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A Letter From Italy

Rating: 3.1

Salve magna parens frugum Saturnia tellus,
Magna virûm! tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
Aggredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes.
Virg. Geor. 2.

While you, my Lord, the rural shades admire,
And from Britannia's public posts retire,
Nor longer, her ungrateful sons to please,
For their advantage sacrifice your ease;

Me into foreign realms my fate conveys,
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Kevin Straw 28 November 2009

I like this, e.g. 'The king of floods! that rolling o'er the plains The towering Alps of half their moisture drains, And proudly swoln with a whole winter's snows, Distributes wealth and plenty where he flows.' Though I think 'swollen with a winter's snows' is better.

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Ramesh T A 28 November 2009

Like heroes and artists mountains and rivers of Europe especially Italy are well expressed in classical poetry immortalising them as they have provided liberty and happiness forever to the people there! The copious out flow of verse makes it run like mountains and rivers as heavenly as heaven itself on Earth!

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Bernard F. Asuncion 30 January 2017

Enjoyed reading........Thanks for sharing...............

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Edward Kofi Louis 30 January 2017

Infected tide! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Paul Brookes 28 November 2012

Sorry Joseph Addison (1672 - 1719) was in fact an 17th / 18th century Brit so Mr Pruchnicki though your reading may be correct your years are out by about 100 years At the time of writing the British Empire was only a fledgling empire! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Michael Pruchnicki 28 November 2009

OK, we've established Harmon's maladroit critique, Straw's nit-picking as usual, and Ahearn's dismay at oh-so-many verses and lines that his mind wanders so much that the poor lad despairs of whatever! ! I don't know but what say you give this a read as to what A LETTER FROM ITALY might suggest to a more incisive reader! I read it as a communique from a Roman like Pontius Pilate to his emperor and the senate in the manner of a report from the governor of an occupied territory in the Roman empire! Of course, Addison is a 19th century Brit assuming the rank of an ancient Roman reporting to his superior, but always the reader is aware that there is a subtext - a subtle but clear critique of the British empire in the 19th century! Though the alleged Roman sings the praises of his native land, Addison's persona notes always that Britannia rules the waves and is the guarantor of freedom and liberty! I'd say that was pretty clear from a closer reading than those of Harmon, Straw and Ahearn!

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Michael Harmon 28 November 2009

This is an end-stopped Erebus in verse, a rhyming-couplet catastrophe. Addison's forte was criticism, not poetry. The critical line here is: 'But I've already troubled you too long, '

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