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For ye have stabbed me with ingratitude
To death : ye wish it—God, ye wish it! Stone
Gritstone, a-crumble ! Clammy squares which sweat
As if the corpse they keep were oozing through-
And no more lapis to delight the world!
Well go! I bless ye. Fewer tapers there,
But in a row: and, going, turn your backs
-Ay, like departing altar-ministrants,
And leave me in my church, the church for peace,
That I may watch at leisure if he leers-
Old Gandolf at me, from his onion-stone,
As still he envied me, so fair she was !



Oh Galuppi, Baldassaro, this is very sad to find !
I can hardly misconceive you; it would prove me deaf

and blind; But although I take your meaning, 't is with such a heavy

mind !


Here you come with your old music, and here 's all the

good it brings. What, they lived once thus at Venice where the merchants

were the kings, Where St. Mark's is, where the Doges used to wed the

sea with rings?


Ay, because the sea 's the street there ; and 't is arched by ... what


call Shylock's bridge with houses on it, where they kept

the carnival : I was never out of England-it 's as if I saw it all.


Did young people take their pleasure when the sea was

warm in May? Balls and masks begun at midnight, burning ever to mid

day, When they made up fresh adventures for the morrow,

you say?


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Was a lady such a lady, cheeks so round and lips so

red,On her neck the small face buoyant, like a bell-flower on

its bed, O'er the breast's superb abundance where a man might

base his head ?


Well, and it was graceful of them : they'd break talk off

and afford -She, to bite her mask's black velvet, he, to finger on

his sword, While you sat and played Toccatas, stately at the

clavichord ?


What? Those lesser thirds so plaintive, sixths diminished,

sigh on sigh, Told them something? Those suspensions, those solu

tions-“ Must we die ?" Those commiserating sevenths—" Life might last! we

can but try!"


“ Were you happy?"_“Yes.”_" And are you still as

happy ?"_“Yes. And you ?” -“ Then, more kisses !”—“Did I stop them, when a

million seemed so few ?" Hark, the dominant's persistence till it must be answered

to !


So, an octave struck the answer. Oh, they praised you,

I dare say! “ Brave Galuppi ! that was music ! good alike at grave

and gay! “ I can always leave off talking when I hear a master



Then they left you for their pleasure : till in due time,

one by one, Some with lives that came to nothing, some with deeds

as well undone, Death stepped tacitly, and took them where they never

see the sun.


But when I sit down to reason, think to take my stand

nor swerve, While I triumph o'er a secret wrung from nature's close

reserve, In you come with

cold music till I


every nerve


Yes, you, like a ghostly cricket, creaking where a house

was burned : “ Dust and ashes, dead and done with, Venice spent

what Venice earned. “ The soul, doubtless, is immortal—where a soul can be



“ Yours for instance : you know physics, something of

geology, “ Mathematics are your pastime; souls shall rise in their

degree; “ Butterflies may dread extinction,-you 'll not die, it

cannot be!


" As for Venice and her people, merely born to bloom

and drop, Here on earth they bore their fruitage, mirth and folly

were the crop : “ What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had

to stop?


Dust and ashes !” So you creak it, and I want the

heart to scold. Dear dead women, with such hair, too—what 's become

of all the gold Used to hang and brush their bosoms? I feel chilly and

grown old.

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