"Oh felice che mai non pose il piede
Fuori della natia sua dolce terra;
Egli il cor non lascio fitto in oggetti
Che di piu riveder on ha speranza,
E cio, che vive ancor, morto, non piange." Pindemonte. *
HAPPY the man, who spends his life, 'mid his paternal fields:
The roof which saw him cradled, to his age its shelter yields
And, where he crawled in infancy, he now, with staff in hand,
Scores the long tally of his years, upon the sunny sand.
Not him with strange vicissitudes, has fortune drawn away,
Nor love of change e'er tempted him, by distant wave to stray;
No trader trembling on the sea, no soldier at the drum,
No lawyer, hoarse and weary, with the forum's ceaseless hum,
No quidnunc, he: ** the nearest town, he never yet has seen;
Too happy in his broad expanse of heaven, no wall between.
The years he reckons, not by kings, but by the crops they bring;
He names each autumn, from its fruits, and from its flowers each spring. ***
The plain, which hides his setting sun, brings back its rising light,
And all the world he knows, is that, which circles-in his sight.
He well remembers each tall oak, since scarce it reached his knee,
And sees the whole coaeval wood, grow old, as fast as he.
Neighb'ring Verona farther seems, than India's sunburnt strand,
And Lake Benacus is to him, the Red Sea, near at hand.
With vigour, all unbroken, and with shoulders broad and square,
His three times thirty years, still find him "none the worse for wear."
"Some love to roam;" remotest Spain they seek, in strolling strife:
They "see the world," perhaps; but he has much the most of life.
* Happy the man who never roved
Beyond his native land, beloved;
Whose heart is knit by no sad chain
To those, he ne'er shall see again,
Nor weeps the living, as the dead, and knows be weeps in vain.
G. W. D.
** "Indocilis rerum;" a man that does not read the papers. "Quidnunc?" What news?
*** As we say, "the last peach year;" "this will be an apple year;" "a fine dahlia season."