Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/396

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In melancholy bosoms—such as were
Of moody texture from their earliest day,
And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay
Deeming themselves predestined to a doom
Which is not of the pangs that pass away;[1]
Making the Sun like blood, the Earth a tomb,
The tomb a hell—and Hell itself a murkier gloom.[2]


Ferrara![3] in thy wide and grass-grown streets,
Whose symmetry was not for solitude,
There seems as 'twere a curse upon the Seats
Of former Sovereigns, and the antique brood
Of Este,[4] which for many an age made good

Its strength within thy walls, and was of yore
  1. Which dies not nor can ever pass away.—[MS. M. erased.]
  2. The tomb a hell—and life one universal gloom.—[MS. M. erased.]
  3. [Byron passed a single day at Ferrara in April, 1817; went over the castle, cell, etc., and a few days after wrote The Lament of Tasso, the manuscript of which is dated April 20, 1817. The Fourth Canto of Childe Harold was not begun till the end of June in the same year.]
  4. [Of the ancient family of Este, Marquesses of Tuscany, Azzo V. was the first who obtained power in Ferrara in the twelfth century. A remote descendant, Nicolo III. (b. 1384, d. 1441), founded the University of Parma. He married for his second wife Parisina Malatesta (the heroine of Byron's Parisina, published February, 1816), who was beheaded for adultery in 1425. His three sons, Lionel (d. 1450), the friend of Poggio Bracciolini; Borso (d. 1471), who established printing in his states; and Ercolo (d. 1505), the friend of Boiardo,—were all patrons of letters and fosterers of the Renaissance. Their successor, Alphonso I. (1486-1534), who married Lucrezia Borgia, 1502, honoured himself by attaching Ariosto to his court, and it was his grandson,