A Letter From Italy

While you, my Lord, the rural shades admire,
And from Britannia's public posts retire,
Nor longer, her ungrateful sons to please,
For their advantage sacrifice your ease;

by Joseph Addison Click to read full poem

Comments (7)

Enjoyed reading........Thanks for sharing...............
Infected tide! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Sorry Joseph Addison (1672 - 1719) was in fact an 17th / 18th century Brit so Mr Pruchnicki though your reading may be correct your years are out by about 100 years At the time of writing the British Empire was only a fledgling empire! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
OK, we've established Harmon's maladroit critique, Straw's nit-picking as usual, and Ahearn's dismay at oh-so-many verses and lines that his mind wanders so much that the poor lad despairs of whatever! ! I don't know but what say you give this a read as to what A LETTER FROM ITALY might suggest to a more incisive reader! I read it as a communique from a Roman like Pontius Pilate to his emperor and the senate in the manner of a report from the governor of an occupied territory in the Roman empire! Of course, Addison is a 19th century Brit assuming the rank of an ancient Roman reporting to his superior, but always the reader is aware that there is a subtext - a subtle but clear critique of the British empire in the 19th century! Though the alleged Roman sings the praises of his native land, Addison's persona notes always that Britannia rules the waves and is the guarantor of freedom and liberty! I'd say that was pretty clear from a closer reading than those of Harmon, Straw and Ahearn!
This is an end-stopped Erebus in verse, a rhyming-couplet catastrophe. Addison's forte was criticism, not poetry. The critical line here is: 'But I've already troubled you too long, '
I like this, e.g. 'The king of floods! that rolling o'er the plains The towering Alps of half their moisture drains, And proudly swoln with a whole winter's snows, Distributes wealth and plenty where he flows.' Though I think 'swollen with a winter's snows' is better.
Like heroes and artists mountains and rivers of Europe especially Italy are well expressed in classical poetry immortalising them as they have provided liberty and happiness forever to the people there! The copious out flow of verse makes it run like mountains and rivers as heavenly as heaven itself on Earth!