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MARE MEDITERRANEAN, by             Poem Explanation        
First Line: A line of light! It is the inland sea
Last Line: Of glory to the brave!
Subject(s): Mediterranean Sea

A LINE of light! it is the inland Sea,
The least in compass and the first in fame;
The gleaming of its waves recalls to me
Full many an ancient name.

As through my dreamland float the days of old,
The forms and features of their heroes shine:
I see Phoenician sailors bearing gold
From the Tartessian mine.

Seeking new worlds, storm-toss'd Ulysses ploughs
Remoter surges of the winding main;
And Grecian captains come to pay their vows,
Or gather up the slain,

I see the temples of the "Violet Crown"
Burn upward in the hour of glorious flight:
And mariners of uneclips'd renown,
Who won the great sea-fight.

I hear the dashing of a thousand oars,
The angry waters take a deeper dye;
A thousand echoes vibrate from the shores
With Athens' battle-cry.

Again the Carthaginian rovers sweep,
With sword and commerce, on from shore to shore;
In visionary storms the breakers leap
Round Syrtes, as of yore.

Victory, sitting on the Seven Hills,
Had gain'd the world when she had master'd thee:
Thy bosom with the Roman war-note thrills,
Wave of the inland sea.

Then, singing as they sail in shining ships,
I see the monarch minstrels of Romance,
And hear their praises murmur'd through the lips
Of the fair dames of France.

Across the deep another music swells,
On Adrian bays a later splendour smiles;
Power hails the marble city where she dwells
Queen of a hundred isles.

Westward the galleys of the Crescent roam,
And meet the Pisan challenge in the breeze,
Till the long Dorian palace lords the foam
With stalwart Genovese.

But the light fades, the vision wears away;
I see the mist above the dreary wave.
Blow winds of Freedom, give another day
Of glory to the brave!

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