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


Ducal Palace

By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

(From Marino Faliero, Act V, Scene III)

I SPEAK to Time and to Eternity,

Of which I grow a portion, not to man.

Ye elements! in which to be resolved

I hasten, let my voice be as a spirit

Upon you! Ye blue waves! which bore my banner,

Ye winds! which fluttered o’er as if you loved it,

And filled my swelling sails as they were wafted

To many a triumph! Thou, my native earth,

Which I have bled for, and thou foreign earth,

Which drank this willing blood from many a wound!

Ye stones, in which my gore will not sink, but

Reek up to Heaven! Ye skies, which will receive it!

Thou sun! which shinest on these things, and thou!

Who kindlest and who quenchest suns!—Attest!

I am not innocent,—but are these guiltless?

I perish, but not unavenged; far ages

Float up from the abyss of time to be,

And show these eyes, before they close, the doom

Of this proud city, and I leave my curse

On her and hers forever! Yes, the hours

Are silently engendering of the day,

When she, who built ’gainst Attila a bulwark,

Shall yield, and bloodlessly and basely yield

Unto a bastard Attila, without

Shedding so much blood in her last defence

As these old veins, oft drained in shielding her,

Shall pour in sacrifice. She shall be bought

And sold, and be an appanage to those

Who shall despise her! She shall stoop to be

A province for an empire, petty town

In lieu of capital, with slaves for senates,

Beggars for nobles, panders for a people!

Then when the Hebrew in thy palaces,

The Hun in thy high places, and the Greek

Walks o’er thy mart, and smiles on it for his!

When thy patricians beg their bitter bread

In narrow streets, and in their shameful need

Make their nobility a plea for pity!