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Oh! how thou art changed, thou proud daughter of fame,
Since that hour of ripe glory, when empire was thine,
When earth's purple rulers, kings, quailed at thy name,
And thy capitol worshipped as Liberty's shrine.

In the day of thy pride, when thy crest was untamed,
And the red star of conquest was bright on thy path.
When the meteor of death thy stern falchion's edge flamed,
And earth trembled when burst the dark storm of thy wrath.

But Rome thou art fallen! the memory of yore,
Only serves to reproach thee with what thou art now:
The joy of thy triumph for ever is o'er,
And sorrow and shame set their seal on thy brow.

Like the wind shaken reed, thy degenerate race,
The children of those once the brave and the free—
Ah, who can the page of thy history trace,
Nor blush, thou lost city, blush deeply for thee!

Could the graves yield their dead, and thy warriors arise,
And see thy blades rusted, thy war banners furl’d,
Would they know the proud eagle that soared thro' the skies,
Whose glance lightened over a terror struck world ?

Yet e'en in disgrace, in thy sadness and gloom,
An halo of splendour is over thee cast:
It is but the death-light that reddens the tomb,
And calls to remembrance the glories long past.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on October 26, 2019

1:09 min read

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia Elizabeth Landon was an English poet. Born 14th August 1802 at 25 Hans Place, Chelsea, she lived through the most productive period of her life nearby, at No.22. A precocious child with a natural gift for poetry, she was driven by the financial needs of her family to become a professional writer and thus a target for malicious gossip (although her three children by William Jerdan were successfully hidden from the public). In 1838, she married George Maclean, governor of Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast, whence she travelled, only to die a few months later (15th October) of a fatal heart condition. Behind her post-Romantic style of sentimentality lie preoccupations with art, decay and loss that give her poetry its characteristic intensity and in this vein she attempted to reinterpret some of the great male texts from a woman’s perspective. Her originality rapidly led to her being one of the most read authors of her day and her influence, commencing with Tennyson in England and Poe in America, was long-lasting. However, Victorian attitudes led to her poetry being misrepresented and she became excluded from the canon of English literature, where she belongs. more…

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"Rome" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/51741/rome>.

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