Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Italy
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII.  1876–79.
To Rome
Vittorio Alfieri (1749–1803)
Translated by Capel Lofft

UNHEALTHY land! that call’st thyself a state;
Void, desolate! Plains barren and untilled!
Mute spectres of a race; whose looks are filled
With guilt, base fears, fierce and ensanguined hate!
A Senate, nor to act nor to debate,        5
Vile paltry craft in splendid purple veiled!
Patricians of a folly less concealed
Than their vain wealth! a Prince, imagined great;
By superstition hallowed! City proud
Who hast no citizens! Temples august,        10
Without religion! Laws corrupt, unjust,
From age to age proceeding still to worse.
Keys (as thou saidst) to which Heaven’s portals bowed
For impious men—Ah, Rome, the seat of every curse.

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