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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/309

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CANTO IV.]
271
THE PROPHECY OF DANTE.

Into a fane surpassing all before,
Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in: ne'er
Such sight hath been unfolded by a door
As this, to which all nations shall repair,
And lay their sins at this huge gate of Heaven.
And the bold Architect[1] unto whose care
The daring charge to raise it shall be given,
Whom all Arts shall acknowledge as their Lord,
Whether into the marble chaos driven60

His chisel bid the Hebrew,[2] at whose word

    it was not till 1590, in the pontificate of Sixtus V., that the dome itself was completed. The ball and cross were placed on the summit in November, 1593.—Handbook of Rome, p. 239.

    Compare Childe Harold, Canto IV. stana cliii. line 1, Poetical Works, 1892, ii. 440, 441, note 2.]

  1. ["Yet, however unequal I feel myself to that attempt, were I now to begin the world again, I would tread in the steps of that great master [Michel Angelo]. To kiss the hem of his garment, to catch the slightest of his perfections, would be glory and distinction enough for an ambitious man."—Discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1884, p. 289.]
  2. The statue of Moses on the monument of Julius II.

    [Michel Angelo's Moses is near the end of the right aisle of the Church of S. Pietro-in-Vincoli.]

    "SONETTO

    "Di Giovanni Battista Zappi.

    "Chi è costui, che in sì gran pietra scolto,
    Siede gigante, e le più illustri, e conte
    Opre dell' arte avanza, e ha vive, e pronte
    Le labbra sì, che le parole ascolto?
    Quest' è Mosè; ben me 'l deciva il folto
    Onor del mento, e 'l doppio raggio in fronte;
    Quest' è Mosè, quando scendea dal monte,
    E gran parte del Nume avea nel volto.
    Tal' era allor, che le sonanti, e vaste
    Acque ei sospese, a se d' intorno; e tale
    Quando il Mar chiuse, e ne fè tomba altrui.
    E voi, sue turbe, un rio vitello alzaste?
    Alzata aveste immago a questa eguale!
    Ch' era men fallo l' adorar costui."

    [Scelta di Sonetti ... del Gobbi, 1709, iii. 216.]

    {{block center|["And who is he that, shaped in sculptured stone
    Sits giant-like? stern monument of art
    Unparalleled, while language seems to start
    From his prompt lips, and we his precepts own?
    —'Tis Moses; by his beard's thick honours known,
    And the twin beams that from his temples dart;
    'Tis Moses; seated on the mount apart,
    Whilst yet the Godhead o'er his features shone.