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He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd, and unknown.
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
The armaments wbich thunderstrike the walls
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow-
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
CLXXXV. My task is done—my song hath ceased—my theme Has died into an echo; it'is fit The spell should break of this protracted dream. The torch shall be extinguish'd which hath lit My midnight lamp—and what is writ, is writWould it were worthier! but I am not now That which I have been—and my visions flit
Less palpably before me—and the glow Which in my spirit dwelt, is fluttering, faint, and low.
Farewell! a word that must be, and hath been-
Farewell ! with him alone may rest the pain,
NOTES TO CANTO IV.
Note 1, page 213, stanza 1.
A palace and a prison on each hand: elc. The communication between the ducal palace and the prisons of Venice is by a gloomy bridge, or covered gallery, high above the water, and divided by a stone wall into a passage and a cell. The state dungeons, called « pozzi," or wells, were sunk in the thick walls of the palace; and the prisoner, when taken out to die, was conducted across the gallery to the other side, and being then led back into the other compartment, or cell, upon the bridge, was there strangled. The low portal through which the criminal was taken into this cell is now walled up; but the passage is still open, and is still known by the name of the Bridge of Sighs. The pozzi are under the flooring of the chamber at the foot of the bridge. They were formerly twelve, but on the first arrival of the French, the Venetians hastily blocked or broke up the deeper of these dungeons. You may still, however, descend by a trap-door, and crawl down through holes, half-choked by rubbish, to the depth of two stories below the first range. If you are in want of consolation for the extinction of patrician power, perhaps you may find it there; scarcely a ray of light glimmers into the narrow gallery which leads to the cells, and the places of confinement themselves are totally dark. A small hole in the wall admitted the damp air of the passages, and served for the introduction of the prisoner's food. A wooden pallet, raised a foot from the ground, was