They made an Exile— not a slave of me. Hast thou not bled? Casto : In thine irreparable wrongs my own ; "We can have but one country, and even yet Thou'rt mine — my bones shall be within thy breast, 20 My soul within thy language, which once set With our old Roman sway in the wide West j But I will make another tongue arise As lofty and more sweet, in which exprest The hero's ardour, or the lover's sighs, Shall find alike such sounds for every theme That every word, as brilliant as thy skies, Shall realize a poet's proudest dream, And make thee Europe's nightingale of song ; So that all present speech to thine shall seem The note of meaner birds, and every tongue SI Confess its barbarism when compared with thine.
Gog and Magog vs. the Covenants of the Prophet
The bloody chaos yet expects creation, Canto 2. Thou, Italy!
Rome, the spoiler or the spoil of France, From Brennus to the Bourbon, never, never Shall foreign standard to thy walls advance But Tiber shall become a mournful river. Why sleep the idle avalanches so, To topple on the lonely pilgrim's head? Why doth Eridanus but overflow The peasant's harvest from his turbid bed?
Were not each barbarous horde a nobler prey? Over Cambyses' host the desert spread Her sandy ocean, and the sea waves' sway Roll'd over Pharaoh and his thousands, — why, Mountains and waters, do ye not as they? Romans, who dare not die, Sons of the conquerors who overthrew Those who overthrew proud Xerxes, where yet lie The dead whose tomb Oblivion never knew, Are the Alps weaker than Thermopylee?
Cahto 2. Their passes more alluring to the view Of an invader? Why, Nature's self detains the victor's car And makes your land impregnable, if earth Could be so; but alone she will Dot war, Yet aids the warrior worthy of his birth In a soil where the mothers bring forth men i Not so with those whose souls are little worth 3 For them no fortress can avail, — the den Of the poor reptile which preserves its sting Is more secure than walls of adamant, when The hearts of those within are quivering.
Yes, yet the Ausonian soil Hath hearts, and hands, and arms, and hosts to bring Against Oppression ; but how vain the toil, While still Division sows the seeds of woe And weakness, till the stranger reaps the spoil.
To make the Alps impassable ; and we, Her sons, may do this with one deed Unite! From out the mass of never dying ill, The Plague, the Prince, the Stranger, and the Sword, Vials of wrath but emptied to refill And flow again, I cannot all record That crowds on my prophetic eye: the earth And ocean written o'e r would not afford Space for the annal, yet it shall go forth; Yes, all, though not by human pen, is graven, There where the farthest 'suns and stars have birth. Spread like a banner at the erate of heaven, Canto 3.
Like to a harpstring stricken by the wind, The sound of her lament shall, rising o'er The seraph voices, touch the Almighty Mind.
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Meantime I, humblest of thy sons, and of 20 Earth's dust by immortality refined To sense and suffering, though the vain may scoff, And tyrants threat, and meeker victims bow Before the storm because its breath is rough, To thee, my country! I but foretell thy fortunes— then expire; SO Think not that I would look on them and live. To o-ive thee honour, and the earth delight; Thy soil shall still he pregnant with the wise, The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and the brave, Native to thee as summer to thy skies, Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far wave, 7 Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name ; 8 For thee alone they have no arm to save, And all thy recompense is in their fame, A noble one to them, but not to thee — 50 Shall they be glorious, and thou still the same?
Which cheers the birds to song shall bid them glow, And raise their notes as natural and high ; Tuneful shall be their numbers : they shall sing Many of love, and some of liberty, But few shall soar upon that eagle's wing, 70 And look in the sun's face with eagle's gaze All free and fearless as the feather'd king, But fly more near the earth j how many a phrase Sublime shall lavishM be on some small prince In all the prodigality of praise!
And language, eloquently false, evince The harlotry of genius, which, like beauty, Too oft forgets its own self-reverence, And looks on prostitution as a duty.
