Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DANTE, by WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR

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DANTE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ere blasts from northern lands
Last Line: To lighten day . . And dark to darken night.
Subject(s): Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

Ere blasts from northern lands
Had cover'd Italy with barren sands,
Rome's Genius, smitten sore,
Wail'd on the Danube, and was heard no more.
Twelve centuries had past
And crusht Etruria rais'd her head at last.
A mightier Power she saw,
Poet and prophet, give three worlds the law.
When Dante's strength arose
Fraud met aghast the boldest of her foes;
Religion, sick to death,
Lookt doubtful up, and drew in pain her breath.
Both to one grave are gone;
Altars still smoke, still is the God unknown.
Haste, whoso from above
Comest with purer fire and larger love,
Quenchest the Stygian torch,
And leadest from the Garden and the Porcb,
Where gales breathe fresh and free,
And where a Grace is call'd a Charity,
To Him, the God of peace,
Who bids all discord in his household cease . .
Bids it, and bids again,
But to the purple-vested speaks in vain.
Crying, "Can this be borne?"
The consecrated wine-skins creak with scorn;
While, leaving tumult there,
To quiet idols young and old repair,
In places where is light
To lighten day . . and dark to darken night.

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