Old flaming Ages full of struggling thought,1
Of startling deeds by mail-clad spirits wrought,2
Of war, and faith, and love’s delightful theme,3
Of coffin’d crimes, and May-day feeling’s dream,4
High aims that gain’d too late their wish’d event,5
Good held secure, and lo ! ere tasted—spent :6
Old days when blithe Boccaccio told his tale,7
And Guelph and Ghibeline storm’d in Arno’s vale,8
When sweet sighs often, ’mid a world so rude,9
Spread music through the strife no spell subdued,10
I would not wish you back, but oh ! would fain11
See what was best of yours made ours again.12