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


The Congress of Verona

By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

(From The Age of Bronze)

THRICE blest Verona! since the holy three

With their imperial presence shine on thee;

Honored by them, thy treacherous site forgets

The vaunted tomb of all the Capulets;

Thy Scaligers—for what was Dog the Great,

Can Grande (which I venture to translate,)

To these sublimer pugs? Thy poet too,

Catullus, whose old laurels yield to new;

Thine amphitheatre, where Romans sate;

And Dante’s exile sheltered by thy gate;

Thy good old man, whose world was all within

Thy wall, nor knew the country held him in:

Would that the royal guests it girds about

Were so far like, as never to get out!

Ay, shout! inscribe! rear monuments of shame,

To tell Oppression that the world is tame;

Crowd to the theatre with loyal rage,

The comedy is not upon the stage;

The show is rich in ribandry and stars,

Then gaze upon it through thy dungeon bars;

Clap thy permitted palms, kind Italy,

For thus much still thy fettered hands are free!