The Poems of Giacomo Leopardi
For, ah, their like walk not thy streets to-day!
Nor is there one whom thou canst reverence!
Turn, turn, my country, and behold
That noble band of heroes old,
And weep, and on thyself thy anger vent,
For without anger, grief is impotent:
Oh, turn, and rouse thyself for shame,
Blush at the thought of sires so great,
Of children so degenerate!
Alien in mien, in genius, and in speech,
The eager guest from far
Went searching through the Tuscan soil to find
Where he reposed, whose verse sublime
Might fitly rank with Homer's lofty rhyme;
And oh! to our disgrace he heard
Not only that, e'er since his dying day,
In other soil his bones in exile lay,
But not a stone within thy walls was reared
To him, O Florence, whose renown
Caused thee to be by all the world revered.
Thanks to the brave, the generous band,
Whose timely labor from our land
Will this sad, shameful stain remove!
A noble task is yours,