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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Roma
By Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907)
 
From the ‘Poesie’: Translation of Frank Sewall

GIVE to the wind thy locks; all glittering
Thy sea-blue eyes, and thy white bosom bared,
Mount to thy chariot, while in speechless roaring
Terror and Force before thee clear the way!
The shadow of thy helmet, like the flashing        5
Of brazen star, strikes through the trembling air.
The dust of broken empires, cloud-like rising,
Follows the awful rumbling of thy wheels.
So once, O Rome, beheld the conquered nations
Thy image, object of their ancient dread. 1        10
To-day a mitre they would place upon
Thy head, and fold a rosary between
Thy hands. O name! again to terrors old
Awake the tired ages and the world!
 
Note 1. The allusion is to the figure of ‘Roma’ as seen on ancient coins. [back]
 
 
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