Prolonged Sonnet: When the Troops Were Returning from Milan

If you could see, fair brother, how dead beat
The fellows look who come through Rome to-day,--
Black yellow smoke-dried visages,--you'd say
They thought their haste at going all too fleet.

Their empty victual-wagons up the street
Over the bridge dreadfully sound and sway;
Their eyes, as hanged men's, turning the wrong way;
And nothing on their backs, or heads, or feet.
One sees the ribs and all the skeletons
Of their gaunt horses; and a sorry sight
Are the torn saddles, crammed with straw and stones.
They are ashamed, and march throughout the night;
Stumbling, for hunger, on their marrowbones;
Like barrels rolling, jolting, in this plight.
Their arms all gone, not even their swords are saved;
And each as silent as a man being shaved.
Author of original: 
Niccol├▓ degli Albizzi
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