Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
The Statue of Moses
By Giambattista Felice Zappi (1667–1719)
Translated by Sir Aubrey de Vere

WHAT form in everlasting marble wrought
  Sits, giantlike, Art’s noblest triumph there?
  Voice almost trembles on the lip, high thought
  Seems throbbing on that brow of grandeur rare;
’Tis Moses!—Lo! that beard of wreathing hair        5
  And the twin glories from his temples shot;
  Moses!—but with that yet diviner air
  Upon the Mount from God’s own presence caught.
Such was he once, when the wave’s wild rebound
  Hung o’er him vast; such, when the deathful roar        10
  Of waters closed, at the command of Heaven!
And ye, vile crew,—once worshippers around
  A worthless calf; had ye but knelt before
  A shape like this, your sin almost had been forgiven.

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