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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/545

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PARISINA.

Each flower the dews have lightly wet,
And in the sky the stars are met,
And on the wave is deeper blue,
And on the leaf a browner hue,10
And in the heaven that clear obscure,
So softly dark, and darkly pure,
Which follows the decline of day,
As twilight melts beneath the moon away.[1]


II.

But it is not to list to the waterfall[2]

That Parisina leaves her hall,

    make public his justification, seeing that the transaction could not be kept secret, he ordered the narrative to be drawn out upon paper, and sent it to all the courts of Italy.

    "On receiving this advice, the Doge of Venice, Francesco Foscari, gave orders, but without publishing his reasons, that stop should be put to the preparations for a tournament, which, under the auspices of the Marquis, and at the expense of the city of Padua, was about to take place, in the square of St. Mark, in order to celebrate his advancement to the ducal chair.

    "The Marquis, in addition to what he had already done, from some unaccountable burst of vengeance, commanded that as many of the married women as were well known to him to be faithless, like his Parisina, should, like her, be beheaded. Amongst others, Barberina, or, as some call her, Laodamia Romei, wife of the court judge, underwent this sentence, at the usual place of execution; that is to say, in the quarter of St. Giacomo, opposite the present fortress, beyond St. Paul's. It cannot be told how strange appeared this proceeding in a prince, who, considering his own disposition, should, as it seemed, have been in such cases most indulgent. Some, however, there were who did not fail to commend him." [Memorie per la Storia di Ferrara, Raccolte da Antonio Frizzi, 1793, iii. 408-410. See, too, Celebri Famiglie Italiane, by Conte Pompeo Litta, 1832, Fasc. xxvi. Part III. vol. ii.]

  1. The lines contained in this section were printed as set to music
  2. Francisca walks in the shadow of night,
    But it is not to gaze on the heavenly light—
    But if she sits in her garden bower,
    'Tis not for the sake of its blowing flower
    .—

    [Nathan, 1815, 1829.]