Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE VENETIAN REPUBLIC, by WILLIAM WORDSWORTH



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ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE VENETIAN REPUBLIC, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Once did she hold the gorgeous east in fee
Last Line: Of that which once was great, is passed away.
Variant Title(s): Venice
Subject(s): Freedom; Venice, Italy; Liberty


ONCE did She hold the gorgeous east in fee;
And was the safeguard of the west: the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.
She was a maiden City, bright and free;
No guile seduced, no force could violate;
And, when she took unto herself a Mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay;
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid
When her long life hath reached its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
Of that which once was great, is passed away.





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