Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
William Wordsworth. 1770–1850
522. On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic, 1802
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;         5
  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;  10
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid 
  When her long life hath reach'd its final day: 
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade 
  Of that which once was great is pass'd away. 

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