To Italy

BRIGHT valor, smitten by so shrewd a blow,
Drooping thy golden wing like wounded plover,
What great, grieved faces o'er the battle hover,
Patriot Mazzini; Fra Angelico,
Forsaking his own seraphs for thy woe;
Savonarola, still his country's lover
Despite the flames; longing for walls to cover
With such a fresco, Michael Angelo.
Pity in those sweet eyes of Raphael
For all Madonnas whose young sons lie slain;
Chagrin in Dante's, that his far-famed hell
Fades to a fantasy but weak and vain
By scenes no wildest dream could parallel,
Vast agony of thy Venetian plain.

by Katharine Lee Bates

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