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



By Saverio Bettinelli (1718–1808)

Translated by James Montgomery

WITH talons terrible, for slaughter spread,

On wings that made a tempest of their way,

Down darting from the Alps, by vengeance led,

The Hungarian falcon pounced upon his prey.

From wrath and rapine, trembling with dismay,

The Italian doves before the spoiler sped,

And wide o’er vales and mountains driven astray,

Far from their ravaged homes forever fled.

Then found the wiser halcyon’s lovely brood

(Scared from their country ruined and opprest)

A safe asylum on the rolling flood;

By worth upheld, by liberty caresst:

Midst thrones in ashes, cities sunk in blood,

Ages on ages past,—behold the beauteous nest.