Modern Italian Poets: Essays and Versions

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Reprint Services Corporation, 1887 - 368 pages
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Page 290 - A German anthem, that to heaven went On unseen wings, up from the holy fane; It was a prayer, and seemed like a lament, Of such a pensive, grave, pathetic strain That in my soul it never shall be spent; And how such heavenly harmony in the brain Of those thick-skulled barbarians should dwell I must confess it passes me to tell.
Page 146 - We are all made in one Likeness holy, Ransomed all by one only redemption ; Near or far, rich or poor, high or lowly, Wherever we breathe in life's air. We are brothers, by one great preemption Bound all; and accursed be its wronger, Who would ruin by right of the stronger, Wring the hearts of the weak with despair.
Page 290 - That in my soul it never shall be spent ; And how such heavenly harmony in the brain Of those thick-skulled barbarians should dwell, I must confess it passes me to tell. In that sad hymn 1 felt the bitter sweet Of the songs heard in childhood, which the soul Learns from beloved voices, to repeat To its own anguish in the days of dole : A thought of the dear mother, a regret, A longing for repose and love — the whole Anguish of distant exile seemed to run Over my heart and leave it all undone. When...
Page 246 - one who had studied Plotinus his whole life could find something useful in this work of a boy." At that age Leopardi already knew all Greek and Latin literature; he knew French, Spanish, and English ; he knew Hebrew, and disputed in that tongue with the rabbis of Ancona. The poet's father was Count Monaldo Leopardi...
Page 356 - Draw hither in thousands, and they wear The look of those that dolorously go In exile, and already their brown eyes Are heavy with the poison of the air. Here never note of amorous bird consoles Their drooping hearts ; here never the gay songs Of their Abruzzi sound to gladden these Pathetic hands. But taciturn they toil, Reaping the harvests for their unknown lords; And when the weary labor is performed, Taciturn they retire ; and not till then Their bagpipes crown the joys of the return, Swelling...
Page 262 - Or what o'erwhelming force, Hath stripped thy robe and golden wreath from thee? • How did'st thou fall, and when, From such a height unto a depth so low? Doth no one fight for thee, no one defend thee, None of thy own? Arms, arms! For I alone Will fight and fall for thee. Grant me, 0 Heaven, my blood Shall be as fire unto Italian hearts!
Page 217 - From mitred tyrants. A heap of ashes now Crowneth the hill where once Tortona stood ; And drunken with her wine and with her blood, Fallen there amidst their spoil upon the dead, Slept the wild beasts of Germany : like ghosts Dim wandering through the darkness of the night, Those that were left by famine and the sword Hidden within the heart of thy dim caverns, Desolate city ! rose and turned their steps Noiselessly towards compassionate Milan.
Page 95 - Four or five persons, each representing a purpose or a passion, occupy the scene, and obviously contribute by every word and deed to the advancement of the tragic action; and this narrowness and rigidity of intent would be intolerable, if the tragedies were not so brief: I do not think any of them is much longer than a single act of one of Shakespeare's plays. They are in all other ways equally unlike Shakespeare's plays. When you read Macbeth or Hamlet, you find yourself in a world where the interests...
Page 261 - The poem which his chief claim to classification with the poets militant of his time rests upon is that addressed To Italy. Those who have read even only a little of Leopardi have read it ; and I must ask their patience with a version which drops the irregular rhyme of the piece for the sake of keeping its peculiar rhythm and measure. My native land, I see the walls and arches, The columns and the statues, and the lonely Towers of our ancestors, But not their glory, not The laurel and the steel that...
Page 262 - Thou could'st not weep enough For all thy sorrow and for all thy shame. For thou wast queen, and now thou art a slave. Who speaks of thee or writes, That thinking on thy glory in the past But says, " She was great once, but is no more.

References to this book

The Poems of Leopardi

Limited preview - 1923

About the author (1887)

William Dean Howells was born in Martin's Ferry, Ohio on March 1, 1837. He dropped out of school to work as a typesetter and a printer's apprentice. He taught himself through intensive reading and the study of Spanish, French, Latin, and German. He wrote a campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Lincoln appointed him U.S. consul in Venice, Italy in 1861 as a reward. After returning to the U.S. several years later, he became an assistant editor for The Atlantic Monthly, later becoming editor from 1871 to 1881. He also wrote columns for Harper's New Monthly Magazine and occasional pieces for The North American Review. As an editor and critic, he was a proponent of American realism. Although he wrote over a 100 books in various genres including novels, poems, literary criticism, plays, memoirs, and travel narratives, he is best known for his realistic fiction. His novels include A Modern Instance, The Rise of Silas Lapham, A Hazard of New Fortunes, The Undiscovered Country, A Chance Acquaintance, An Imperative Duty, Annie Kilburn, and The Coast of Bohemia. He received several honorary degrees from universities as well as a Gold Medal for fiction (later renamed after him as the Howells Medal) from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He died from pneumonia on May 11, 1920.

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