To The Tiber

On its late (in 1871) Inundation of Rome

Well done, old Flood, that, hiding a clear eye
Beneath thy yellow veil, dost wend among
Those epic hills and dales of seven-topp'd song,
To keep watch on the stone eternity
Whereof the mortal tenants die and die;
One more is gone, the deadliest of the long
Line, the foul vast of whose unmeasured wrong
Twined to its summit in the triple Lie
Of that thrice-curs├Ęd Crown. And thou, brave flood,
Enterest a thousand years of carrion
To swill away the deeps of dung and blood,
And drown the garbaged tribes that stank thereon,
That so, at least, the new investiture
Be on clean threshold and a hearth-stone pure.

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