Nov. 14, 1809
Through cloudless skies, in silvery sheen,
Full beams the moon on Actium's coast:
And on these waves, for Egypt's queen,
The ancient world was won and lost.
And now upon the scene I look,
The azure grave of many a Roman;
Where stern Ambition once forsook
His wavering crown to follow woman.
Florence! whom I will love as well
As ever yet was said or sung
( Since Orpheus sang his spouse from hell ),
Whilst thou art fair and I am young;
Sweet Florence ! those were pleasant times,
When worlds were staked for ladies' eyes:
Had bards as many realms as rhymes,
Thy charms might raise new Antonies.
Though Fate forbids such things to be,
Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curl'd !
I cannot lose a world for thee,
But would not lose thee for a world.
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