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by Oscar Wilde, 1881

Italia! thou art fallen, though with sheen
   Of battle-spears thy clamorous armies stride
   From the north Alps to the Sicilian tide!
 Ay! fallen, though the nations hail thee Queen
 Because rich gold in every town is seen,
   And on thy sapphire lake in tossing pride
   Of wind-filled vans thy myriad galleys ride
 Beneath one flag of red and white and green.
 O Fair and Strong! O Strong and Fair in vain!
   Look southward where Rome’s desecrated town
   Lies mourning for her God-anointed King!
 Look heaven-ward! shall God allow this thing?
   Nay! but some flame-girt Raphael shall come down,
   And smite the Spoiler with the sword of pain.


Published in Poems

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