Oh Rome ! my country! city of the soul !
The orphans of the heart must turn to thee,
Lone mother of dead empires ! and control
In their shut breasts their petty misery.
What are our woes and sufferance ? Come and see
The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
O'er steps of broken thrones and temples, Ye!
Whose agonies are evils of a day-
A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.
The Niobe of nations! there she stands, ác
Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe;
An empty urn within her wither'd hands,
Whose holy dust was scatter'd long ago;
The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now ;51
The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers : dost thou flow,
Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness?
Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress.
The Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood, and Fire,
Have dealt upon the seven-hill'd city's pride ;
She saw her glories star by star expire,
And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
Where the car climb'd the capitol; far and wide
Temple and tower went down, nor left a site :
Chaos of ruins ! who shall trace the void,
O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
And say, “here was, or is,” where all is doubly night?