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“ Those features : so I saw the last
HOME THOUGHTS, FROM ABROAD.
Oh, to be in England now that’ April 's there,
THE ITALIAN IN ENGLAND.
That second time they hunted me From hill to plain, from shore to sea, And Austria, hounding far and wide Her blood-hounds thro’ the country-side Breathed hot and instant on my trace.-I made six days a hiding-place Of that dry green old aqueduct Where I and Charles, when boys, have plucked The fire-flies from the roof above, Bright creeping thro' the moss they love: -How long it seems since Charles was lost ! Six days the soldiers crossed and crossed The country in my very sight; And when that peril ceased at night, The sky broke out in red dismay With signal fires; well, there I lay Close covered o'er in my recess, Up to the neck in ferns and cress, Thinking on Metternich our friend, And Charles's miserable end, And much beside, two days; the third, Hunger d’ercame me when I heard The peasants from the village go To work among the maize; you know,
With us in Lombardy, they bring
These I let pass in jingling line,
An hour, and she returned alone Exactly where my glove was thrown. Meanwhile came many thoughts; on me Rested the hopes of Italy; I had devised a certain tale Which, when 't was told her, could not fail Persuade a peasant of its truth; I meant to call a freak of youth This hiding, and give hopes of pay,
And no temptation to betray. But when I saw that woman's face, Its calm simplicity of grace, Our Italy's own attitude In which she walked thus far, and stood, Planting each naked foot so firm, To crush the snake and spare the wormAt first sight of her eyes, I said, “ I am that man upon whose head “ They fix the price, because I hate “ The Austrians over us: the State “ Will give you gold-oh, gold so much !“ If you betray me to their clutch, “ And be your death, for aught I know, “ If once they find you saved their foe. “ Now, you must bring me food and drink, “ And also paper, pen and ink, “ And carry safe what I shall write “ To Padua, which you 'll reach at night “ Before the duomo shuts; go in, “And wait till Tenebræ begin ; “ Walk to the third confessional, “ Between the pillar and the wall, “ And kneeling whisper, Whence comes peace ? “ Say it a second time, then cease; “ And if the voice inside returns, “ From Christ and Freedom; what concerns “ The cause of Peace :—for answer, slip “ My letter where you placed your lip; “ Then come back happy we have done “ Our mother service-I, the son, “ As you the daughter of our land !"
Three mornings more, she took her stand In the same place, with the same eyes : I was no surer of sun-rise Than of her coming : we conferred Of her own prospects, and I heard She had a lover-stout and tall, She said—then let her eyelids fall, “ He could do much”—as if some doubt Entered her heart,—then, passing out, “She could not speak for others, who “ Had other thoughts; herself she knew :" And so she brought me drink and food. After four days, the scouts pursued Another path; at last arrived The help my Paduan friends contrived To furnish me: she brought the news. For the first time I could not choose But kiss her hand, and lay my own Upon her head—“This faith was shown " To Italy, our mother; she “ Uses my hand and blesses thee." She followed down to the sea-shore ; I left and never saw her more.
How very long since I have thought Concerning—much less wished for—aught Beside the good of Italy, For which I live and mean to die ! I never was in love ; and since Charles proved false, what shall now convince My inmost heart I have a friend ? However, if I pleased to spend