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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

ONCE did She hold the gorgeous east in fee;

And was the safeguard of the west: the worth

Of Venice did not fall below her birth,

Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.

She was a maiden City, bright and free;

No guile seduced, no force could violate;

And, when she took unto herself a Mate,

She must espouse the everlasting Sea.

And what if she had seen those glories fade,

Those titles vanish, and that strength decay;

Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid

When her long life hath reached its final day:

Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade

Of that which once was great, is passed away.