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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.


De Foix’s Monument and Dante’s Tomb

By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

(From Don Juan)

I CANTER by the spot each afternoon

Where perished in his fame the hero-boy,

Who lived too long for men, but died too soon

For human vanity, the young De Foix!

A broken pillar not uncouthly hewn,

But which neglect is hastening to destroy,

Records Ravenna’s carnage on its face,

While weeds and ordure rankle round the base.

I pass each day where Dante’s bones are laid;

A little cupola, more neat than solemn,

Protects his dust, but reverence here is paid

To the bard’s tomb, and not the warrior’s column.

The time must come when both, alike decayed,

The chieftain’s trophy and the poet’s volume,

Will sink where lie the songs and wars of earth,

Before Pelides’ death or Homer’s birth.