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  • The Dream
    Venice (Veneto)

    She is dreaming, dreaming sweetly,
    That soft siren of the islands,
    On the breast of Italy,
    On her dying fame-washed strands.

    See the moon-light gently floating
    O'er the wave and broken walls,
    At some gloomy shadow gloating,
    On the Doge's lonely halls.

    Silent save the whispering night-wind,
    Creeping 'long the silv'ry streets,
    And its murmur soft confin'd
    Where the wall the water meets.

    Catch her accents, she is dreaming,
    Yes, again she's with the past,
    In the days when fame was streaming
    O'er the seas from every mast.

    Now her domes, her gilded steeples,
    With their former lustre shine,
    And they dwell—the ancient peoples—
    In this home of beauty's shrine:

    When the Orient had yielded
    All the splendor of its arts,
    And its gold and pearl had circled
    Pride and pomp in all her marts.

    See yon pageant floating proudly,
    Torches gleaming on the waves,
    And the people cheering loudly
    Hail it with the captive slaves.

    For her warriors now are bringing
    Spoils of victory once more,
    And a conquered crown they're flinging
    At her feet, and robes she wore.

    Nations all are homage paying
    To this empress of the sea,
    And her charms are now subduing
    Each to her own mastery.

    And to-night the triumph crowns,
    As her fleet returning home,
    Greets them with gay banquet rounds
    'Neath the Doge's palace dome.

    They yield, the far-off—but she's waking,
    Dreary, sad and desolate,
    Bowing servile to a king,
    Weak, submissive to her fate.

    Ah, why should beauty ever be,
    The Nemesis of its own fall,
    And humbled pride and heraldry
    Survive alone the death of all?

    Return to Folk Songs Page

    Additional Resources
    Famous Italians Folk Dances Folktales
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    Loudoun, Robert. Songs of Venice: and other poems. Cleveland: William W. Williams, 1885. 18-20


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