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To Virgil

         
       
      WRITTEN  AT  THE  REQUEST  OF  THE  MANTUANS  FOR
         THE  NINETEENTH  CENTENARY  OF  VIRGIL’S  DEATH

       

            I.

      Roman Virgil, thou that singest
             Ilion’s lofty temples robed in fire,
      Ilion falling, Rome arising,
             wars, and filial faith, and Dido’s pyre;

            II.

      Landscape-lover, lord of language
             more than he that sang the ‘Works and Days,’
      All the chosen coin of fancy
             flashing out from many a golden phrase;

            III.

      Thou that singest wheat and woodland,
             tilth and vineyard, hive and horse and herd;
      All the charm of all the Muses
             often flowering in a lonely word;

            IV.

      Poet of the happy Tityrus
             piping underneath his beechen bowers;
      Poet of the poet-satyr
             whom the laughing shepherd bound with flowers;

            V.

      Chanter of the Pollio, glorying
             in the blissful years again to be,
      Summers of the snakeless meadow,
             unlaborious earth and oarless sea;

            VI.

      Thou that seëst Universal
             Nature moved by Universal Mind;
      Thou majestic in thy sadness
             at the doubtful doom of human kind;

            VII.

      Light among the vanish’d ages;
             star that gildest yet this phantom shore;
      Golden branch amid the shadows,
             kings and realms that pass to rise no more;

            VIII.

      Now thy Forum roars no longer,
             fallen every purple Cæsar’s dome–
      Tho’ thine ocean-roll of rhythm
             sound forever of Imperial Rome–

            IX.

      Now the Rome of slaves hath perish’d,
             and the Rome of freemen holds her place,
      I, from out the Northern Island
             sunder’d once from all the human race,

            X.

      I salute thee, Mantovano,
             I that loved thee since my day began,
      Wielder of the stateliest measure
             ever moulded by the lips of man.
       


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