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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.


By Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907)

From the ‘Levia Gravia’: Translation of Frank Sewall

O DANTE, why is it that I adoring

Still lift my songs and vows to thy stern face,

And sunset to the morning gray gives place

To find me still thy restless verse exploring?

Lucia prays not for my poor soul’s resting;

For me Matilda tends no sacred fount;

For me in vain the sacred lovers mount,

O’er star and star, to the eternal soaring.

I hate the Holy Empire, and the crown

And sword alike relentless would have riven

From thy good Frederic on Olona’s plains.

Empire and Church to ruin have gone down,

And yet for them thy songs did scale high heaven.

Great Jove is dead. Only the song remains.