To smooth the verse to suit his sovereign's ease And royal leisure, nor too much prolong Aught save his eulogy, and find, and seize, 90 Or force, or forge fit argument of song! Casto S. Pleasure shall, like a butterfly new caught, Flutter her lovely pinions o'er his theme, And Art itself seem into Nature wrought' By the transparency of his bright dream The second, of a tenderer, sadder mood, " Shall pour his soul out o'er Jerusalem ; He, too, shall sing of arms, and Christian blood Shed where Christ bled for man ; and his high harp Shall, by the willow over Jordan's flood, Revive a song of Sion, and the sharp Conflict, and final triumph of the brave And pious, and the strife of hell to warp Their hearts from their great purpose, until wave The red-cross banners where the first red Cross Was crimson'd from his veins who died to save, Shall be his sacred argument; the loss Of years, of favour, freedom, even of fame Contested for a time, while the smooth gloss Of courts would slide o'er his forgotten name, And call captivity a kindness, meant.
To shield him from insanity or shame, Such shall be his meet guerdon! Florence dooms me but death or banishment, Ferrara him a pittance and a cell, Harder to bear and less deserved, for I Canto 3.
Perhaps he'll love, — and is not tove in vain Torture enough without a living tomb? Yet it will be so — he and his compeer, The Bard of Chivalry, will both consume In penury and pain too many a year, And, dying in despondency, bequeath To the kind world, which scarce will yield a tear, A hermitage enriching all who breathe With the wealth of a genuine poet's soul, And to their country a redoubled wreath, Unmatch'd by time ; not Hellas can unroll Through her olympiads two such names, though one Of hers be mighty;— and is this the whole Of such men's destiny beneath the sun?
That which should be, to such a recompense Conduct? Yet some have been untouch'd, who learn'd to bear, Some whom no power could ever force to droop, Who could resist themselves even, hardest care! And task most hopeless; but some such have been, And if my name amongst the number were, That destiny austere, and yet serene, "Were prouder than more dazzling fame unblest ; The Alp's snow summit nearer heaven is seen Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest, Whose splendour from the black abyss is flung, Cakto 3. Casto 4. Who, having lavish'd his high gift in vain, Lies chain'd to his lone rock by the sea-shore?
So be it: we can bear. Despair and Genius are too oft connected. Within the ages which before me pass 40 Art shall resume and equal even the sway Which with Apelles and old Phidias She held in Hellas' unforgotten day. Canto 4. And the bold Architect unto whose care The daring charge to raise it shall be given, Whom all arts shall acknowledge as their lord, "Whether into the marble chaos driven 60 His chisel bid the Hebrew, 13 at whose word Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone, Or hues of hell be by his pencil pour'd Over the damn'd before the Judgment throne, 14 Such as I saw them, such as all shall see, Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown, The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me, 15 The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realms Which form the empire of eternity.
Cakto 4. Amidst the clash of swords, and clang of helms, The age which I anticipate, no less 71 Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelms Calamity the nations with distress, The genius of my country shall arise, A Cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, Lovely in all its branches to all eyes, Fragrant as fair, and recognized afar, Wafting its native incense through the skies.
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And Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise To tyrants who but take her for a toy Emblems and monuments, and prostitute Her charms to pontiffs proud, 16 who but em- ploy The man of genius as the meanest brute To bear a burthen, and to serve a need, To sell his labours, and his soul to boot: Who toils for nations may be poor indeed But free; who sweats for monarchs is no more Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed am fce'd, Canto 4.
Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest!
Or if their destiny be born aloof From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain, In their own souls sustain a harder proof, The inner war of passions deep and fierce? Note 1, page 11, line The reader is requested to adopt the Italian pronuncia- tion of Beatrice, sounding all the syllables. Note 2, page 12, line 9. The Church is the window in the house of human life from which to look out and see heaven ; and it does not require a very ornamental window to make the stars visible. Yet the churches which he was ac- quainted with were only the Baptist meeting-houses of Bedfordshire ; and in an age of persecution these were certainly as humble structures as have ever served for places of worship.
