Home  »  library  »  poem  »  Venice

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


By August, Graf von Platen (1796–1835)

Translation of Charles Timothy Brooks

VENICE, calm shadow of her elder day,

Still, in the land of dreams, lives fresh and fair;

Where frowned the proud Republic’s Lion, there

His empty prison-walls keep holiday.

The brazen steeds that, wet with briny spray,

On yonder church-walls shake their streaming hair,

They are the same no longer—ah! they wear

The bridle of the Corsican conqueror’s sway!

Where is the people gone, the kindly race

That reared these marble piles amid the waves,

Which e’en decay invests with added grace?

Not in the brows of yon degenerate slaves

Think thou the traits of their great sires to trace;—

Go, read them, hewn in stone, on doges’ graves!