspired his muse, appears to have listed him above the intolerably affected taste in poctical composition, which characterized most other Italian poets of the seventeenth century (the seicentisti). Liberty and religion are his favourite themes, and they communicate their own animating and elevating character to his mind. Many of his poems are purely devotional. Many also are spirited exhortations to the Italian States to bury their petty jealousies in oblivion, and unite in the common cause of achieving the independence of Italy. His countrymen have always dwelt upon these poems with melancholy pride, which, while it testified their sense of their own abject condition, sought consolation in the stirring recollection of their departed glory.

begin my specimen of Filicaja with his memorable sonnet


Italia, oh Italia, hapless thou,

Who didst the fatal gift of beauty gain,

A dowry fraught with never ending pain,

A seal of sorrow stamped upon thy brow :
Oh, were thy bravery more, or less thy charms !

Then should thy foes, they whom thy loveliness
Now lures afar to conquer and possess,-

Adore thy beauty less, or dread thine arms!
No longer then should hostile torrents pour

Adown the Alps ; and Gallic troops be laved

In the red waters of the Po no more;
Nor longer then, by foreign courage saved,

Barbarian succour should thy sons implore,

Vanquished or victors still by Goths enslaved. The following sonnet indicates the tendency to a religious train of thought, which marks the poetry of Filicaja.


Thou buried City, o'er thy site I muse :

What! Does no monumental stone remain,
To say, Here yawned the earthquake-riven plain,

Here stood Catania, and here Syracuse ?
Along thy sad and solitary sand,

I seek thee in thyself, yet find instead
Nought but the dreadful stillness of the dead;

Stariled and horror-struck I wond'ring stand,
And cry : Oh terrible, tremendous course

Of God's decrees! I see it and I feel it here ;

Shall I not comprehend and dread its force?
Rise, ye lost cities, let your ruins rear

Their massy forms on high, portentous corse,

That trembling ages may behold and fear! Filicaja's best Canzoni are all of considerable length; and therefore my limits will not permit me to introduce more than one here. It is the first in order in the common editions of his works, the first in time of the odes upon the Turkish invasion, and second to none in point of merit. in my translation, I have preserved the succession of the rhymes, and have endeavoured to imitate the lyrical movements, of the original ode.


How long, O Lord, shall vengeance sleep,

And impious pride defy thy rod ?
How long thy faithful servants weep,
Scourged by the fierce barbaric host?
Where, where, of thine almighty arm, O God,
Where is the ancient boast ?
While Tartar brands are drawn to steep
Thy fairest plains in Christian gore,
Why slumbers thy devouring wrath,
Nor sweeps the offender from thy path?

And wilt thou hear thy sons deplore
Thy temples rifled, shrines no more,
Nor burst their galling chains asunder,

And arra thee with avenging thunder?
See the black cloud on Austria lower,

Big with terror, death, and wo;
Behold the wild barbarians pour
In rushing torrents o'er the land !
Lo! host on bost, the infidel foe
Sweep along the Danube's strand,
And darkly serried spears the light of day o'erpower!
There the innumerable swords,
The banners of the East unite;
All Asia girds her loins for fight;
The Don's barbaric lords,
Sarmatia's haughty hordes,
Warriors from Thrace, and many a swarthy file
Banded on Syria's plains, or by the Nile.
Mark the tide of blood, that flows

Within Vienna's proud imperial walls;
Beneath a thousand deadly blows,
Dismayed, enfeebled, sunk, subdued,
Austria's queen of cities falls;
Vain are her lofty ramparts to elude
The fatal triumph of her foes ;
Lo! her earth-fast battlements
Quiver and shake; hark to the thrilling cry
Of war, that rends the sky,
The groans of death, the wild laments,
The sobs of trembling innocents,
Of wildered matrons, pressing to their breast
All which they feared for most and loved the best.
Thine everlasting hand

Exalt, O Lord, that impious men may learn
How frail their armour to withstand
Thy power, the power of God supreme.
Let thy consuming vengeance burn
The guilty nations with its beam.
Bind them in slavery's iron band,
Or, as the scattered dust in summer flies
Chased by the raging blast of heaven,
Before thee be the Thracians driven.
Let trophied columns by the Danube rise,
And bear the inscription to the skies:
Warring against the Christian Jove in vain,
Here was the Ottoman Typhæus slain.



