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THE

PROPHECY OF DANTE.

""Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore, And coming events cast their shadows before."

CAMPBELL.

[This poem which Lord Byron, in sending it to Mr. Murray, called "the best thing he had ever done, if not unintelligible," was written, in the summer of 1819, at

"that place

Of old renown, once in the Adrian sea,

Ravenna! - where from Dante's sacred tomb

He had so oft, as many a verse declares,
Drawn inspiration."- ROGERS.

The Prophecy, however, was first published in May, 1821. It is dedicated to the Countess Guiccioli, who thus describes the origin of its composition: -"On my departure from Venice, Lord Byron had promised to come and see me at Ravenna. Dante's tomb, the classical pine wood*, the relics of antiquity which are to be found in that place, afforded a sufficient pretext for me to invite him to come, and for him to accept my invitation. He came in the month of June, 1819, arriving at Ravenna on the day of the festival of the Corpus Domini. Being deprived at this time of his books, his horses, and all that occupied him at Venice, I begged him to gratify me by writing something on the subject of Dante; and, with his usual facility and rapidity, he composed his Prophecy."-E.]

* "Twas in a grove of spreading pines he strayed," &c.

DRYDEN'S Theodore and Honoria.

DEDICATION.

LADY! if for the cold and cloudy clime
Where I was born, but where I would not die,
Of the great Poet-Sire of Italy

I dare to build the imitative rhyme,

Harsh Runic copy of the South's sublime,
THOU art the cause; and howsoever I
Fall short of his immortal harmony,

Thy gentle heart will pardon me the crime.
Thou, in the pride of Beauty and of Youth,
Spakest; and for thee to speak and be obey'd
Are one; but only in the sunny South

Such sounds are utter'd, and such charms display'd,

So sweet a language from so fair a mouth
Ah! to what effort would it not persuade ?

Ravenna, June 21. 1819.

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