Vittoria Colonna.


VITTORIA COLONNA, on the death of her hushand, the Marchese di Pescara, retired to her castle at Ischia (Inarime), and there wrote the Ode upon his death, which gained her the title of Divine.

    Once more, once more, Inarime,
        I see thy purple hills!--once more
    I hear the billows of the bay
        Wash the white pebbles on thy shore.

    High o'er the sea-surge and the sands,
        Like a great galleon wrecked and cast
    Ashore by storms, thy castle stands,
        A mouldering landmark of the Past.

    Upon its terrace-walk I see
        A phantom gliding to and fro;
    It is Colonna,--it is she
        Who lived and loved so long ago.

    Pescara's beautiful young wife,
        The type of perfect womanhood,
    Whose life was love, the life of life,
        That time and change and death withstood.

    For death, that breaks the marriage band
        In others, only closer pressed
    The wedding-ring upon her hand
        And closer locked and barred her breast.

    She knew the life-long martyrdom,
        The weariness, the endless pain
    Of waiting for some one to come
        Who nevermore would come again.

    The shadows of the chestnut-trees,
        The odor of the orange blooms,
    The song of birds, and, more than these,
        The silence of deserted rooms;

    The respiration of the sea,
        The soft caresses of the air,
    All things in nature seemed to be
        But ministers of her despair;

    Till the o'erburdened heart, so long
        Imprisoned in itself, found vent
    And voice in one impassioned song
        Of inconsolable lament.

    Then as the sun, though hidden from sight,
        Transmutes to gold the leaden mist,
    Her life was interfused with light,
        From realms that, though unseen, exist,

    Inarime!    Inarime!
        Thy castle on the crags above
    In dust shall crumble and decay,
        But not the memory of her love.


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