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


To Rome

By Giovanni Guidiccioni (1480–1541)

Anonymous translation

THOU noble nurse of many a warlike chief,

Who in more brilliant times the world subdued;

Of old, the shrines of gods in beauty stood

Within thy walls, where now are shame and grief:

I hear thy broken voice demand relief,

And sadly o’er thy faded fame I brood,—

Thy pomps no more, thy temples fallen and rude,

Thine empire shrunk within a petty fief.

Slave as thou art, if such thy majesty

Of bearing seems, thy name so holy now,

That even thy scattered fragments I adore,—

How did they feel who saw thee throned on high

In pristine splendor, while thy glorious brow

The golden diadem of nations bore?