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Italy : 40. Banditti

'Tis a wild life, fearful and full of change,
The mountain-robber's. On the watch he lies,
Levelling his carbine at the passenger;
And, when his work is done, he dares not sleep.
Time was, the trade was nobler, if not honest;
When they that robbed, were men of better faith
Than kings or pontiffs; when, such reverence
The Poet drew among the woods and wilds,
A voice was heard, that never bade to spare,
Crying aloud, 'Hence to the distant hills!

Tasso approaches, he, whose song beguiles
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