Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/413

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But where repose the all Etruscan three—
Dante, and Petrarch, and, scarce less than they,
The Bard of Prose, creative Spirit! he[1]
Of the Hundred Tales of Love—where did they lay
Their bones, distinguished from our common clay
In death as life? Are they resolved to dust,
And have their Country's Marbles nought to say?
Could not her quarries furnish forth one bust?
Did they not to her breast their filial earth entrust?


Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar,[2]N18

Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore:[3]N19

    "In this beloved marble view,
    Above the works and thoughts of man,
    What nature could, but would not, do,
    And Beauty and Canova can."

    In Beppo (stanza xlvi.), which was written in October, 1817, there is a further allusion to the genius of Canova.]

  1. Their great Contemporary——.—[MS. M. erased.]
  2. [Dante died at Ravenna, September 14, 1321, and was buried in the Church of S. Francesco. His remains were afterwards transferred to a mausoleum in the friars' cemetery, on the north side of the church, which was raised to his memory by his friend and patron, Guido da Polenta. The mausoleum was restored more than once, and rebuilt in its present form in 1780, at the cost of Cardinal Luigi Valenti Gonzaga. On the occasion of Dante's sexcentenary, in 1865, it was discovered that at some unknown period the skeleton, with the exception of a few small bones which remained in an urn which formed part of Gonzaga's structure, had been placed for safety in a wooden box, and enclosed in a wall of the old Braccioforte Chapel, which lies outside the church
  3. [The story is told in Livy, lib. xxxviii. cap. 53. "Thenceforth no more was heard of Africanus. He passed his days at Liternum [on the shore of Campania], without thought or regret of Rome. Folk say that when he came to die he gave orders that he should be buried on the spot, and that there, and not at Rome, a monument should be raised over his sepulchre. His country had been ungrateful—no Roman funeral for him." It is said that his sepulchre bore the inscription: "Ingrata patria, cineres meos non habebis." According to another tradition, he was buried with his family at the Porta Capena, by the Cælian Hill.]