Although the Church of Christ's day was of divine origin and He acknowledged it to be the house of God, it was frightfully full of abuses. Though an institution comes from God, man may add to it that which is his own ; and by degrees the human addition may become so identified with the divine institution that both are supposed to be of a piece and equally divine. This is the Reformer.
No one knows how it had begun ; such things sometimes begin innocently enough. But it had been immensely developed by a misconcep- tion which had crept in as to what the worship of God is. Worship is the means by which the empty human soul approaches God in order to be filled with His fulness, and then go away rejoicing, to live for Him in the strength thus received. But there is always a tendency to look upon it as a tribute we pay to God, which pleases Him and is meritoiious on our part. Of course, if it is tribute paid to Him, the more of it that can be paid the better ; for the more of it there is, so much the greater grows the merit of the worshipper.
Destiny's End (Imago Chronicles #5) by L.T. Suzuki
Thus services are multiplied, new forms are invented, and the memory of God's grace is lost in the achievements of human merit This was what had happened in Palestine. Religion had become an endless round of services, which were multiplied till they became a burden which life was unable to bear.
Even the ministers of religion them- selves were not able to perform all the orders they issued ; and then hypocrisy came in ; for naturally they were supposed to be doing those things which they prescribed to others. But they said and did not ; they bound heavy burdens and grievous to be borne on other men's shoulders, while they them- selves would not touch them with one of their fingers. It was high time for a reformer to appear, and the work fell to Jesus. The first outburst of His reformatory zeal was at the outset of His ministry, when He drove the buyers and sellers out of the Temple.
Their practices had probably commenced with good intentions : they sold oxen and doves for sacrifice to the worshippers from foreign countries, who came in tens of thousands to Jerusalem at the feast and could not easily bring these animals with them ; and they exchanged the coins of Jerusalem for those of foreign countries, in which the strangers of course had brought their money. It was a necessary thing ; but it had grown to be a vast abuse ; for exorbitant prices were charged for the animals and exorbitant rates of exchange demanded ; the traffic was carried on with such din and clamour as to disturb the worship ; and CHRIST IN THE CHURCH, 8i it took up SO much room that the Gentiles were elbowed out of the court of the Temple which be- longed to them.
In short, the house of prayer had become a den of thieves. Jesus had no doubt noted the abuse with holy anger many a time when visiting the Temple at the feasts ; and, when the prophetic spirit descended on Him and His public ministry began, it was among His first acts to clear it out of the house of God. It is said that the high-priestly families derived an income -from this unholy traffic, and it is not likely that they felt very kindly to One who thus invaded their vested interests.
In like manner He aroused the resentment of the Pharisaic party by turning into ridicule their long and pretentious prayers and the trumpets they blew before them when they were giving alms. He could not but expose these prac- tices, for the people had learned to revere as the flower of piety that which was the base weed of vulgarity and pride.
He was compelled at last to pluck the cloak of hypocrisy entirely away from the reli- gious characters of the day and expose them in their true colours as blind leaders of the blind and whited sepulchres, which appeared fair outside, but inwardly were full of dead men's bones. Thus He cleared away the human additions piled about the house of God and let the true Temple once more be seen in its own fair proportions.
But He had to pay the penalty. The priests, the stream of whose sinful gains He had stopped, and the Pharisees, whose hypocrisy He had exposed, pursued Him with hatred that never rested till they saw Him- on the cross. And so, in addition to the name of reformer. He earned the name of Martyr, and Himself became the leader of the noble army of martyrs which in a thin line deploys through the centuries. Not a few of that army have also been.
They have risen against the abuses of the Church of their day and perished in the attempt. For the New Testament Church is no more free than was the Old Testament Church from the danger of being a scene of abuses.
Related Prophecy (Imago Chronicles:)
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