If destiny decree,

If fate's eternal leaves declare,
That Germany shall bend the knee
Before a Turkish despot's nod,
And Italy the Moslem yoke shall bear,

I bow in meek humility,
And kiss the holy rod.
Conquer, if such thy will,
Conquer the Scythian, while he drains
The noblest blood from Europe's veins,
And Havoc drinks her fill;-
We yield thee trembling homage still,
We rest in thy command secure,

For thou alone art just and wise and pure.
But shall I live to see the day,

When Tartar ploughs Gerinanic soil divide,
And Arab herdsmen fearless stray
And watch their docks along the Rhine,
Where princely cities now o'erlook his tide ?
The Danube's towers no longer shine,
For hostile flame has given them to decay;
Shall devastation wider spread ?
Where the proud ramparts of Vienna swell,
Shall solitary Echo dwell,
And human footsteps cease to tread ?
O God, avert the omen dread :
If Heaven the sentence did record,

O let thy mercy blot the fatal word !
Hark to the votive hymn resounding

Through the temple's cloistered aisles ;
See, the sacred shrine surrounding,
Perfumed clouds of incense rise.
The Pontiff opes the stately piles
Where many a buried treasure lies,
With liberal band, rich, full, abounding,
He pours abroad the gold of Rome.
He summons every christian king
Against the Moslemim to bring
Their forces leagued for Christendom;
The brave Teutopic nations come,
And warlike Poles like thunderbolts descend,
Moved by his voice their brethren to defend.
He stands upon the Esquiline,

And lifts to heaven his holy arm,
Like Moses, clothed in power divine,
While faith and hope his strength sustain.
Merciful God, has prayer no charm
Thy rage to sooth, thy love to gain ?
The pious king of Judah's line
Beneath thine anger lowly bended,
And thou didst give him added years ;
The Assyrian Nineveh shed tears
Of humbled pride, when death impended,
And thus the fatal curse forefended;
And wilt thou turn away thy face,
When heaven's Vicegerent seeks thy grace ?

Sacred fury fires my breast,

And fills my labouring soul.
Ye, who bold the lance in rest,
And gird you for the holy wars,
On, on, like ocean waves to conquest roll,
Christ and the Cross your leading star :
Already he proclaims your prowess blest:
Sound the loud trump of victory,
Rush to the combat, Soldiers of the Cross ;
High let your banners triumpbantly toss;
For the heathen shall perish, and songs of the free
Ring through the heavens in jubilee.
Why delay ye? Buckle on the sword and targe,
And charge, victorious champions, charge.

C. C.


Magnanima menzogna, or quando è il vero “ Si bello, che si possa a te preporre ?"

[CONCLUDED.) It might be an interesting occupation, could we afford time and space for it, to compare the actual condition of society, as well as the mythological fables exhibited in these old Romances, with those of Greek tradition, and particularly with those represented in the poems of Homer. We suspect that the Middle Ages would be found to have much the advantage over the Heroic, in point of refinement. In the gloomiest period, Europe retained something of the warmth which had been imparted to it by the genial ray of science, in the days of polished antiquity.

The simplicity or rather rusticity of Homer's heroes is not in perfect conformity with the lofty tone of knight-errantry. The Princess Nausicaa washing her own linen, Ulysses carpentering his own bedstead, Achilles cooking a steak and spreading the table for dinner, are certainly not in the taste of the lordly feudal times, of the Olivers, Rolands, and Percivals, who would sooner have fasted a month, than have condescended to such plebeian operations.* Indeed this fasting is characteristic of the modern knight-errant, while Homer, with more honesty, makes his heroes huge fecders on most occasions. Ulysses floating on the wreck, in

* A most singular custom of the Heroic Age was that of females of rank attending a distinguished guest of the family to the bath. Thus the Princess Polycaste, by the command of her father, officiates as waiting paid to Telemachus, and after the ablution perfumes the body of the young hero with fragrant oils. We recollect no parallel piece of courtesy in the ancient English roinance, though we may find one in the old epic of Boiardo, who somewhere represents Angelica as ministering to Orlando, in this (as it would be considered in these degenerate times, at least,) somewhat embarassing situation.

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