There's a tumult in the distance, and a warsong in the air,
Where the foemen in their galleys, for another fight prepare,
For they whisper in the country, and they noise it in the town,
Dear flag! Old flag! O, the blue and white,
Floating in the years long gone,
How our pulses beat,
Long I've watched the eagle soaring, and the sun his colours pouring,
Till they fill the vale below me, as though with purple wine;
His comrades bore him to the grave,
In column moving slow,
With pomp their faithful subjects gave
To monarchs long ago.
Where the dreaming Tiber wanders by the haunted Appian Way,
Lo! the nightingale is uttering a sorrow-burdened lay
I seemed a waste of weary land,
Lone, grey, forsaken by the sea,
The keen sun smote my naked sand,
The sultry wind made sport of me.
Why should the mist rise from the stream.
A lyric on its bars!
And steal from every wave the gleam,
Begot by lover stars.
Dew upon the robin as he lilts there, on the thorn,
Jewel on a scarlet breast a fleeting moment worn,
And suddenly by fairy hands into blue heaven drawn.
She comes as comes the summer night,
Violet, perfumed, clad with stars,
To heal the eyes hurt by the light
Flung by Day's brandish'd scimitars.