Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/415

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CANTO IV.]
373
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

Which Petrarch's laureate brow supremely wore,
Upon a far and foreign soil had grown,
His Life, his Fame, his Grave, though rifled—not thine own.[1]


LVIII.

Boccaccio[2] to his parent earth bequeathed[3]N21

His dust,—and lies it not her Great among,
  1. [Tomasini, in the Petrarca Redivivus (pp. 168-172, ed. 1650), assigns the outrage to a party of Venetians who "broke open Petrarch's tomb, in 1630, and took away some of his bones, probably with the object of selling them." Hobhouse, in note ix., says, "that one of the arms was stolen by a Florentine," but does not quote his authority. (See the notes to H. F. Tozer's Childe Harold, p. 302.)]
  2. [Giovanni Boccaccio was born at Paris (or Certaldo) in 1313, passed the greater part of his life at Florence, died and was buried at Certaldo, whence his family are said to have sprung, in 1375. His sepulchre, which stood in the centre of the Church of St. Michael and St. James, known as the Canonica, was removed in 1783, on the plea that a recent edict forbidding burial in churches applied to ancient interments. "The stone that covered the tomb was broken, and thrown aside as useless into the adjoining cloisters" (Handbook for Central Italy, p. 171). "Ignorance," pleads Hobhouse, "may share the crime with bigotry." But it is improbable that the "hyæna bigots," that is, the ecclesiastical authorities, were ignorant that Boccaccio was a bitter satirist of Churchmen, or that "he transferred the functions and histories of Hebrew prophets and prophetesses, and of Christian saints and apostles, nay, the highest mysteries and most awful
  3. Boccaccio to his parent earth bequeathed
    The dust derived from thence—doth it not lie
    With many a sweet and solemn requiem breathed
    O'er him who formed the tongue of Italy
    That music in itself whose harmony
    Asks for no tune to make it song; No—torn
    From earth—and scattered while the silent sky
    Hushed its indignant Winds—with quiet scorn
    The Hyæna bigots thus forbade a World to mourn
    .—[D. erased.]