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And at night from the crest of Calvano great bonfires will

hang : On the plain will the trumpets join chorus, and more

poppers bang. At all events, come-to the garden, as far as the wall ; See me tap with a hoe on the plaster, till out there shall

fall A scorpion with wide angry nippers !

_"Such trifles !” you say? Fortù, in my England at home, men meet gravely to-day And debate, if abolishing Corn-laws be righteous and

wise ! -If it were proper, Scirocco should vanish in black from

the skies !


Had I but plenty of money, money enough and to spare, The house for me, no doubt, were a house in the city

square ; Ah, such a life, such a life, as one leads at the window


Something to see, by Bacchus, something to hear, at least ! There, the whole day long, one's life is a perfect feast; While up at a villa one lives, I maintain it, no more than

a beast.


Well now, look at our villa ! stuck like the horn of a bull Just on a mountain edge as bare as the creature's skull,

Save a mere shag of a bush with hardly a leaf to pull ! -I scratch my own, sometimes, to see if the hair 's turned



But the city, oh the city--the square with the houses !

Why? They are stone-faced, white as a curd, there's something

to take the eye! Houses in four straight lines, not a single front awry; You watch who crosses and gossips, who saunters, who

hurries by ; Green blinds, as a matter of course, to draw when the

sun gets high ; And the shops with fanciful signs which are painted


What of a villa ? Though winter be over in March by

rights, 'T is May perhaps ere the snow shall have withered well

off the heights : You ’ve the brown ploughed land before, where the oxen

steam and wheeze, And the hills over-smoked behind by the faint grey olive. trees.

VI Is it better in May, I ask you? You ’ve summer all at

once ; In a day he leaps complete with a few strong April suns. 'Mid the sharp short emerald wheat, scarce risen three

fingers well, The wild tulip, at end of its tube, blows out its great red

bell Like a thin clear bubble of blood, for the children to pick

and sell.

VII Is it ever hot in the square ? There's a fountain to spout

and splash! In the shade it sings and springs ; in the shine such

foam-bows flash On the horses with curling fish-tails, that prance and

paddle and pash Round the lady atop in her conch-fifty gazers do not

: abash, Though all that she wears is some weeds round her waist

in a sort of sash.


All the year long at the villa, nothing to see though you

linger, Except yon cypress that points like death's lean lifted

forefinger. Some think fireflies pretty, when they mix i' the corn and

mingle, Or thrid the stinking hemp till the stalks of it seem

a-tingle. Late August or early September, the stunning cicala is

shrill, And the bees keep their tiresome whine round the

resinous firs on the hill. Enough of the seasons, I spare you the months of the

fever and chill.

IX Ere you open your eyes in the city, the blessed church

bells begin: No sooner the bells leave off than the diligence rattles

in :

You get the pick of the news, and it costs you never a pin. By and by there 's the travelling doctor gives pills, lets

blood, draws teeth ;

Or the Pulcinello-trumpet breaks up the market beneath. At the post-office such a scene-picture-the new play,

piping hot ! And a notice how, only this morning, three liberal thieves

were shot. Above it, behold the Archbishop's most fatherly of

rebukes, And beneath, with his crown and his lion, some little new

law of the Duke's ! Or a sonnet with flowery marge, to the Reverend Don

So-and-so Who is Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca, St. Jerome and Cicero, “And moreover," (the sonnet goes rhyming,)“ the skirts

of St. Paul has reached, “Having preached us those six Lent-lectures more

• unctuous than ever he preached.” Noon strikes,-here sweeps the procession ! our Lady

borne smiling and smart, With a pink gauze gown all spangles, and seven swords

stuck in her heart ! Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootle-te-tootle the

fife ; No keeping one's haunches still : it's the greatest pleasure

in life.


But bless you, it's dear-it's dear! fowls, wine, at

double the rate. They have clapped a new tax upon salt, and what oil pays

passing the gate It's a horror to think of. And so, the villa for me, not

the city! Beggars can scarcely be choosers : but still--ah, the pity,

the pity! Look, two and two go the priests, then the monks with

cowls and sandals,

And the penitents dressed in white shirts, a-holding the

yellow candles ; One, he carries a flag up straight, and another a cross

with handles, And the Duke's guard brings up the rear, for the better

prevention of scandals : Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootle-te-tootle the fife. Oh, a day in the city-square, there is no such pleasure in




I COULD have painted pictures like that youth's

Ye praise so. How my soul springs up! No bar, Stayed me--ah, thought which saddens while it soothes !

- Never did fate forbid me, star by star, To outburst on your night, with all my gift

Of fires from God: nor would my flesh have shrunk From seconding my soul, with eyes uplift

And wide to heaven, or, straight like thunder, sunk
To the centre, of an instant; or around

Turned calmly and inquisitive, to scan
The license and the limit, space and bound,

Allowed to truth made visible in man.
And, like that youth ye praise so, all I saw,

Over the canvas could my hand have flung, Each face obedient to its passion's law,

Each passion clear proclaimed without a tongue.
Whether Hope rose at once in all the blood,

A-tiptoe for the blessing of embrace,
Or Rapture drooped the eyes, as when her brood

Pull down the nesting dove's heart to its place;
Or Confidence lit swift the forehead up,

And locked the mouth fast, like a castle braved,

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