Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
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 reached its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
  Of that which once was great, is passed away.
 
 
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