The last Doge to fettered Venice
I saw a phantom sitting in her rags
Upon a throne that sea-gods wrought of old ;
Her tatters, stamped with blazonry of gold,
Seemed made of remnants of victorious flags ;
Her face was fair, though wrinkled like a hag's.
And in the sun she shivered as with cold ;
While round her breast she tightened each torn fold
To hide her chains, more thick than felon drags.
O Venice, in the silence of the night,
I think of when thy vessels used to bring
The gems and spices of the plundered East
Up to thy feet, and like an endless flight
Of hurrying sea-birds, on a broad white wing.
Heaped up the gift that ever still increased.