Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

(1840 - 1922 / England)

A New Pilgrimage: Sonnet Xxxi - Poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Yes, Italy is wise, a cultured prude,
Stored with all maxims of a statelier age;
These are her lessons for our northern blood,
With its dark Saxon madness and Norse rage.
With these she tempers us and renders sage,
As long ago she stayed the barbarous flood
Surging against her, and her heritage
Snatched from the feet of that brute multitude.
Calmly she waits us. What to her shall be
Our fevers of to--day, who erewhile knew
Caesar's ambitions? What our pruriency,
Who saw Rome sacked by the lewd Vandal crew?
What our despair, who, while a world stood mute,
Saw Henry kneel in tears at Peter's foot?

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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