To Italy. From Filicaja

Italy! Italy! thou who'rt doomed to wear
The fatal gift of beauty and possess
The dower funest of infinite wretchedness
Written upon thy forehead by despair;
Ah! would that thou wert stronger or less fair,
That they might fear thee more or love thee less,
Who in the splendour of thy loveliness
Seem wasting, yet to mortal combat dare!
Then from the Alps I should not see descending
Such torrents of armed men, nor Gallic horde
Drinking the wave of Po, distained with gore,
Nor should I see thee girded with a sword
Not thine, and with the stranger's arm contending,
Victor or vanquished, slave for evermore.

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