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Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



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 splendor 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 forever more.